01225 825691
forever.friends@nhs.net

Walk of Life

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

Read more

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.

 

Read more

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

Read more

Walk of Life raises over £100,000

We are delighted to announce the total raised from this year’s Walk of Life event – over £100,000 is going towards benefiting patients and their families at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

The sponsored canal walk took place on 11 May and on the day 425 people walked along the Kennet and Avon canal towpath, covering an impressive 7,500 miles.

This significant amount will be divided between the Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign, the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre and many of the hospital’s wards and department.

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

“We would like to thank everyone who took part and to those who kindly sponsored our walkers. Many people chose to take to either walk in memory of loved ones, show their support for someone receiving treatment at the hospital or to simply take on the challenge.

“We are now inviting people to sign up for next year’s Walk of Life on our website. We have also introduced a new morning walk as part of the event so people have more choice and you can either sign up as an individual or as a team, making every step count for patients and their families at the RUH.”

The three walking distances available next year are:

  • Marathon walk – 26.2 miles (approx.) start at Bishops Cannings (near Devizes) – Bradford on Avon – Bath
  • *NEW* morning walk – 16 miles (approx.): start at Bishops Cannings (near Devizes) – Bradford on Avon
  • Afternoon walk – 10 miles (approx.) start at Bradford on Avon – Bath

A film of this year’s Walk of Life is now available to watch on our website. To register for next year’s Walk of Life visit events page on the Appeal’s website or for more information call the events fundraising team on: 01225 821535.

The first Walk of Life took place in 2006. It was created with and in memory of Vanessa Kyte, who passed away in 2007. To date the event has raised over half a million pounds for the hospital.

 

Read more

Hundreds of walkers take part in our Walk Of Life event

On Saturday 11 May, 425 people donned their walking boots and covered an incredible 7,500 miles in our Walk of Life event, raising money for The Forever Friends Appeal, the Royal United Hospitals Bath charity.

Around half of the walkers completed the full distance, 26.2 miles – from Bishop Cannings, near Devizes, along the Kennett and Avon canal to the finish line at the Holburne Museum in Bath. The rest of the walkers joined in at Bradford-on-Avon and walked the final 10 miles to the finish line.

The Walk of Life is our annual walking fundraising event and the aim is to raise funds to support patients and their families cared for at the RUH every year. This year, the funds will go towards our RUH Cancer Care campaign for the new Dyson Cancer Centre, the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre and many of the hospital’s wards and departments.

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer said:

“Thank you so much to all of our brilliant walkers who took part and to those that helped make the Walk of Life happen. We have been so inspired hearing about the many reasons people take part – from walking in memory of a loved one, supporting someone currently receiving treatment or to get active and support a good cause – your walk on Saturday has the power to help so many patients at the RUH, so you should all be very proud!

“I would especially like to thank Michael Eavis CBE and Mayor of Devizes, Councillor Andy Geddes for setting the walkers off at the start line, the Mayor of Bradford on Avon, Councillor Simon McNeill-Ritchie for setting our 10 mile walkers off, the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones for handing the finisher medals, our volunteers who marshalled the route, MJ Church and Kier for sponsoring the event and everyone who came out to cheer our walkers on as they made it through the finish line.

“The Forever Friends Appeal has been transforming patient care at the RUH for 20 years and with the public’s support, we always will. Once we’ve received the sponsorship money, the total will be announced. Last year’s Walk of Life event raised over £100,000, so hopefully we’ll be close to that amount again this year.”

Next year’s Walk of Life event will take place on Saturday 16 May 2020 and places will open soon. Anyone interested in taking part should visit the Appeal’s website for more information. Walkers are provided with fundraising and training support, refreshments on the day as well as a medal and plenty of finish line celebrations. To sign up and find out more click here

To see more photos taken on the day, click here

Read more

Father to walk marathon for the care of his son

Thanks to the care and support from staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Royal United Hospitals Bath, 10 month old Archie is just like all the other babies his age, he’s happy, healthy and very inquisitive.

However, his parents, George and Amy Hobbs didn’t quite have the start to parenthood as expected. Archie was born 10 weeks premature, weighing just 3lbs 4oz and he spent five weeks in NICU at the RUH.


