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Events

Photos from the Walk of Life 2021

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#WhyIWalk for the RUH – Team DJS

Lisa, Neil, David, Elaine, Kerry, David and Deborah from DJS Wealth Adviser LLP are taking on the Walk of Life as a team to raise vital funds for the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH).

The company based in Radstock are walking to say thank you to the RUH for multiple reasons: “As a Practice we have all had experience with the many departments at the hospital. The Cancer Unit, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Maternity Ward, Accident and Emergency just to name a few.

Lisa Thorne, the Practice Manager had twin boys at 31 weeks who spent their first four weeks in NICU.  She said: “As a family, we are forever grateful for the care the boys received from the NICU team. They are now 15, studying for their GCSE’s, they both love sport and play rugby and football for their local town, Trowbridge.

We want to thank the RUH for the care and support they have provided to each of us. As a team we are looking forward to the 10 mile walk along the canal together to raise vital funds and awareness for the RUH.”

The team will walk 10 miles along the canal each, racking up an impressive team distance of 70 miles on the day.

Looking for a way to bring your colleagues together? After a strange 18 months, we’ve spent more time on-screen with colleagues than real life people. But the time to re-connect is coming, and it’s going to be amazing! Spaces are still available for our marathon canal walk and our 10 mile afternoon walk on 18th September here – the perfect way to get together and show what your team is made of.

To support the DJS Wealth Adviser team, please click here.

 

 

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Running for my Dad – Ben’s #ReasonToRun

Ben Wood from Bath is getting ready to take on the ultimate challenge of running the London Marathon on 3rd October in memory of his father.

The 41st Virgin Money London Marathon is back with a bang this October, with 100,000 people set to take part across an in-person and a virtual event.  This year’s event is set to make history as the world’s biggest marathon ever.

Ben is powering through his training runs with a smile, and has already raised over £1,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal – the official NHS charity for the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH Bath).  Funds will specifically go to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to say thank you for caring for his father, Adrian Wood.

Ben said: “In May 2016, my Dad very sadly passed away at RUH Bath ICU.  Honestly, it was a very scary time. The staff in the ICU did a fantastic job keeping my family and I informed and reassured during our time there. Though dad very sadly passed away, both he and my family always remained optimistic. A feeling I personally carry on to this day in all aspects of life.

I am a firm believer in the importance to always have a sense of humour, even in the darkest of times. Laughter is the release of tension and spreads positivity. The staff would often join me, my family and dad in simply having a laugh. To me there is no greater feeling and connection than this.

When Dad passed, I lost a part of my past and it was an incredibly tough time for my family and I. Though rather than be consumed by the hardship, I knew I wanted to turn it into something positive and to create a better future. With my Dad’s love of all things sport and helping others, I thought of no better way of honouring his memory than running the London Marathon for RUH Bath ICU who cared for dad in his last few weeks.

I have never really been active or had any physical fitness or skills (I couldn’t run a bath without breaking a sweat!). Though despite this, and despite experiencing plenty of failures, as we all do in life, I have always been a strong believer that you can achieve anything you set your mind to despite the challenges.

Ben’s fundraising will help support patients at their most vulnerable.  Margerinta Jenkins, Matron of Critical Care and Outreach, said: “The incredibly poignant memories of Ben’s experience, captures the essence of what we as a team try to create for our patients and families. Hearing of Ben’s challenge to himself, getting out of his comfort zone to raise money for our unit is incredibly humbling. Such actions give us the opportunity to improve our patients and families experience and we as a team cannot thank Ben enough.”

Ben is an inspiration to us all. He is setting himself a big challenge and is proving that anyone can achieve their goals, whether that’s to run a marathon or something a little smaller.

Choosing to fundraise to say thank you to the hospital is a really personal and amazing thing to do. We’re very proud to have Ben on our marathon team!

If you would like to show your support to Ben you can make a donation on his JustGiving page.

 

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John’s 3,000 mile motorcycle challenge in memory of late wife

Original article from Gazette & Herald.

A ROWDE man is taking on a poignant journey across Great Britain in honour of his late wife.

John Dalley lost his wife Delia, known as Dee, on July 14.

She was diagnosed with liver cancer in June 2020 and was given only six months to live.

John, from Rowde and Dee from Potterne, met at school and were together for 17 years.

“She was just 55,” he told the Gazette.

