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Ed Jackson climbs Mount Everest…at home

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore who has raised millions for NHS Charities Together, Ed Jackson, former professional rugby player has set out to raise £10,000 for our charity and two others by climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest on his parents’ staircase.

We are in awe of what he’s set out to do and we wish him the best of luck with this challenge as we know Ed well. He was cared for at the RUH three years ago following an accident which left him with a broken neck. At the time he was told that he may not walk again, but after a gruelling recovery and rehabilitation at three different hospitals including the RUH, he made an amazing recovery and became one of our Therapies Matters ambassadors.

Ed said: “I managed to ditch the walker two years ago and despite my disability I have developed a weird obsession with climbing and I hope to be the first quadriplegic to climb Mount Everest. Obviously I can’t get to the mountains but I’ve decided to bring one here. I’m not really sure how much I’ve bitten off but those of you who have seen any of my climbing blogs before will know that thanks to my disability stairs are my nemesis.”

During the four day challenge, which started today (Tuesday 21 April), Ed will wear of the kit that he will take with him when he is able to travel to the Himalayas and will walk up and down the staircase 2,783 times, that’s 89,000 sets of individual steps.

Ed continued: “The money raised will be shared with The Forever Friends Appeal in support of the NHS. The incredible people of the NHS saved my life and got me back on my feet three years ago and now they’re making that difference for many more.

“Any donation no matter how small is massively appreciated because all of our charities need support at the moment and I hope together we can raise enough to make a real difference for these three.”

The other two charities that are close to Ed’s heart and will also receive a share of the funds are Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation and the Neverest Orthopaedics Foundation.

Ed hopes to finish the challenge around 6pm on Friday 24 April and we’ll be there to help him complete the last few flights of stairs.

If you would like to show your support to Ed, donations can be made at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/edjackson8

You can stay up to date with Ed’s progress by following him on Twitter and on Instagram.


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Walk of Life postponed

After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the Walk of Life which was due to take place on Saturday 16th May.

As the coronavirus pandemic and advice from the UK Government and Public Health England is continuously changing, we are looking at how we can help reduce the risk of the spread of infection. As a hospital charity, we have an additional responsibility to do everything we can to keep people safe. The health and safety of our event participants, and that of our volunteers and supporters, many of whom take part in support of a family member receiving treatment or as a patient themselves, is our absolute priority.

We are working on postponing the event to later in the year. We are currently working with our venues and suppliers to find an alternative date and hope to have this confirmed very soon. As soon as we have more information, we will let you know.

We cannot begin to express enough, how grateful we are for everyone’s kind and continued support at this time. We understand that this may be disappointing news, but please rest assured that this decision has been made with everyone’s best interests at heart. We are determined to make sure every step our participants take/have taken, will still count for our patients at the RUH Bath

An update to all of our supporters regarding coronavirus can be found on our website here

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Good luck to #TeamRUH in Bath Half 2020!

Over 100 people will be running for our charity in the Bath Half Marathon this year and we would like to wish them the very best of luck. The event takes place on Sunday 15 March and will start and finish at the same point in Great Pulteney Street.

Maddy Jones, Senior Events Fundraiser said: “This year has been a sell-out year for us – we sold all our places in record time. In total 117 people will be running for us on the day.  Twenty five of them are staff members which is fantastic and we will be cheering our runners on at our cheering point near Avon Street Car Park. So if you would like to come and join us, please do, everyone is welcome.”

Physiotherapist Vicky Baldy (pictured, centre front) is one of our runners, she said: “Supporting our hospital is paramount and beneficial not only me but the patients I see. However my main reason for running is because of a very close family member has recently undergone treatment on William Budd Ward. Staff have been incredible with their care, support and treatment and running the Bath Half is the least I could do as a way to say thank you to them.”

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Sarah runs London Marathon 2020

Meet Sarah – she’s running in the London Marathon on Sunday 26th April to raise funds for our charity.

Sarah has already smashed her fundraising target of £1,750 and at the time of going to print she had raised over £2,200 – a fantastic achievement! The money will go to William Budd ward to thank staff for the care given to a family member. Here’s Sarah’s story:

“Running the London Marathon has been a dream of mine and I’m so pleased that I can raise money in the process, for a charity that means a lot to me.

