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Keep it Cosy for staff and patients at RUH Bath

Calling families, friends, schools and businesses, it’s time to take part in a Keep It Cosy day. This is a brand new fundraising event that’s taking place on Wednesday 16 December to raise money for your local hospital, the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

The Keep It Cosy event has been created by the hospital’s charity The Forever Friends Appeal. It’s been designed so that people can get together virtually and have some fun in a safe way. This event is part of the charity’s RUH Christmas Appeal which aims to raise the money needed to support patients and staff this Christmas and beyond.

Karlie Evans, Events and Community Officer said: “Even though this Christmas is likely to be different this year, we can still have fun by taking part in our virtual Keep It Cosy fundraising day on Wednesday 16 December – or choose a day that suits you.

“Whether you team up with friends, family or your work colleagues we’ve got three different cosy themed activities for you to choose from, for example you could all do a video call in your coziest knitwear, organise a virtual coffee morning or take part in the ultimate quiz night.

“It’s up to you to choose how you want to fundraise and we’ve got lots of other fundraising ideas on our website. All we are asking is for people to create a Just Giving page and encourage donations to it on the day or donate to our RUH Christmas Appeal our website.”

The funds raised for the charity’s RUH Christmas Appeal will go towards making this Christmas as special as it can be for our patients and staff. As with every year, there will be many dedicated staff working at the RUH during the festive period caring for our loved ones who are too unwell to return
home for Christmas.

Helen Jeffcoat-Marsh, Senior Sister on RUH Medical Assessment Unit said: “This Christmas I will be working an early shift on MAU which is 7:30am to 3:30pm. I don’t mind working Christmas, so that another person in my team can spend it with their family.

“I know that this year there will be patients who may not be able to see their families due to COVID and the restrictions. I hope that they know behind our masks that there is still a smile and that we will make it the best we possibly can for them.”

To sign up and take part in Keep It Cosy on Wednesday 16 December to support our local hospital heroes click here and request a free fundraising pack.

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The Big Give Christmas Challenge – see your donation doubled

We continue to fundraise for the Speech and Language Therapy Special Appeal. Our aim is to purchase a portable machine that will enable our speech and language therapists provide rapid assessments to patients who have swallowing difficulties.

The machine which can be easily used at a patient’s bedside will be a game-changer for patients with COVID-19 as well as benefit patients who have problems swallowing as a result of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia or from having a stroke.

Make one donation and see it doubled in The Big Give Christmas Challenge

We’re taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2020 and during the week of 1 – 8 December  donations made to this appeal will be doubled. This is a fantastic opportunity to help us reach our goal to purchase this machine. A gift of any size will be greatly received and will help us make a difference to these patients.

Donations can be made from 12pm on 1st December here: https://bit.ly/3lA8Ovf

Claire Young, Speech and Language Therapist at the RUH said: “Patients who have been on a ventilator from COVID -19 have a 30% chance of suffering from swallowing difficulties. A person with a healthy pair of lungs can cope with a bit of food and drink going the wrong way and it might not be the end of the world if they can cough it out. But when someone has COVID-19 their lung function is really poor and they may have trouble coordinating their breathing and swallowing, making them very vulnerable. A swallowing assessment is really important in coronavirus care for that reason.

“Patients who require ongoing respiratory support may struggle with eating and drinking safely and currently the only option to assess these patients is for them to have a special type of x-ray. However, this is not possible for a patient in intensive care as they cannot leave that environment.  But the machine our charity is fundraising for would allow a therapist to assess their swallowing without delay and treatment can be recommended straight away, helping patients recover sooner and be discharged from intensive care.”

For details about the Speech and Language Therapy Appeal please click here.


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Join our Light and Love remembrance service

This year the Royal United Hospitals Bath will be live streaming its annual Light and Love remembrance event.

The virtual ceremony will take place on Thursday 3 December at 3pm to allow people to celebrate the lives of loved ones who they have lost, whether they were cared for at the RUH or elsewhere.

People will also have the opportunity to request to have the names of those they wish to remember read out during the ceremony, as well as have a heart displayed on the tree which will be in the hospital’s Spiritual Care Centre.

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 lockdown prevents 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 ‘Love and Light’ live event.’

This year, you can make an online donation with your dedicated name to support our RUH patients and staff.

To sign up to the virtual event simply click here

The deadline to request a dedication is Monday 30 November.

For more information, please contact our Legacy Manager Jan Witt on 01225 825819 or email jan.witt@nhs.net.


