After careful consideration, the Newfoundland Dog Dive has been cancelled for 2020.

A few months ago, we were hopeful that our smaller events such as the Dog Dive would be able to go ahead in the Autumn. However, with ongoing social distancing restrictions and rapidly changing guidelines, there is still so much uncertainty and now feel cancellation is the safest and most sensible course of action. The safety of everyone involved, as well as the wider community, is our absolute priority during this time.

One small splash into Portishead Marina, one giant leap for patients!

This is your chance to play a ‘casualty’ and experience an open water rescue performed by a four-legged hero… a Newfoundland Dog! It’s a fun day out for the whole family that will make a real difference to patients and families at the RUH. Please note, this event is limited to 30 participants.

Non swimmers are welcome, as life-jackets are worn, and is open to anyone aged 8 and over (exceptions may be made for younger participants – please see event Terms & Conditions). Spectators on the day are very welcome.

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About Newfoundland Dog Dive events

The day is run by the incredible team at Newfound Friends UK and their well-trained and beautiful Newfoundland dogs, on behalf of The Forever Friends Appeal. We’ll also be there on the day to capture the action and support you!
This amazing experience lasts approximately 1 hour and you’ll be given a timeslot (allocated between 10am and 4pm) beforehand. When you arrive, you’ll register with us and have time to get into a wetsuit (a challenge in itself!), before completing a health and safety briefing with a human lifeguard.
You’ll then be taken out into Portishead Quays Marina by boat and asked to jump in… but don’t worry, it won’t be long before your canine rescuer shows off their amazing water-rescue skills and tows you safely back to the boat! When you’re back on dry land, you’ll be able to have a few photos with your rescuer.

All participants will receive fundraising advice and support, a wetsuit provided on the day (or you can bring your own) and your own event t-shirt to keep.

Get a place today!

Register for £30 and pledge to raise £100 to support RUH patients (see T&C’s).

Newfound Friends have been organising rescue days for over 29 years and have raised over £1 million for UK charities. As well as hosting these amazing days for charities, they are also committed to raising awareness for water safety.

Newfoundland Dogs are an amazing breed, as much at home in water as on dry land! Newfoundlands have been the St Bernards of the sea for hundreds of years and we are so excited that these life-saving dogs are taking the plunge to help transform patient care at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Each week in the Summer, a group of magnificent 14 stone Newfoundland’s arrive at a lake in the Cotswolds to hone their life saving skills along with their human lifeguard companions. The Newfound Friends are an impressive sight when in the water and their water safety and rescue skills have gained them many famous and influential supporters!

But how do these gentle giants, with thick fur coats manage to swim so well? Their fur actually helps! It’s oily which helps to make the dogs buoyant and they have two layers of coat which provides insulation to keep them warm in the water… but the Newfoundland’s most exceptional swimming aid is the fact that they have skin in between their toes on all four feet, effectively giving them webbed feet which make excellent paddles.

The Royal Life Saving Society had honoured the dogs for their lifesaving skills and their commitment to promoting water safety. The dogs of Newfound Friends are the only dogs ever to attain such an award of commendation from the Society.

You can read all about Newfound Friends here:

These rules apply to the Newfoundland Dog Dive 2020, and by registering, you agree to comply with them and confirm that you satisfy the age requirements set out below. If you have any questions, please contact Laura Pearce on 01225 821535 /

The activity is run by Newfound Friends UK, on behalf of The Forever Friends Appeal.

General & Entry specific:

  • The £30.00 registration fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • By registering online, participants agree to abide by all terms and conditions of the Newfoundland Dog Dive.
  • Upon completion of registration, a fundraising pack and sponsorship forms will be sent as soon as possible, unless otherwise advised.
  • Non-swimmers are welcome, however you MUST feel confident in the water. Please be aware this is an open water event, taking place in Portishead Quays Marina.
  • All participants must wear the life jacked provided.
  • Participants must be confident that they are physically and mentally capable of taking part in the dog dive. If they are at all unsure about this, they should seek medical advice from their GP before the event.
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions that may affect the participant (eg epilepsy, asthma), must be reported to the organisers prior to the day of the event. This can be done at point of registration.
  • Each participant is responsible for his/her own conduct and must not undertake any action that may cause danger or risk of any type to him / herself or any of the Newfound Friends UK team, including the dogs.
  • Participants must immediately inform The Forever Friends Appeal if anything puts participation on the day in doubt.
  • We reserve the right to refuse participation to any individual who does not adhere to any of the Terms & Conditions listed, with or without providing a reason.