“I have chosen William Budd ward because the staff cared for a family member before they passed away just six weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. They supported the whole family and made our time at the hospital more bearable, so this is a way of saying thank you.

“I’ve already proudly worn my RUH running vest in the Mud Nation 10k Obstacle Course Race back in October, the Secret Santa 10 miler in December and more recently the Wiltshire 10 miler in February which did get cancelled, but I still did my 10 miles on a treadmill.

“I am also running in the Bath Half and Devizes Half Marathon. To raise more money I organised a Body Shop party and raffle last year, a teddy bear’s picnic and non-uniform day in January and a cake sale for my 250th parkrun in February.”

Sarah –  thank you for all your hard work to raise money to benefit patients and their families on William Budd ward. We wish you and the rest of our inspiring runners the best of luck for the London Marathon.

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Local businesses sponsor our Walk of Life event

We are delighted to have the continued sponsorship support from Kier and MJ Church and welcome new sponsors Savills for this year’s Walk of Life event which will take place on 16 May to raise much needed funds for the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

The Walk of Life takes place along the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath, with three distances to choose from. The 26.2 mile walking marathon and 16 mile walks start in Bishops Cannings near Devizes. The 10 mile walk starts Bradford on Avon (where the 16 mile walk finishes) and joins the marathon walkers all the way to the Holburne Museum in Bath.

Jo Common, Corporate Officer said: “We’re delighted to have the continued support from MJ Church and Kier as they have sponsored the event for several years and we are very pleased to welcome Savills as our new sponsor for 2020. The Walk of Life is our biggest fundraising event to organise. Up to 500 people take part and that’s why having sponsors is so important so we can ensure the day is enjoyable for all of our walkers.

“As well as being our sponsors, these businesses are kindly supporting us with some of the logistics of the event and some of their staff will be volunteering on the day. We also look forward to seeing their own teams take part in our Walk of Life helping to raise more funds for our charity, so we really can’t thank them enough.

“We would love to see more teams sign up from our local business community and take part in our Walk of Life Team Challenge. This is a fun team building opportunity for colleagues, clients and suppliers to fundraise together. Places can be booked on our website.”

Luke Brady, Head of Savills Southern Residential Division and the Bath office said:

“The RUH is at the heart of our community, it’s integral to each of us at various points in our lives. We are proud to play a part in supporting its future through our sponsorship of this year’s Walk of Life. Our team is very much looking forward to taking part in May and we encourage others to do the same.”

Paula Church of MJ Church said:

“We are very pleased to be joint sponsors for the Walk of Life event. Our team will be raising funds for the Dyson Cancer Centre as it’s a cause close to our hearts. A family member, friend, and colleague of ours was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and passed away in 2017 and we want to continue fundraising for the cancer centre in his memory.”

David Snell of Kier Construction said:

“We are proud to be supporting Walk of Life, a truly special event that brings together the local community to raise vital new funds for RUH. This is now our 6th year of supporting Walk of Life and many of us who helped deliver the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre will be taking part. It is a fantastic initiative that makes a real difference to RUH and we encourage others to get involved.”

Individual and friends & family team entry is also available for the Walk of Life and it is open to anyone over the age of 10, depending on their choice of walking distance.

The event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate life and the memories of loved ones and the charity is hoping to see another sell-out year, smashing last year’s total raised to help transform patient care at the RUH. Last year an incredible £100,000 was raised benefitting a variety of wards and departments at the RUH.

Entry costs £25 per person and everyone who signs up will receive fundraising and training support, a 2020 Walk of Life t-shirt, refreshments along the route and a medal on completion. Glastonbury festival founder, Michael Eavis CBE will be there to officially mark the start of the Walk of Life in Bishop Cannings, near Devizes.

For more information about the Walk of Life or to sign up as an individual or corporate team click here.


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Book your place on the Walk of Life 2020

Early bird places are now available for the popular sponsored canal walk, the Walk of Life, which will take place on Saturday 16 May 2020. Until Monday 2 December, people can book their place at a discounted rate for just £20.

The Walk of Life takes place along the Kennet and Avon Canal and is organised by the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH) charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. People can choose to walk one of three distances, 10, 16 or the marathon 26.2 mile walk from Bishops Cannings near Devizes to the Holburne Museum in Bath.

