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News

Bicycle Giveaway for RUH Staff

As a thank you to RUH staff for their hard work during these challenging times, 50 brand new bikes have been kindly donated for our frontline staff who are struggling to get to work on public transport.

If you think you qualify and for a chance to win one of these bikes, together with a helmet, lights and a lock, worth £500, please email forever.friends@nhs.net and include your NHS email address or quote your payroll number. Please use the words BIKE OFFER in the subject line of the email and provide us with your name and job title in the body of the email. The deadline is noon on Wednesday 8 April.

Winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted by 5pm on Thursday 9 April.

NEXT STEPS

Should you be one of the lucky ones to win a bike, the following steps will take place:

  1. You will receive an email confirming that you will receive one of the free bikes.
  2. You will need to forward your winning confirmation email to the bicycle supplier (details will be supplied) along with your height and gender, so that your bike can be tailor-made for you.
  3. Please note – it will take a few weeks for the supplier to receive the bikes, assemble them and undertake safety checks before they are ready for delivery to the RUH.
  4. You will receive notification of when and where your bike will be ready for collection on-site.
  5. On collection, you will need to bring your ID so we can match you with your new bike. Social distancing will be respected during the handover.
  6. With your permission we would like to share the moment when you receive your new bike on our social media (we will ask for your consent before).
  7. As a staff member you will be required to complete our Gifts in Kind declaration form. The link to the form on our intranet will be sent to you.
  8. Enjoy your new bike!

 

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The Forever Friends Appeal launches ‘Help your hospital heroes’ appeal

Help your hospital heroes

Please help raise funds to support the Royal United Hospitals Bath and its staff during the coronavirus crisis.

Please help us to raise funds to support the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath and our inspiring NHS staff during the coronavirus crisis.

Our hospital is under increased and immense pressure at this extraordinary time. Care for all RUH patients has to continue and staff are going above and beyond to make sure it does.

We are all being asked to stay indoors, work from home, or maintain ‘social distance’ from our friends and family but our amazing NHS staff can’t. They have to be there for us all and some now won’t see their own families for weeks to protect patients and their own loved ones from the outbreak of the virus.

As the hospital’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal is asking for your help to support the hospital and its heroes.

John Cullum, Chair of The Forever Friends Appeal, says “We want to say thank you to all the NHS staff who are on the frontline right now. We will owe you for everything you do and all that you give so selflessly for our care.”

Unfortunately, due to infection control restrictions, the hospital cannot accept gifted items from the general public. Instead, please consider making a donation online and the hospital will direct all contributions to where the help is needed most.

James Scott CEO, said: “It is heart-warming to see all the support and acts of kindness already flooding in for our NHS staff in Bath. To everyone that has already contributed – thank you, and to those of you thinking of making a gift, we really value your help in these uncertain times.

To donate and support your local NHS and hospital heroes, please visit www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/hospital-heroes

 

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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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New appeal launched on Swallowing Awareness Day

A new fundraising appeal has launched at the Royal United Hospitals Bath to coincide with national Swallowing Awareness Day.

The Forever Friends Appeal wants to raise £50,000 to purchase a portable machine to enhance the care given to patients who have swallowing difficulties.

By funding this piece of kit it 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 be several weeks and is the only option at present.

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.

“This is why we are delighted to have the support from our charity on Swallowing Awareness Day –giving us the perfect platform to talk about this issue and the opportunity to promote this appeal.

“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.”

Only a small number of hospital trusts have this type of portable machine which uses fibreoptic technology to help the Speech and Language Therapist assess a patient’s mouth, throat and swallow. Once the machine is purchased, the speech and language therapy team will look to roll the service out to assess patients across the hospital.

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“This appeal is an opportunity to give patients with swallowing difficulties the highest standard of care and ultimately help improve their quality of life. We are inviting the public to show their support by helping us raise the amount needed so we can make a real difference to our patients.”

There are many ways that people can get involved and show their support for this appeal – from making a donation online, taking part in one of the charity’s events, fundraising at work or in your local community or by leaving a gift in your will.

For more information about the speech and language therapy appeal click here

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Message for all our volunteers and supporters re: Coronavirus

17 March 2020

Dear valued volunteers & supporters,

We want to thank you for your kind and continued support and we’re thinking of you and our wonderful community of supporters at this time.

Our staff at the RUH are working incredibly hard to keep all of our patients safe and we are following the guidelines of the Department of Health about COVID-19 (coronavirus). As always, the care of our patients is the number one priority.