Baby Archie, born 10 weeks premature and being cared for in NICU

Thankfully, Archie was discharged from NICU in July 2018. As a thank you to the doctors and nursing staff in NICU for their care and support to Archie and to them as new parents, George is training to walk 26.2 miles on Saturday 11 May 2019. He will also be joined by his friends and family.

George is one of hundreds of people who has signed up to take part in the Walk of Life, a fundraising event organised by the RUH’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. It’s an opportunity for people to do something amazing whilst raising money for the hospital. Anyone interested in taking part should sign up now on the charity’s website.

George, aged 27, from Chippenham said:

“Without all the amazing staff and facilities at the RUH, Archie would not have had the brilliant start to life that he was given. The care and support, not just for Archie, but for us is something we will be forever grateful for and never forget.

“My wife, Amy and I owe so much to NICU so along with some friends, I’ll be walking a marathon at the Walk of Life to thank them and celebrate Archie.

It’ll be a little bit different to my usual Saturday playing for Avonvale RFC!

We would love to raise as much money as possible to help give other babies and families the best start to life.”

Places are still available on the Walk of Life and people can choose to either walk the full 26.2 miles from Bishop Cannings, near Devizes to Bath or walk the 10 miles, joining the walkers in Bradford on Avon in the afternoon heading to finish line at the Holbourne Museum in Bath.

Last year’s Walk of Life event raised over £100,000 for the Royal United Hospitals Bath. That money has helped fund a number of projects including the RUH Cancer Care campaign for the new Dyson Cancer Centre, the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre, as well as support wards and department in the hospital.

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer said:

“There’s a few weeks until the event, so there’s still time to sign up if anyone wishes to take part. We are hoping to see hundreds of people join us and Michael Eavis CBE will be at the start line to set everyone off on the walk. Everyone who completes the challenge will receive a special edition 20th anniversary Walk of Life t-shirt and finisher medal.

We are looking forward to seeing George cross the finish line and hopefully Amy and Archie will be there to help celebrate!”

To support George’s marathon fundraising and help other families like his, please visit their JustGiving page.

The Walk of Life event is open to both men and women and costs £25 to register. Registration closes on 8 May, and there will be no sign ups on the day. 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, the RNHRD and Therapies Centre and the Dyson Cancer Care.

In return, we will provide walkers with lots of fundraising and training support, as well as complimentary refreshments and treats, there will be cake at the finish line, as well as a medal and plenty of finish line celebrations.

To sign up and book your place on the Walk of Life click here

 

Read more

Join James and Jasper on the Walk of Life

Calling all walkers! There’s still time to join our charity marathon and help raise tens of thousands of pounds for patients and families at the RUH.

Nearly 400 people have already signed up for The Walk of Life event on Saturday 11 May – and we’re encouraging even more people to sign up and take part.

There are two distances to choose from – the full 26.2 miles from Bishop Cannings, near Devizes, along the Kennett and Avon canal to the finish line at the Holburne Museum in Bath or the 10-mile distance starting in Bradford on Avon in the afternoon.

RUH Chief Executive, James Scott will be walking the 10-mile section with his cocker spaniel Jasper.

James said:

“I am incredibly proud of The Forever Friends Appeal and what they have achieved during the past 20 years. I have witnessed first-hand the difference our charity has made to patients and their families, and by taking part in this year’s Walk of Life, this is me doing my bit for the Appeal.

“I never cease to be amazed by the hundreds of inspirational walkers who come together with the aim of wanting to make a real difference for future patients. I am looking forward to meeting some of our supporters along the way and hearing their stories, and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s taking part.”

Last year’s Walk of Life event raised over £100,000 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, the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre, as well as support for wards and departments in the hospital.

Another walker taking part this year is Katie Bridge from Glastonbury, who’s raising money for the RUH Cancer Care campaign. She said:

“It is an honour to walk in memory of my truly wonderful, brave dad, Pete Bridge. He began treatment for skin cancer at the RUH in 2009 and over the next eight years had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and radiation therapy.

“In 2018, he attended the hospital numerous times and his last six week stay was on the wonderful Waterhouse ward, where we slowly realised that nothing more could be done. But, thanks to the hospital staff and the lovely carers at Dorothy House, he got his wish to come home.