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“The Walk of Life is all about coming together to support our local hospital, the RUH. You may decide to walk in memory of a loved one, take part to thank staff, to show your support for someone receiving treatment, or simply to take on the challenge. Whichever your reason, every step you take will make a huge difference to patients.

“Michael Eavis CBE will officially start the Walk of Life in Bishops Cannings, where the marathon walk and 16 mile morning walk begins, a new walking distance for 2020. The marathon walking route passes through Bradford on Avon, where the morning walkers finish and the afternoon 10 mile walkers join, before heading to Bath.”

“So why not do something amazing and book your place today – your support will help us continue to fund additional specialist medical equipment, improve the hospital’s environment and support life-changing research and innovations that go above and beyond what NHS funding can provide.”

An incredible £100,000 was raised from this year’s Walk of Life, benefitting a variety of wards and departments at the RUH.

The Walk of Life is open to both men and women and you can choose to support any area of the RUH that is close to your heart, alternatively sponsorship will go where it is needed most to benefit patients.

You can enter as an individual or as a team of four or more, and you will receive fundraising and training support, a t-shirt, refreshments and snacks on the day and a medal on completion.

The Walk of Life began over a decade ago when it was created with and in memory of Vanessa Kyte, who passed away in 2007. Since then, thousands of people from all across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire have stepped out along the towpath to support patients and families.

Kier Construction, MJ Church and Savills are proudly sponsoring next year’s Walk of Life event.

To book your place or team’s place click here

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Metal detecting rally raises almost £40,000

Over 650 detectorists from across the world travelled to a site near Bath for a charity weekend of metal detecting, raising £11,330 for The Forever Friends Appeal and two other charities, CLIC Sargent and Starlight Children’s Foundation.

The event, dubbed The Rodney Cook Memorial Rally was set up last year by Gary Cook in memory of his dad Rodney who passed away in September 2017. Proceeds from the ticket sales, raffle and extras will go towards the Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign for the planned Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Gary Cook, member of the Trowbridge and District Metal Detecting Club said:

“My Dad braved a two year battle with cancer and was treated and cared for by staff at the RUH, so we are very proud to have raised this amount in his memory for the Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care campaign.

“There were some great finds over the weekend ranging from Roman, Celtic, Saxon, and medieval and in the two years that we have held this event, we’ve raised over £60,000. Almost £40,000 has gone to The Forever Friends Appeal which I think is a truly fantastic achievement – a great legacy for my late father. I would like to thank everyone, the sponsors, land owners, our friends and family who helped made this event happen.”

In November last year, The Forever Friends Appeal welcomed the Trowbridge and District Metal Detecting Club as Senior Community Partners of the Appeal for their significant contribution towards the RUH Cancer Care campaign.

Lauren Noble, Senior Community Fundraiser, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“When members from our community work together, it’s quite impressive what can be achieved and the Trowbridge and District Metal Detecting Rally is a clear example of that. We would like to thank everyone who had a part to play in the organisation of such a fantastic event. We are incredibly grateful for all their hard work.”

Each charity has received £11,330 and the Trowbridge and District Metal Detecting Club are now looking for a new site for next year’s event. If there are any land owners who would like to help them out, please contact them via their Facebook page The Rodney Cook Memorial Rally

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Businesses set to make funds grow

Sixteen companies from Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire gathered to celebrate the launch of a brand new fundraising challenge which will help raise funds for the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath.

They are all taking part in The Forever Friends Appeal’s Make it Grow Corporate Challenge which starts on 1 October 2019 and will run until the 31 January 2020.

Patsy Gould, Corporate Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We are delighted to have so many businesses on board and there is still time for companies to sign up and take part. The concept of our challenge is simple – every company which has signed up will receive a starter fund of £20. The aim is to make that amount grow more than any other company taking part in the challenge.

“We are really excited to hear about their fundraising plans and throughout the next four months, we’ll track their progress on our fundraising leaderboard to see who’s leading the competition.”

At the end of the Make it Grow challenge, the companies will be able to choose whether their funds go to a specific area in the hospital which they have a special connection with or if they would like it to support one of the charity’s fundraising campaigns such as the Breast Unit Special Appeal or RUH Cancer Care Campaign.

