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#whyIhike for the Cardiac Ward at the RUH – Alex’s Story

Alex Hinder from Bristol is getting ready to take on the enormous challenge of hiking across the Canary island, Fuertuventura, on a long-distance trek called ‘GR131’, which will add up to over an amazing 100 miles in just 8 days starting on the 2nd of December.

Alex is doing the challenge to raise vital funds for the hospital after suffering from three heart attacks and a stroke, then having a heart bypass and stent fitted. Alex said: “Now more than ever, it’s important to stay active. I know this from all the conversations I had with consultants, doctors, nurses, even my family and friends who keep reminding me to keep active and keep going it will only help me and my heart. It’s so easy to give up when things don’t go your way, but whenever we have to face these sort of problems, I like to look at it as a challenge to keep believing, keep fighting and more importantly keep going.”

Alex has completed a few long distance hikes in preparation for this challenge, first one being the ‘Two Moors Way’ distance of 102 miles, and the second one being the ‘Coleridge Way’ distance of 52 miles. His health condition now means he needs all the support and help he can get as he knows it essential to pulling off a hike like this.
But, thanks to the massive support of his brother, who is a very experienced hiker, he is taking the lead with planning the routes, booking the accommodation and most importantly acting as his right-hand man and safety net throughout the whole challenge.

Katie James, Senior Sister on Cardiac Ward said “The staff on the Cardiac Ward really appreciate and admire our supporters. They are simple amazing and the money they selflessly raise helps improve the patients stay whist on the ward. Our supporters are really important as the money they raise helps us to buy equipment that adds to patient’s safety and comfort. This is really important for our patients especially during covid time as it is a stressful and worrying time for all, and anything to improve their stay is vital to us. Thank you so much Alex and good luck with you challenge.”

Alex is an inspiration to us all by is setting himself a big challenge and trying to prove that anyone can achieve their goals, no matter what you have been though. Alex added: “I’m doing this solely for two reason, one to raise some much-needed funds for the Cardiac Ward who has quite frankly saved my life more than once! And to hopefully be a small inspiration to others.”

Choosing to fundraise to say thank you to the hospital is a really personal and amazing thing to do and we’re very proud to have Alex as one of our supporters!

If you would like to show your support to Alex you can make a donation on his Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alex-hinder

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Why I support the RUH – Kate’s story

I live in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire and began supporting The Forever Friends Appeal two years ago after my husband passed away from cancer.

My husband David was a patient at the RUH and after many tests he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He had chemotherapy and two major operations and initially he was given the all clear, but twelve months later, the cancer returned and concluded in a terminal diagnosis.

David spent a lot of time on the William Budd ward and was given the very best care by all the staff.  He passed away in 2009 at 58 years old.  Then in 2017, my son Colin was diagnosed with lung cancer, that turned out to be terminal and he passed away at the start of this year.

My children asked me what I would like to do for my 70th birthday and as I didn’t want a party or presents, I crazily decided to do 70 challenges to fundraise for the four charities who supported the care of my husband and son.  So far, I’ve shaved my head, held bake sales, walked a marathon for Walk of Life, been rescued by dog for Newfoundland Dog Dive and trekked part of the Great Wall of China.  I’m proud to have raised £3,000 to date towards the new Cancer Centre.

I cannot thank the staff at the RUH enough for the wonderful care given to my late husband and also, The Forever Friends Appeal team who have become forever friends.

If you would like to make a donation to help patients affected by cancer, you can make a donation Here.

Thank you.

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Join the RUH Light and Love virtual remembrance service

The Forever Friends Appeal, the charity for the Royal United Hospitals Bath is inviting the local community to come together to be part of its annual remembrance service.

The virtual ceremony will take place on Monday 6 December and will be streamed through The Forever Friends Appeal website between 11am and 6pm and will allow people to reflect together and celebrate the lives of loved ones who they have lost, whether they were cared for at the RUH or elsewhere.

The event will also help support the hospital’s RUH Palliative Care and End of Life Butterfly Fund and there will be an opportunity to remember loved ones names on a compassionate heart or star that will be placed on a tree of ‘Light and Love’ and displayed throughout the month of December. Dedication of names of loved ones will also be shown during the service.