“He wanted to make Christmas but sadly he lost his marathon battle with cancer just before. Whenever I visited the RUH, I always noticed the events organised by The Forever Friends Appeal, so it was an easy decision for me to take part in their Walk of Life event, to support the RUH and say thank you. I am hoping I can help raise much-needed funds for the new Cancer Centre.”

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer said:

“It’s just a month until the event, so there’s still time to sign up if anyone wishes to take part. We are looking forward to seeing hundreds of people join us and those who complete the challenge will receive a special edition 20th anniversary Walk of Life t-shirt and finisher medal.”

The Walk of Life event is open to both men and women and costs £25 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, the RNHRD and Therapies Centre and the Dyson Cancer Care.

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

To find out more about the Walk of Life and to sign up click here

Read more

Daughter walks marathon in memory of her father

Glastonbury resident Katie Bridge is in training and getting ready to walk 26.2 miles in memory of her brave dad, Pete Bridge, a much loved local man who sadly lost his marathon battle with cancer last year.

Katie will be joining the hundreds of walkers in this year’s Walk of Life event on Saturday 11 May.  Almost 400 people have signed up and will follow the route along the Kennett and Avon canal from Bishop Cannings, near Devizes to the finish line at the Holburne Museum in Bath.

Anyone interested in taking part should sign up now on the charity’s website.

Katie Bridge, aged 50, from Glastonbury said:

“I’m doing the Walk of Life to raise money for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign – it’s my way of giving back to the hospital which cared for my dad so well over the years. My dad began treatment for skin cancer at the RUH in 2009 and over the next eight years he had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and radiation therapy to shrink the tumours.

“In 2018, he attended the RUH numerous times and his last six week stay was on the wonderful Waterhouse Ward, where we slowly realised that nothing more could be done. But, thanks to the hospital staff and the lovely carers at Dorothy House, he got his wish to come home.

“He wanted to make Christmas but sadly he lost his marathon battle with cancer just before, on the 22nd December 2018. Whenever I visited the RUH, I always noticed the events organised by The Forever Friends Appeal, so it was an easy decision for me to take part in their Walk of Life event, to support the RUH and say thank you. I am hoping I can help raise much-needed funds for the new Cancer Centre.”

The Walk of Life offers people the choice of two walking distances – either the full 26.2 miles or walk the 10 miles, joining the walkers in Bradford on Avon in the afternoon heading to finish in Bath.

Last year’s Walk of Life event raised over £100,000 for the Royal United Hospitals Bath. That money has helped fund a number of projects including the RUH Cancer Care campaign for the new Dyson Cancer Centre, the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre, as well as support wards and department in the hospital.

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

“It’s just a month until the event, so there’s still time to sign up if anyone wishes to take part. We are hoping to see hundreds of people join us and Michael Eavis CBE will be at the start line to set everyone off on the walk. Everyone who completes the challenge will receive a special edition 20th anniversary Walk of Life t-shirt and finisher medal.”

The Walk of Life event is open to both men and women and costs £25 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, the RNHRD and Therapies Centre and the Dyson Cancer Care.

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

To sign up and book your place on the Walk of Life click here

 

Read more

Three life-changing reasons for Nic’s Walk of Life challenge

Warminster resident and charity ambassador, Nic Noble will be donning her walking boots to take part in our annual Walk of Life on Saturday 11 May, in memory of her sister Vanessa ‘Ness’ Kyte.

The sisters, Nic and Ness were involved in creating the very first walking event with us back in 2006. Sadly Ness passed away a year later, but every year Nic and many of her family continue to take part in what is now known as the Walk of Life. Honoring Ness’ dream to make sure a new Cancer Centre at the RUH became a reality.

Nic will walk 26.2 miles on the day, which will also form part of training for her second challenge in October, trekking the Great Wall of China with a team of other fundraisers for the Appeal. This year’s challenges are extra special for her, as it marks 20 years since she was diagnosed with Osteoporosis, Ness was diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as our 20th year of fundraising, a cause which her entire family is so passionate about.