Rob Burrows, Assistant Branch Manager, Nationwide Building Society Bath said:

“We are looking forward to taking on the Make it Grow Corporate Challenge 2019. Nationwide Bath supports our local community in various ways so after recently volunteering at the Movie by Moonlight it was clear to see what a difference the Forever Friends Appeal makes to people’s lives. We want to continue working with the Appeal because we are passionate about helping the community which we live in and using our voice to make a positive change.”

Businesses who would like to take part in the challenge should sign up on The Forever Friends Appeal’s website by 1 October. All participants will receive a free fundraising pack which is full of tools, tips and ideas on how to make their starter fund grow.

For more information about the Make it Grow Corporate Challenge please click here 


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Ted’s Big Day Out is back

Schools, nurseries and youth organisations in Bath, Wiltshire and Somerset are invited to take part in Ted’s Big Day Out on 18 October to help raise funds for Children’s Therapies at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath.

Big Ted, our loveable mascot is making a come back this year to help us celebrate our 20th anniversary. He will also be making a few special guest appearances on the day to join in with the fundraising activities.

Lauren Noble, Senior Community Fundraiser said:

“The aim is to raise money to fund specialist children’s equipment, such as educational and therapy toys for the hospital’s Children’s Therapies department and Children’s Centre.

“We have had a number of schools and nurseries sign up which is great and we would like to extend our invitation to brownies, guides, scouts and other youth groups to sign up and take part.

“This year’s theme is ‘celebrate your way’ – so it’s up to you whether you organise a fancy dress day, wear a silly hat, have a teddy bears picnic or do something else in exchange for a suggested £1 donation per pupil, whilst having fun along the way.”

Patients like Henry Latchem, aged six who is treated at the RUH will be one of the patients to benefit from the funds raised by Ted’s Big Day Out. Henry has cerebral palsy which affects the coordination and his muscles, particularly in his lower body and legs.

Emily Graham, Head of Children’s Therapies at the Royal United Hospitals Bath said:

“Henry’s a bubbly little boy and tries very hard in his physiotherapy sessions, which he’s been having at the RUH since he was 11 months old.

“Henry needs to use specialist seating, standing and mobility equipment and has a walking frame so he can play with his friends and move at school. The hospital is currently looking at different styles of walking frames to best suit Henry to promote improvement in his mobility skills and balance.

“This is why donations from Ted’s Big Day Out are so important as we will be able to purchase an extended range of toys and equipment to make children’s’ experience of therapy sessions more enjoyable. They will also enhance our assessments so we can ensure children like Henry have the right equipment to help them play and move around.”

To sign up your school or youth group please click here or call 01225 824013.

You will receive a free fundraising pack and the first 10 organisations to sign up will receive a visit from Big Ted.

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Rode Ball raises thousands for RUH Cancer Centre

A glamorous black tie ball has raised thousands of pounds for the planned Dyson Cancer Centre which will be built at the RUH. Over 250 guests dressed up for the Rode Ball which was held near Frome.

The highlight of the evening was the live auction and raffle which raised £13,200 and by the end of the night an incredible £18,600 was raised.

Half of the proceeds will go towards the RUH Cancer Care campaign and the remaining amount will be donated to The Bobby Moore Fund.

Lauren Noble, Senior Community Fundraiser, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We would like to thank organisers Kelly Jupp and Joanna Pobjoy and the rest of the Rode Ball Committee for organising the event and choosing to raise money for this important cause.

“We are grateful for their support in fundraising for the Dyson Cancer Centre and we would like to thank everyone who attended and donated including the local businesses and other organisations who helped make the event possible.”

Special guests included RUH Medical Director, Dr Bernie Marden who on the night made a speech about the value of charitable funding.

Since 2012 when the first Rode Ball was held over £30,000 has been raised for The Forever Friends Appeal. The Rode Ball committee will be welcomed as a Senior Community Partner later this year at the charity’s annual partners event.

The RUH Cancer Care Campaign has so far raised £9.6m and continues, with supporters raising more funds to help ensure the RUH achieves the very best care, treatment and quality of environment for patients and their families who are living with and beyond cancer.

For more information about Dyson Cancer Centre and to make a donation to the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, click here.

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