“Dee was bubbly, kind and loving – she was a really lovely lady. We’ve been cheated out of a loving mother and grandmother.”

Dee worked as a carer across the county and had a gentle and positive spirit. She will be missed by her family, as well as the Rowde community.

She leaves behind a daughter, Gema and a son, Liam.

John is currently taking on a massive fundraising journey across football, cricket and rugby grounds to raise as much money as he can for both Dorothy House Hospice Care and the RUH’s Forever Friends Appeal.

Back in 2011, John had visited all 92 football league club grounds on a 30-year-old Honda 250 Superdream and raised £3,500.

The ride celebrated the 25 years since he and the late John Pearce founded Rowde Football Club.

He had hoped to do a similar ride for his ten year anniversary, but did not expect that Dee would not be by his side for the journey.

“Dee went downhill really rapidly, the cancer absolutely ravaged her,” John said.

“She fought long and hard, and very bravely. She really encouraged me to do this and knew I’d been wanting to do a 10 year anniversary ride anyway. She held my hand and said I had to do it.”

John started the challenge last week and will finish at Dorothy’s House on Monday, August 16.

He will travel around 3,000 miles on his motorbike and has already ticked off grounds in Oxford, Swindon, Northampton, Burton and Birmingham.

With many more to go, he hopes to reach Scunthorpe on Saturday (August 7) in time to see Swindon Town kick off their new season.

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#WhyIWalk for the RUH – The Giles Family

Peter, Sarah, Noah and Reuben Giles from Kington Langley, Wiltshire are taking part in The Forever Friends Appeal’s flagship sponsored walk, the Walk of Life in September to support the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Peter Giles shared with us the reason why he is walking for the RUH: “My late wife Val had a couple of 10 day stays in RUH with complications from the MS she lived with for nearly 45 years.  The second stay, sadly, ended with her death six years ago.  But throughout both stays she couldn’t have asked for better or more sympathetic care.  She had nothing but the highest praise for all the staff and for her treatment.  They deserve our help.”

The family will be walking an impressive 26.2 miles each on Saturday 18th September 2021. A marathon distance is a big challenge, but even more so for Noah (age 10) and Reuben (age 9), who will be two of our youngest walkers!

Noah and Reuben said:  “We are looking forward to the Walk of Life, with our Mummy and Grandad, to raise money for The Forever Friends Appeal because our local hospital has looked after lots of members of our family.

We are very grateful to the doctors and nurses who work so hard especially after such a difficult year and hope to raise lots of money for them.  We are nervous about the walk because it is such a long way, much further than we’ve ever walked before and it is going to be a very big challenge for us. We hope we can make it!”

You can support the family by donating to their fundraising pages here:

Peter’s page – https://foreverfriendsappeal.enthuse.com/pf/peter-giles

Sarah, Noah and Reuben’s page – https://foreverfriendsappeal.enthuse.com/pf/sarah-the-boys-037c2

If you’d like to join the Giles family and others making a difference for the hospital with every step, you can sign up to the 26.2 mile or 10 mile walking routes at the Walk of Life here.

 

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#WhyIWalk for the RUH – Kerri’s story

Kerri Gardner from Wiltshire is taking part in The Forever Friends Appeal’s flagship sponsored walk, the Walk of Life in September to say thank you to the Intensive Care Unit for caring for her father in 2016.

A manager for a care company and an advocate for raising awareness around Bowel Cancer, Kerri shared her #WhyIWalk reasons:

“My dad was admitted to the intensive care unit at RUH in November 2016. He was a very proud man and despite pleas from the family he would not visit the doctor. My dad was losing weight and was unwell for about a year before he was taken by ambulance to the RUH.

I am a manager for a care company and have been in the industry for about 20 years, so I had a fair idea of what my dad was suffering from. My fears were confirmed when he was diagnosed with bowl cancer/ sepsis and after having an operation to have a stoma bag he had a heart attack and sadly passed away on 11th December.

The support the ICU gave my dad and my family was absolutely amazing and we will never be able to thank them enough. They allowed us to stay by my dad’s side and the very minimal time we did leave him they accepted our calls, passed on messages and generally cared. The staff there did everything they could to keep my dad comfortable and to treat his illness and I will never forget the compassion and understanding they showed him when he was clearly scared.

I want to raise as much awareness of bowel cancer and the importance of going to the doctor or hospital if you are concerned about your health. I do believe if my dad was not so embarrassed to discuss the lump he found and its location he may still be here.