Nic will be one of hundreds of people from across Bath, Wiltshire and Somerset making every step count for RUH patients and their families. The walk’s marathon route will start in Bishop Canning’s (near Devizes), and follows the canal, finishing at the Holburne Museum in Bath. With the support of friends, family and the community, Nic has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for our Appeal so far and hopes that many others will join the walk, to help raise thousands more.

Nic, aged 57, said: “My family and I have been supporting the Forever Friends Appeal for over 10 years because we want to help make a difference to future patients living with and beyond cancer – a cause my sister Ness was so passionate about before she passed away. However this year marks a milestone in my own health journey, so with my walks I have chosen to support the Therapies Matter campaign, raising money for the RNHRD and Therapies Centre being built at the RUH.

“I want to help them reach their fundraising target as they have just £100,000 left to raise. Once this fantastic new therapies centre is open and treating patients, the old therapies buildings will be cleared to make way for the new Dyson Cancer Centre – and finally we will see my sister’s dream become a reality.

“It all started 20 years ago after I had my daughter Alice, I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis, and my sister, Ness was diagnosed with breast cancer – these three things changed my life – but in a positive way.

“With Osteoporosis, it weakens your bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. Without the consultant’s advice, treatment and physio at the RNHRD, which will be part of the new Therapies Centre, I would not have been able to help make sure Ness’ dream and my final promise to her, of a new Cancer Centre to become reality. But, thanks to therapy treatment, I have been able to continue my marathon fundraising challenges, be part of the Warminster & District RUH Fundraising Group and support this charity in any way that I can. I’m even going to trek the Great Wall of China in October – which is going to be my biggest challenge yet!

“I’m really looking forward to celebrating 20 years of this wonderful charity at this year’s walk, with my amazing sister always in my thoughts – as every step I take, really does make a difference. I can’t wait to see everyone who is taking part and stepping out to support patients cared for at the RUH.”

People are being encouraged to sign up for the Walk of Life now. It costs £25 to register and is open to both men and women. It will be opened by Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis CBE and there is the option to walk the 10 mile route starting in Bradford on Avon. Participants are asked to raise a minimum of £100 and people can choose support any ward or department at the RUH close to your heart, or one of the charity’s major campaigns – RNHRD and Therapies Centre and Dyson Cancer Care.

In return, The Forever Friends Appeal will provide walkers with lots of fundraising and training support, an official Walk of Life t-shirt and pass, as well as complimentary refreshments and treats on the day. At the finish line you will receive a medal amid plenty of celebrations!

To find out more about the Walk of Life and to sign up, click here

Read more

Judith takes on Walk of Life to thank Cardiology team

Frome resident, Judith White, will be donning her walking boots to take part in our annual Walk of Life event on Saturday 11 May 2019. She’s walking to raise money for the RUH’s Cardiology department as a thank you for saving her life.

Back in 2016, Judith was taken to the hospital with chest pains and was subsequently diagnosed with a rare form of heart failure. She’s since made a full recovery and will be one of the 500 participants from across Bath, Wiltshire and Somerset taking part to raise money for our Appeal.

Judith, who is 60 years old, said: “I was rushed to hospital with what turned out to be a stress-induced form of heart failure called Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. My heart actually changed shape and its function was measured at a mere 18%. Fortunately, it is a reversible type of heart failure and thanks to the expert care I received at the hospital, I have made a full recovery.

“The RUH has made a huge difference to my life so I want to give something back to their Cardiology department as a thank you. I am taking part in the Walk of Life as I hope I can make a difference in return. So far, I’ve raised £390 of my £500 fundraising target.”

The Walk of Life event is open for registration and people can choose to walk either the full marathon or join the route, like Judith in Bradford-on-Avon and walk the final 10 miles to the finish line.

It costs just £25 to sign up and the event is open to both women and men. Participants are asked to raise a minimum of £100 and sponsorship can go towards any ward or department at the RUH that’s close to your heart or to our major campaigns or special appeals.

In return, we will provide walkers with fundraising and training support, an official Walk of Life t-shirt as well as complimentary refreshments and treats. At the finish line you will receive a medal amid plenty of celebrations.

To find out more about the Walk of Life and to sign up, click here. If anyone would like to sponsor Judith, please visit her Just Giving page.

Read more