The COVID-19 is a rapidly changing situation so as the RUH Hospital Charity we wanted to give some guidance and advice on visiting our hospital, our future planned events, fundraising in the community and how you can support for our charity and your hospital. Please check regularly for updates.

To stay up to date with the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus please click here

Visiting our hospital and Forever Friends Appeal offices

The Forever Friends Appeal offices are based on site at the RUH and we want to help keep our hospital site safe, therefore over the coming weeks and months many of the team will be working remotely from home. We are asking volunteers and visitors to please refrain from visiting the hospital unless specifically invited to do so. Whilst we may not be able to speak to you in person we will be available via the phone and email.  We may not always be able to answer phone calls immediately but do leave messages as we are able to pick up voicemail.

All non-essential meetings or events have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future, instead we can talk to you via phone/ video calls where practical. The cancelled events includes cake and book sales that would normally be held in our atrium at the RUH. We have contacted our supporters who were due to hold an events here at the RUH and we will get in touch if you have an event planned in the near future if it needs to be cancelled or postponed.

If you do visit our hospital for an appointment, treatment or as a visitor, we kindly ask that you use the alcohol hand gel provided at each of our main entrances as you enter and leave hospital to protect yourself and others. Please also check regularly the information and advice being given by our hospital here

Our planned events

Whilst the COVID-19 situation continues, we are looking at how we can help reduce the risk of the spread of infection and keep our supporters safe. The health and safety of all our event participants, supporters and volunteers, many of whom take part in support of a family member who is a patient or as a patient themselves, is our absolute priority.

We have therefore decided to postpone the Walk of Life which was due to take place on Saturday 16th May.  We are currently working with the our suppliers to find an alternative date for later in the year and will keep in touch with all registered walkers to update them with the plans, as soon as they are confirmed. We would like to thank all of our brilliant walkers and volunteers for their support with this event so far, especially for all the hard work they have put into training and fundraising. We are determined to make sure every step they take/have taken, will still count for our patients.

At this time, we are also monitoring the other events we organise as a charity, and the impact they could potentially have on our supporters and others. The Event Section on our website will be updated on a regular basis and should plans for any of our other events change, we will notify those that may be affected as soon as possible.

If you are planning to attend an event which is organised by a third party in aid of The Forever Friends Appeal, then please check with the organiser for an update and further information.

Fundraising in the community

If you were planning to hold your own fundraising activities in aid of our charity in the coming weeks we understand that you may now have questions about what to do. We would recommend that you carefully consider the activities you have planned as the situation and government advice is changing on a daily basis. It is important that you keep up to date with the latest NHS guidelines and Government information to help you make your decisions.

Your support of the RUH hospital is very much appreciated especially at this time but more importantly your health and wellbeing, as well as that of your families and the wider public, is paramount. We fully understand if you decide to postpone or cancel your fundraising activities or you may choose to do a “virtual” activity in your own home.

Supporting the RUH Bath at this time

Our RUH hospital staff are working incredibly hard to continue to provide the highest quality of care for all our patients. If you would like to show your support to our staff and hospital you can by making a donation – we are incredibly grateful to all our supporters and the funds will be used towards the areas in the hospital where it’s needed most.

During this time we will be providing updates via social media, our website and e-newsletters, if you would like to sign up to receive news and information about how you can support our work please click here.

If you have any questions about how to support the hospital or about your fundraising please email forever.friends@nhs.net

Thank you for your patience and continued support

Rhyannon Boyd

Head of Fundraising

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Make it Grow Corporate Challenge raises over £15,000

Seventeen companies from across Bath and Wiltshire have raised over £15,000 for the Royal United Hospitals Bath charity, The Forever Friends Appeal.

The money was raised through the charity’s new Make it Grow Corporate Challenge which launched in October 2019. Each company received a startup fund of £20 and the challenge was to make it grow by fundraising the most in just four months.

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

“It’s been amazing to see the enthusiasm and commitment to our Make it Grow Corporate Challenge.  We feel incredibly grateful to have worked with a number of new companies on this initiative.

“Thanks to their committed colleagues a number of areas in the RUH will benefit from this fantastic amount helping patients and their families. This includes the breast unit, the Dyson Cancer Centre, Children’s Ward, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (known as NICU), stroke unit and the Forget Me Not Suite in the hospital’s Bath Birthing Centre which provides space and support to parents who have lost a child.”