Philip Turner, Deputy Team Chaplain at the RUH said: “‘The loss we feel is personal, but by coming together with others who are also wrestling with their grief, we can feel less alone. While restrictions at the hospital still prevent us from being in the same place, together we can create a similar space in our hearts.  Wherever you are, you are invited to join together with others for our ‘Light and Love’ live event.”

Helen Meehan, Lead Nurse Palliative and End of Life Care said: “Caring for people nearing the end of life and supporting their families is one of the most important things that we do at the RUH. Not many of us express a wish for where we might die, many of us would wish to be at home if asked, but for many it is in hospital where they are cared for in the last days of life.”

Your support in memory of your loved ones through this special event will help us continue to provide compassionate care to patients and their families. Gifts donated to the Butterfly fund in dedication to your loved ones will help provide the little things that will make a compassionate difference to caring for our patients nearing End of Life.

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Newfoundland Dog Dive – Daisy’s #ReasontoRaise

This Saturday, 27 daring supporters of the Royal United Hospitals Bath will dive into Portishead Marina and be rescued by Newfoundland Dogs, all in the name of raising funds for the NHS.

The Forever Friends Appeal are working alongside Newfound Friends UK to organise a day of open-water rescues at Portishead Marina.

Daisy Vockins, 11 years old, has decided to take part because of two things – her love of dogs, and her commitment to raising money to support others.

“My name is Daisy, I have just started year 7.

The hospital means a lot to me, because my mum is a very important person to me and works as a paramedic, and because the hospital has always helped me and my family when needed the most.

I really wanted to raise money for this charity so that if anyone gets into an accident or is living with mental health problems, they will know someone will be there to help.

I want to help the RUH buy equipment and do more research to help people feel better. I feel people living with mental health problems, especially during COVID, should have better equipment and help available.

I love dogs and want to see what it’s like to be rescued by a dog! Thank you for reading this and I hope that you will be able to raise money like me to help your local charities too. ”

What an inspiring thing to do! Daisy has already raised £510 for the RUH – you can donate to her page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/daisy-vockins

The Dog Dive team have raised over £5,000 so far. Good luck to everyone taking part this weekend – we know some Newfoundland Dogs who are very excited to meet you!

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Walkers step out to support RUH Bath

On Saturday 18 September, 200 walkers showed their support for their local hospital by taking part in the Walk of Life. The annual sponsored walk along the Kennet & Avon Canal is organised by the Royal United Hospitals Bath charity, The Forever Friends Appeal.

To date, the event has raised over £25,000 and is set to rise further over the coming weeks. Funds raised help the charity invest in life saving medical equipment and life changing services at the hospital. They help transform the lives of thousands of patients and families cared for every year, as well as the staff who are always there for us every day.

Half of the walkers completed the full 26.2 mile marathon challenge from Bishops Cannings, near Devizes. The other half took on 10 miles from Bradford on Avon. Both distances victoriously crossed the finish line at the Holburne Museum in Bath.

Laura Snell, Events and Community Manager, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“A huge congratulations to all of our incredible walkers who stepped out to support the RUH Bath. You really have made every step matter for your local hospital and the many local people who find themselves in need of its services every day.

Whether you walked in memory of a loved one, to support someone receiving treatment, as a patient or staff member yourself, or to get active and support a good cause – you are truly amazing and we can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work, training and fundraising.

The last year and a half has been the most challenging times in history for our NHS and has highlighted just how important it is to the nation and our local community. So we are really proud that we have been able to safely organise this annual event (which hasn’t been able to take place since May 2019!) to raise much needed funds.

The safety of our supporters, patients and the local community remains our number one priority and so the Walk of Life was adapted this year due to COVID-19, to be delivered in a socially distanced and safe way for all. There are also many walkers taking part in the virtual Walk of Life and walking a marathon their way, throughout the whole month of September. Keep going!

We’d also like to thank our brilliant volunteers who marshalled the route and cheered everyone on, to everyone who supported or donated, and to our generous event sponsors MJ Church and Savills.”

Next year’s Walk of Life event will take place on Saturday 21 May 2022 and places will open soon.

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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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