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Give a gift to support our patients and staff this Christmas

Today we have launched a Christmas Appeal inviting the public to help raise funds to ensure patients and their families continue to receive the very best treatment and care at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath this festive season and beyond.

Although Christmas is likely to be different this year, most people will be celebrating and making memories however there will be many others that will fall ill and need to spend time in hospital. While these people will be away from their families at Christmas, staff at the RUH will continue to be there for them.

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising said: “This year has been tough on all of us, especially our patients and staff. The pandemic has shown us just how important our NHS means to us and our services will still be needed at Christmas. For those patients who will be too unwell to return home for Christmas our staff will go to great lengths to give their care, kindness and compassion.

“We are proud of all of our staff. They are truly inspiring people and every day in December we will introduce a staff member on our website and social media channels. We hope people will feel reassured and recognise some of their faces who provide care for patients every day.

“Along with the staff photos we will share their stories. You’ll read about the nurses who provide care around the clock, the surgeons who save lives, the therapists who help get us back on our feet, the cleaners who keep our hospital clean and the other dedicated staff who keep our hospital going.

“By making a donation to our RUH Christmas Appeal you will help us make this Christmas as special as it can be for our patients and staff.”

Niki Hartley is one of the Senior Sisters who features in the charity’s Christmas Appeal. She said:

“What makes me prouder than anything is how I see my staff go above and beyond every day. One example was when we had a homeless man on the ward – and one of the staff took his clothes home to wash and iron them for him. That might not seem huge, but to that patient it meant the world. That just shows how much they care.

“My team work so hard. There is no hesitation to provide cover when another staff member is sick, because they know our patients still need to be cared for and we will all be working together on Christmas day.”

To show your support for the RUH, the patients and staff this Christmas, you can do so in one of three ways, make a donation online, sponsor a staff Christmas hamper or take part in our ‘Keep it Cosy’ fundraising day on Wednesday 16 December.

Keep it Cosy has been designed for schools, groups and businesses. There are three cosy-themed virtual events to choose from and the idea is to have some fun with family and friends while staying safe. For a free Keep it Cosy fundraising pack and to make an online donation please visit our Christmas Appeal page.

We would also like to ask supporters who have in the past donated gifts to the hospital at Christmas to consider making a donation to the RUH Christmas Appeal instead.  With increased infection control measures in place due to COVID-19 unfortunately we are unable to accept gifts such as toys and confectionery for patients and staff this festive season.

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Charity golf day raises funds for children’s ward

Bath-based Altus, a financial services consultancy and software provider, has raised £7,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal. The money will go to the Children’s Ward at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

This is the third year Altus is supporting the ward, after a staff member’s daughter was born with a life-threatening heart condition and was cared for at the RUH. This latest donation brings the total raised by Altus so far to over £18,000. Last year the company was welcomed on board as a corporate partner for the charity.

Altus Managing Director Kev Okell said: “Our golf days have become a much-anticipated event, both for us and our clients who enthusiastically support the Children’s Ward. Golf is a popular activity with our staff and our clients alike, and a great way to help us raise funds. We also hosted a raffle and are always blown away by the generosity of various companies that donate to help us make the day a success.”

Jo Common, Corporate Officer at The Forever Friends Appeal said:  “We are thrilled that Altus chose to support the hospital through their golf day for a third year running.  Plans for this year were a little different, but beautiful sunshine made it a really enjoyable day of golf and fundraising.

“We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the team at Altus for all the hard work they put into organising this event. We love working with them and are so grateful to have their committed support to help our patients and families here at the RUH.”

If your company would like to support The Forever Friends Appeal to raise funds for the RUH please contact Jo or Patsy on 01225 825392 or click here

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Cumberwell Park’s charity weekend proves a huge success

Cumberwell Park’s 2020 Captain’s Charity weekend showed how, in the midst of COVID restrictions, golf can still bring people together, as well as support the Royal United Hospitals Bath’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. Over £8,000 was raised to go towards the building of the new Dyson Cancer Centre.

Nearly 300 golfers enjoyed socially distanced golf, either playing in an individual competition on the Saturday or as part of a fun team event on the Sunday. The competitors were blessed with beautiful autumnal weather on both days.

As well as raising funds for the RUH, the event was also held to celebrate the life of Liz Hobbs, former Lady Captain and long-standing Cumberwell member.