To celebrate and recognise the fundraising efforts made by all those who took part an awards ceremony was held last week in Bath’s Apex Hotel. The following awards were presented to:

  • The Corporate Challenge Champion Award – 1pm Finance
  • The Spreading the Word Award -Frank & Moon
  • The Corporate Challenge Enabler of the Year Award – Nationwide Building Society (Chippenham)
  • The Small but Mighty Award – Metro Bank (Bath)
  • The Big Business Award – Andrews Property Group
  • The Innovation Award – Trowbridge Ford
  • The Make it Grow Corporate Challenge of 2019/20 Winner – Curo

Rachael Allen, Communications, Brand and PR manager, Curo said:

“We are really pleased to have won the challenge. Our colleagues voted for The Forever Friends Appeal as their chosen charity and they really got involved in fundraising. The largest amount was raised in our raffle – over £3,000 which is an incredible amount. We would also like to thank the residents who joined in and helped fundraise at our Livewell Hubs.”

The 2020 Make it Grow Corporate Challenge will be back later this year. If you are interested in getting involved please email: patsy.gould@nhs.net or jo.common@nhs.net

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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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Trekking Everest for the Dyson Cancer Centre

Thanks to Penny Slayton’s determination to show support for our RUH Cancer Campaign, she’s raised more than £1,500 for the new Dyson Cancer Centre.

She said: “I got the fundraising bug in 2017 after completing a wing walk. I decided that my next adventure was a trek to Everest base camp to raise more funds. I started training, gradually increasing distance, time and backpack weight. I trekked with eight others including Australians, Americans, Canadians, and five Sherpas. The Sherpas were fantastic; they were great company and looked after us all amazingly.

“There were so many highlights – climbing Kala Patthar at 18,000ft to watch the sun set over Everest was just magical, camping in minus 12 degrees and waking up with frosty eyelashes, and hearing the boom of the avalanches. Also flying into Lukla, the world’s most dangerous airport, with the Himalayan peaks above the helicopter, and walking along the valleys with helicopters flying below you. The scale of the place is mind-blowing!

“The biggest challenge of all was the altitude. You feel your body working harder to compensate for the lack of oxygen – it wasn’t a nice feeling. Walking on the narrow track got tricky especially when a convoy of yaks came towards us. And the loos, well there’s no further explanation needed!

“It’s great to know that the money I’ve raised will help future patients. I was diagnosed with cancer in June 2012 and this amount is a little gesture to say thanks to the incredibly caring, supportive and professional team at the RUH.”

Thank you Penny for taking your steps for the RUH.

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Neonatal unit has homely makeover

Parents are benefitting from new interior design changes in the RUH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to help them feel more at home whilst their babies are being cared for in the unit.

New colourful sofas, bean bags and a stylish coffee table donated by TR Hayes have improved the parent room making it feel more like a living room where families can go and relax. The kitchen area now feels less clinical with pictures framed by Meltone Gallery in Bathwick, colourful storage tins and bright, re-useable coffee mugs, provided by KeepCup.

The items were all donated thanks to Tiffany Wood (pictured below, left), a local interior designer who is a breastfeeding peer support volunteer on the unit.

She said: “As part of the volunteer training we had to imagine what it is like being a parent whose baby was in the unit and what it’s like to spend a lot of time there.  This resonated with me as I spend my time trying to make people’s homes not only look better but feel better and whilst the clinical areas in NICU are second-to-none, I wanted to make it feel more homely for parents.

“I approached companies who I have worked with and asked if they could donate a few interior items to make parents as comfortable as possible during such a difficult time for them. The suppliers who donated items were all marvellous and they were so keen to help enhance the unit with some homely touches, making it a welcoming and warm space.

“I would also like to thank bespoke furniture makers Fitting Tribute from Edington who built specially adapted lockers where parents can keep their bedding when they wish to stay overnight; while Seymours Home provided luxurious silk pillows and protectors. Fitting Tribute also made a bespoke chalkboard for the play area in the unit.”

Jo Hodson, Consultant Neonatal Nurse, RUH said:

“It’s the little things that make a difference. We have already noticed that the revamped spaces have changed the way parents are interacting with each other. They now seem more comfortable chatting to one another. And the children absolute love the chalkboard.

“Thank you to Tiffany and all the companies to helped make this transformation. There is no doubt the makeover contributed towards NICU being awarded its Unicef Baby Friendly status.”

The RUH’s Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care is one of only six neonatal units in England and Wales to be awarded Unicef’s prestigious Baby Friendly accreditation which was awarded last month.

If you would like to support NICU or any other department in the hospital, please click here

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