Every Christmas now, I have explained to my friends and family I will not be sending cards and I donate to the RUH instead.  The attached photo is of myself and my dad on our last Christmas together.

Personally I don’t do a lot of walking so the Walk of Life I am doing is going to be a challenge for me, but not as big as the challenge the staff at the RUH face daily. Every little helps and I urge anyone no matter how big or small support the RUH where possible as you never know when you may need their support.”

Kerri will be walking 10 miles along the Kennet & Avon Canal on the 18 September as part of the Walk of Life. Kerri has already raised £160 for the Royal United Hospitals Bath – you can make a donation to her fundraising here.

If you’d like to join Kerri and others making a difference for the hospital with every step, you can sign up to the 26.2 mile or 10 mile walking routes at the Walk of Life here.

Do you have a reason for #WhyIWalk? Get in touch to let us know at ruh-tr.fundraising@nhs.net.

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Sign up for the Walk of Life 2021

Take part in the Walk of Life event this year on Saturday 18 September and show your support for your local hospital.

The popular walking marathon event is organised by the Royal United Hospitals Bath charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. After a year of supporting the hospital from a distance, this is an amazing opportunity to be part of an event and make your steps matter for the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH Bath).

There are three options to choose from – either walk the full 26.2 miles from Bishop Cannings near Devizes, along the Kennett and Avon canal to the finish line at the Holbourne Museum in Bath. Alternatively, there’s the 10 mile distance, where you can join the walkers in Bradford on Avon in the afternoon. This year, a virtual marathon event is being offered too, where you can walk the full 26.2 miles your way across the month of September.

Kerri Gardner, who is donning her walking boots to take on the 10 mile walk this September, is walking to say thank you for the care her dad received in 2016.  Kerri said: “My dad was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at RUH in November 2016. He was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer/Sepsis and after having an operation to have a stoma bag, he had a heart attack and sadly passed away on 11th December.

The support the ICU gave my dad and my family was absolutely amazing and we will never be able to thank them enough. They allowed us to stay by my dad’s side and the very minimal time we did leave him they accepted our calls, passed on messages and generally cared. The staff there did everything they could to keep my dad comfortable and to treat his illness and I will never forget the compassion and understanding they showed him when he was clearly scared.

Personally I don’t do a lot of walking so the Walk of Life will be a challenge for me, but not as big as the challenge the staff at the RUH face daily. I urge anyone no matter how big or small support the RUH where possible as you never know when you may need their support.”

Last year’s virtual Walk of Life marathon event raised £40,000 for the hospital. That money has helped fund a number of projects including the charity’s RUH Cancer Care campaign for the new Dyson Cancer Centre, as well as support wards and department in the hospital.

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Manager said: “With two months until the event, we really can’t wait to welcome people back to our annual Walk of Life event. We are hoping to see hundreds of people join us and those who complete the challenge will receive a unique finisher medal.

Like every charity, we’ve adapted due to COVID-19, so there will be a few changes to the event, including COVID-19 measures to keep everyone safe and offering a virtual marathon for those who want to take part in their own time.”

The Walk of Life event is open to everyone and costs £15 to register. Participants are asked to raise a minimum £100 for any ward or department at the RUH close to your heart, or one of the charity’s major campaigns.

In return, The Forever Friends Appeal will provide walkers with lots of fundraising and training support, as well as complimentary refreshments and treats, as well as a medal and plenty of finish line celebrations.

To find out more about the Walk of Life and to sign up, visit www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk. You can donate to Kerri’s fundraising page here.

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Marjorie, 82 to jump out of a plane for hospital charity

Former teacher and eighty two year old local resident Marjorie take to the skies to raise much needed funds for The Forever Friends Appeal – the official NHS charity for the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH Bath).

Marjorie, part of the Frome community, will be leaping 13,000ft from a plane on Sunday 4th July to show her appreciation for her local NHS, RUH Bath.

Marjorie said, “I have wanted to do a Skydive for a long time and I am delighted that this opportunity has arisen. I used to fly a golden eagle called Samson in Devon and the thought of being able to do, for a little while, what he could do all the time was very tempting.

I wanted to support the RUH because we all depend on it. I received treatment at the hospital a few years ago and the staff made everything easy, simple and painless – it was fantastic.

We have learnt to appreciate our NHS more over the last year because of the Covid crisis. We have seen what the staff are doing and now I think everyone is more appreciative and wants to contribute towards the RUH.