A raffle was held for an array of prizes, including a water-colour painting commission, use of a Tesla for a weekend, and Tea for Two in London. Rhyannon Boyd, the charity’s Head of Fundraising went along to draw the raffle prizes. She personally thanked participants for their fundraising efforts and gave a talk about what the funds would be put towards.

Mark Hynes, Captain at Cumberwell Park Golf Club said: “The fundraising efforts involved huge and cheerful support from those buying raffle tickets, sponsoring holes for the weekend, donating prizes and cash, helping out on the halfway house and running competitions. They are all heroes.

“Over £8,000 was raised, which, given the restrictions on holding fundraising events due to COVID, was brilliant to see.”

Laura Cherry, Events and Community Coordinator said: “We are so grateful to Mark and all the club members who organised and contributed to this wonderful fundraising weekend.

“We know how much dedication and hard work went into the organisation of the event – on behalf of everyone at The Forever Friends Appeal, thank you so much.

“Their generous contribution for the new cancer centre will make a huge difference to the lives of so many people at the RUH.”

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Staff at paper mill lose pounds to gain funds for our charity

Inspired by the many examples of kind gestures by the local community during the COVID-19 pandemic, staff members at a local paper mill decided they wanted to pull their weight too.

Four members of B Shift at the Portals Paper mill in Bathford took on a weight loss challenge to help raise funds for our charity in support of the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH).

Dave Collins, Neil Livall, Andy Dagger and Andy Wilcox weighed in and kept a record of their progress. Over 16 weeks they lost 46 kilos between them (just over 7 stone), but more importantly raised over £1,400 for the charity.

Dave said: “The weekly weigh-ins always created a bit of banter and some were keener than others to step on the scales, depending if the weekend before had been a bit full on!

“Thanks for everyone’s support, including the company which contributed £540. We want to give all the staff at the RUH our best wishes in these testing times.”

After the first weigh-in they also all paid for take-away pizzas to be delivered to RUH staff working both the day and night shifts over a weekend to show how much they are much appreciated.

Patsy Gould, Corporate Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “What a great achievement by B Shift. We really appreciate the support the hospital receives from local firms such as Portals. Their donation will be used to further improve facilities, services and fund specialist medical equipment to help make real difference to patients and their families being treated and cared for at the RUH.”

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My Walk of Life Marathon is a great success

The first virtual walking marathon created by The Forever Friends Appeal has been a great success. During September the charity saw participants clock up 4,657 miles to raise much-needed funds for the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Thanks to the 197 people who took part in the My Walk of Life Marathon the charity has received £40,698 to help transform patient care on the hospital’s wards with some of funds also going towards the Dyson Cancer Centre and the Speech and Language Therapy Appeal.

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “I would like to thank everyone who’s taken part. You’ve really helped make a difference to our patients and their families.

“We missed seeing our supporters take to the canal path this year, however we’ve loved seeing everyone’s updates online and reading our walker’s stories about why they are walking for the RUH.

We’ve also enjoyed seeing peoples’ photos as they’ve walked the 26.2 mile distance in a day or throughout the month as they recorded their daily steps. Thank you for supporting our local hospital.”

The charity welcomed a number of teams who fundraised collectively, including staff tracking their steps to raise money for their wards and families and friends walking together virtually to raise funds in memory of a loved one.

For many of the other participants The My Walk of Life Marathon was seen as an opportunity to thank staff by raising funds because of their own personal connection with the RUH. Alan Morley, aged 70 from Bath took part to raise funds for the RUH’s cancer services.

Alan said: “Thank you to all who have sponsored me and kept me going. Since lockdown I have been walking long distances and I thought 26.2 miles in a month would be easy so I decided to walk at least a marathon each week until the end of September and I managed to walk 353 miles in total.

“My reason for doing this is because I had bowel cancer in 2009 and after surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy at the RUH I was given the all clear in August 2015. However a year later it was discovered that I had a different and rare cancer called pseudomyxoma peritonei which affects three people per million per year worldwide.

“My treatment was done at one of the two hospitals in the UK that treat this cancer, however all my ongoing diagnostic tests and oncology consultations are conducted at the RUH. So, this was my way to say thank you to the staff for looking after me for the last 11 years.”

The Forever Friends Appeal invites anyone wishing to take part in next year’s Walk of Life which will be held on Saturday 18 September 2021 to sign up here  

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RUH Will Month returns for November

Our ever-popular RUH Will Month is returning in November to help the public make or update their Will at a reduced cost. You can now book your appointment to have your Will written with participating legal firms.