Age Restrictions:

  • Participants must be aged 8 and over. Those under the age of 8 may be able to take part in special circumstances – please discuss with our Events & Community Officer, Laura Pearce at 01225 821535.
  • Participants under the age of 18 must have permission from a parent/guardian. The parent/guardian must complete a ‘Parental Consent Form’ – provided after registration.
  • Any participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult on the day (if only accompanying, the responsible adult is not required to complete a separate registration).


  • It costs £30 to register.
  • The minimum sponsorship requirement is £100. Participants must endeavour to raise this to the best of their ability.
  • 80% of the minimum sponsorship is due with The Forever Friends Appeal (either on a Just Giving page or cash/cheque sent in) 2 weeks prior to the Newfoundland Dog Dive. i.e. £80 is due on 5th September 2020. The remaining 20% (and anything in addition) must be received four weeks after the event. Failure to do so may mean non-participation in the event.
  • Any fundraising in connection with this Newfoundland Dog Dive must be for The Forever Friends Appeal. Entry is not permitted to support another charity.
  • Sponsorship will go towards our ‘General Fund’ and will be allocated to the area of greatest need within the Hospital at that time, unless you specify otherwise at point of registration. If there is a particular ward, department, Major Campaign or Special Appeal that you’d like your fundraising to support, please highlight this when you register.
  • Sponsorship raised via online fundraising pages is collected and paid to the charity automatically. If you do not pass on all of the money that you raise, you may be committing a criminal offence. A failure to submit any money raised from an event benefiting The Forever Friends Appeal, may result in any future entry (for any event) being refused or cancelled.

Newfoundland Dog Dive logistics:

  • The date of The Forever Friends Appeal’s Newfoundland Dog Dive is Saturday 19th September 2020.
  • The Forever Friends Appeal and Newfound Friends UK reserve the right to make necessary changes or cancel this event due to adverse weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances, at any time. Participants will be notified as soon as possible. Please note, the event will still go ahead come rain or shine. In this instance, adverse weather conditions are defined as extreme weather occurrences (gale force winds, snow etc).
  • In the event of the Newfoundland Dog Dive being cancelled due to adverse weather conditions, The Forever Friends Appeal and Newfound Friends UK will endeavour to reschedule to another date, if possible.
  • Your experience will last approximately 1 hour. This will include a safety briefing, time to get into (and out of) your wetsuit, photographs with your rescuer and the ‘dog dive’ experience itself.
  • You will be given your time slot (this could be between 10am and 4pm) a few weeks before the event.
  • You will undertake a health and safety briefing prior to entering the water, with a qualified lifeguard from Newfound Friends UK.
  • A life-jacket and wetsuit (you can wear your own) will be provided and must be worn.
  • The consumption of alcohol or illicit drugs is not permitted.
  • We will be photographing and filming throughout the day and we may use footage or photographs of you, your family or your team in our publications, promotion and advertising to publicise the work of the charity.
  • If you, the participants posts media (e.g. photos and videos) on The Forever Friends Appeal’s social media platforms, you automatically give The Forever Friends Appeal permission to use and reproduce that content to publicise the work of the charity at any point in the future.
  • All participants enter the Newfoundland Dog Dive at their own risk. In no event shall The Forever Friends Appeal be liable for any injuries, loss or damages whatsoever, including indirect, punitive, special, incidental or consequential losses connected with any aspect of the event.

Use of personal data

  • By providing personal data when you register for the Newfoundland Dog Dive, you confirm that you consent to such data being used by The Forever Friends Appeal for the purposes of organising and administering the event. You agree that The Forever Friends Appeal can use the details that you have provided to discuss your fundraising activity and follow up on your progress, in relation to this event.
  • If you provide personal data on behalf of additional entrants, you also confirm that you have obtained their consent for such data to be used for the same purposes.
  • Your full name will be shared with Newfound Friends on the day, for the purposes of administering the event. No other data will be shared with Newfound Friends UK, or any other organisation.
  • Your personal information may also be used for the purposes of sending other charity communications to you, where you have confirmed that you would like to receive further information about the charity’s work, when registering for the Newfoundland Dog Dive.
  • All personal data held by us will be handled in accordance with applicable privacy laws and The Forever Friends Appeal’s privacy statement, which can be found here:

If you wanted to start fundraising now, please go ahead! JustGiving is the online sponsorship platform we recommend to all our fundraisers. It’s quick to set up and simple to use.

  • Your friends and family can sponsor at the click of a button
  • You can keep track of donations
  • No need to use a sponsorship form
  • Your sponsorship will automatically be sent to us – you don’t need to do anything

Just Giving

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