Laura Cherry, Events and Community Coordinator, The Forever Friends Appeal said, “I would like to say a huge thank you and good luck to all our skydive participants. We cannot thank you all enough for taking on this huge challenge to support the hospital.

Wonderful supports and donors like Marjorie allow us to fund projects that make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients cared for by the RUH Bath. Thank you all so much.”

The annual Forever Friends Skydive day will see 15 brave fundraisers take the leap of faith. The team have raised over £10,000 so far.

If you’re interested in future skydiving opportunities for the RUH Bath, please get in touch with the team on ruh-tr.fundraising@nhs.net

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Frome Lions tackle Everest in virtual event

Since 1st April, local organisation Frome Lions, have been climbing the height of Mount Everest on their stairs and their local hills, as part of our Sofa to Summit virtual challenge. They’ve got until 31 May to reach the peak at 8,848m tall, and have been raising vital funds for patients, families and staff at RUH Bath.

Frome Lions Club have regularly supported The Forever Friends Appeal over the past 20 years. This year, 6 club members decided now was the time to show their support once again, after what everyone at the RUH Bath has gone through over the last year – in what became the most challenging in year in NHS history.

Club member Greg Wood said, “The Everest challenge appealed to all of us for two main reasons. One being that most of us have used and benefited from the services provided at the RUH. Second of all, we are all keen to take on this challenge to improve our own health and wellbeing. Three of us are retired and three are still working, mainly from home.

We are all enjoying taking part in the event. One of our members, Steve, has even had the company of his two granddaughters Darcie and Amalie every day as he walks around the hills of Frome!”

The 6 Lions taking part in 2 teams (socially distanced of course!) are  – Steve Cantrell, Adam Kotyrba, Bev Windley, Greg Wood, Sean McCabe & Chris Bailey-Green.

If you would like to support their Everest climb, you can donate by visiting https://foreverfriendsappeal.enthuse.com/pf/frome-lions-1 and https://foreverfriendsappeal.enthuse.com/pf/frome-lions-2.”

The Forever Friends Appeal raises vital funds to support a range of innovative projects and capital redevelopments. Charitable funds raised by the local community unlocks the very best in modern health care for their catchment population of more than half a million people across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire – going above and beyond the remit of the NHS.

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Bath business owner takes on Everest

Toby Martin will be taking part in our brand new Sofa to Summit challenge this Spring.

Toby lives in Trowbridge with his young family and runs Reside Letting Agency in central Bath. He will be climbing the height of Everest on his stairs and in the great outdoors, to give something back to the RUH.

Toby said: “The RUH holds a special place in our hearts at Reside due to the experience of my business partner and the founder of Reside, Ben Bower. In 2018, Ben’s wife Natasha gave birth to their son Brandon at just 28 weeks – more than 12 weeks early. It was a horrific time for Ben & Natasha, but the wonderful staff and state of the art facilities in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit meant that they could not have been better cared for. Brandon happily went home two months later – still in advance of his original due date!

“I recall visiting Ben, Natasha and Brandon on the NICU ward. We’d had a baby boy ourselves just a few months before; we were alarmed by what they were going through, but so reassured to see how well they were being looked after. Having heard so much about Brandon, Ben & Natasha’s experience, I’m very proud to be fundraising for the Forever Friends Appeal – no matter how small my contribution is, I am sure it will help to maintain the hospital’s incredible work.

When asked why he chose this challenge, Toby said: “The Sofa to Summit challenge initially caught my eye as a way to become more active whilst fundraising for a cause that I’m sure is close to everyone’s hearts right now. My plan for scaling Everest is currently very basic: 48 flights of stairs for 61 days. But as lockdown restrictions ease, I am hoping that Bath’s hilly surrounds will help to mix up the scenery and preserve the stair carpet.

“To my fellow hikers, I would say: isn’t it good to be doing something meaningful again?”

Events & Community Coordinator at The Forever Friends Appeal, Laura Cherry said: “It’s amazing to see Toby take on such a big challenge to say thank you for the care his friends received at the RUH. Over the last year, our hospital and its dedicated staff have been working under intense pressure in difficult circumstances to care for patients no matter what. Figuratively speaking, they have been moving mountains for us all, so it’s wonderful to see so many people like Toby climbing their own mountains to give something back.”

Join our Sofa to Summit team and register for free here.

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