Ten legal firms across Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset are taking part and their fees will be donated to the Royal United Hospitals Bath’s fundraising charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. Special procedures have been put in place to ensure that clients will be in a safe environment during appointments.

RUH Will Month will run for one month only, helping people put their affairs in order by having a single standard Will written for £125 or a standard Mirror Wills or joint Wills written for £175.

Jan Witt, the Appeal’s Tribute and Legacy Manager said:

“It may come as a surprise that fewer than half of the population have an up-to-date Will, despite its importance in offering you peace of mind and security for both you and your family.

“Often having a Will written can be expensive, therefore, we’d like to urge people to take advantage of this Will writing offer at the reduced rates to ensure your savings and possessions go to the people and causes you love and care for.

“It is easy to take part in this offer, simply call any one of the participating solicitors listed on our website and make an appointment for November, quoting ‘RUH Will Month’. At the meeting the solicitor will guide you through the process and will ensure that your Will reflects your wishes.”

This is the sixth consecutive year that RUH Will Month has run with substantial funds being raised every year for various causes across the hospital such as the Dyson Cancer Centre, research programmes and specialist medical equipment.

This year funds raised by the initiative will be put towards the charity’s speech and language special appeal. The Appeal is raising £50,000 to purchase a portable machine to enhance the care given to patients who have swallowing difficulties. The equipment will enable speech and language therapists to provide an alternative bedside assessment – reducing the waiting time to attend the X-ray clinic which can sometimes take a number of weeks.

The need for the mobile equipment has become even more pressing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients who have been on a ventilator have a 30% chance of suffering from swallowing difficulties. So, having this machine will really help the Speech and Language Therapy Team to assess COVID patients, either in ITU or in other parts of the hospital.

Catherine Cawley, Clinical Specialist and Speech and Language Therapist, RUH said: “Being able to eat and drink without a second thought is something most of us take for granted. But sadly many people have problems swallowing as a result of conditions such as having a stroke, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. It is a serious issue as it can cause coughing and choking when you eat and drink, which can lead to chest infections, increased hospital admission and lengthier stays in hospital.

“Having this machine will be a game changer – we will be able to give our patients a quicker diagnosis, recommend treatment and reduce the possibility of further medical complications.”

However, participants can choose to support another campaigns or special appeal if they prefer.

Interested in having a Will written? Contact one of the participating solicitor firms as soon as possible as appointments get fully booked quickly. The full list of solicitors can be found on our website click here

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Kelly’s tribute fund raises over £25k for Dyson Cancer Centre

A tribute fund that was set up in memory of a young mother who lost her battle with cancer has raised over £25,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal.

Kelly Ross was only 32 when she died in 2015, leaving Jack (11 months) and Ruby (3) behind. She had always spoken about supporting the Appeal, so her family decided to set up a personal tribute fund through the charity to fundraise towards the new Dyson Cancer Centre at the hospital.

Five years on and the family have organised and taken part in a variety of events and challenges, including football matches, raffles and running marathons to name but a few.  Earlier this year year Kelly’s daughter Ruby, now 9, organised a coffee morning in their home town of Devizes and raised £1,700.

With fundraising activities being cancelled this year Kelly’s brother Ashley with his wife Katie and brother in Law, Jason Muir, decided to take on their biggest challenge yet by attempting a non-stop version of the White Horse Trail, a 80-mile hike that links all of the White Horses in Wiltshire. Friends and family joined them for sections of the three-day trek and they were greeted at the final White Horse by Kelly’s parents, as well as Ruby and Jack.

Following the event Katie said: “From the bottom of our hearts thank you so much to everyone who has donated, joined us and sent messages of love and support. We couldn’t have done it without you all. We are all doing this for Kelly who is worth every penny, every blister, every ache and pain!”

More than £3,000 was raised from the hike, bringing the grand total raised by the tribute fund since its inception to over £25,000.  As a result the family are now Senior Partners of the charity and will see Kelly’s name in the Dyson Cancer Centre.

Jan Witt, Legacy & Tribute Manager at the Forever Friends Appeal said: “The Forever Friends Appeal relies on the wonderful generosity of families out in the community who wish to celebrate the lives of their loved ones through fundraising. Setting up a personal tribute fund really does help make a really big difference to the patients and their families who are cared for at the RUH.

“Acknowledging the Kelly Ross Tribute Fund as a Senior Family Partner is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for everything her family, friends and colleagues have done in her honour.”

To find out more about setting up a tribute fund in memory of a loved one please click here


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