Take a walk for patients, families and your local NHS, the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH).

Places for our Marathon and 10 mile walks along the Kennet & Avon Canal are now open!

The last year has highlighted just how amazing our NHS is. Our incredible staff have been working tirelessly every day to support patients, families, and each other throughout one of the most challenging times in the history.

They have never stopped going the extra mile for us, and now it’s our turn. Every step you take will help us continue to support staff beyond the crisis and transform patient care, where it’s needed most.

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About the Walk of Life

Every year, hundreds of supporters, patients, hospital staff and local businesses join us on the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath for a fantastic day of walking and fundraising for the RUH.

The Marathon Walk (26.2 miles approx.) begins in Bishops Cannings, near Devizes and the 10 Mile (approx.) Walk joins the route in the afternoon at Bradford on Avon. Both victoriously cross the finish line at the Holburne Museum in Bath.

Standard entry is £15 and when you join us, you’ll receive a special NHS t-shirt, a medal and plenty of other surprises along the way. We ask all our participants to try and raise £100 as part of their walk. Your donations will help us fund projects at the RUH that will make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients cared for every year, as well as the families that visit them and the staff that care for them.

Join the Walk of Life

Take part on your own or with family and friends and walk 26.2 or 10 Miles. T&C’s apply.

Corporate Challenge

Take part colleagues and enjoy a little team building. T&C’s apply.

The safety of our supporters, staff, volunteers and the local community remains our number one priority. As the situation around coronavirus and government restrictions continue to change, we will be developing a number of different and flexible event plans, based on a stringent risk assessment, to suit a range of possible scenarios.

We very much hope that the Walk of Life will be able to ahead in September 2021 (delayed from our usual May date). If we need to make any changes to the running of the event, we will let all registered participants know as soon as we can. We will only allow you to take part if we are absolutely sure it is safe to do so.

26.2 MILE WALK – BISHOPS CANNINGS (DEVIZES) – MORNING START

The Marathon (26.2 mile approx – all day) walks start from The Crown Inn Pub in Bishops Cannings, near Devizes. The Morning walk finishes in Bradford on Avon and the Marathon walk will continue onto the Holburne Museum in Bath.

You will need to arrive by 7.30am to attend our Welcome Briefing and fun warm up. We’ll then set you off from 8am. Please note these timings are subject to change, as we may need to introduce a staggered start depending on final numbers. Final details will be sent to you one month before the walk takes place.

Finish: Bath (26.2 miles)

10 MILE WALK – BRADFORD ON AVON - AFTERNOON START

The Afternoon (10 mile approx.. – afternoon) walk starts in Victory field, Bradford On Avon where it joins the all day walkers, before heading to the Holburne Museum in Bath.

You will need to arrive by 12.30pm to attend our Welcome Briefing and fun warm up. We’ll then set you off from 1pm. Please note these timings are subject to change, as we may need to introduce a staggered start depending on final numbers. Final details will be sent to you one month before the walk takes place.

Finish: Bath (10 miles)

All Participants T&C’s (additional for the Corporate challenge are below)

These terms and conditions apply to all people participating in the Walk of Life 2021, which is organised by The Forever Friends Appeal – the charity for the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath. By registering either as an individual or as part of a team, you agree to comply with the conditions set out below.

If you are registering on behalf of someone else, you must have their permission to provide their personal details to us. You confirm that the email address and personal details you provide for each individual registration are that of the participant being named and that they are accurate and up to date.

If you have any questions, please contact the Events Team at ruh-tr.fundraising@nhs.net / 01225 825691.

*Please be aware that all mileage is approximate and has been measured on several occasions, in different ways by our Events Team. Distance will vary slightly, depending on the app/watch/other technology you are using to track your distance.*

COVID-19 Additions

  1. The Forever Friends Appeal reserves the right to make any necessary changes or cancel this event at any time, as a direct result of COVID-19. Any changes will be communicated to participants as soon as possible.
  2. We will be monitoring the changing situation regularly until 18 September, which will inform our stringent risk assessment process. We will take all reasonable steps to minimise the risk of injury and ill health to all participants, staff, volunteers and our local community. We are producing various event operational plans for different scenarios, to ensure the safe running of the Walk of Life on the day.
  3. Should COVID-19 still be in general circulation in September 2021, The Forever Friends Appeal reserves the right to introduce additional participant terms & conditions that directly relate to COVID-19, the latest guidance and to ensure the safe running of the event on the basis of everyone’s safety e.g. wearing face masks etc.
  4. Participants are responsible for ensuring that they are sufficiently fit and healthy to take part in the Walk of Life. Any participant unsure of their physical ability to take part in the event must seek medical advice from their GP prior to the event day. If you are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, including a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of taste or smell, you should not attend the event (or any public facing fundraising activity in advance, as part of your sponsorship activities). You can keep up to date with the latest on the UK Government’s response to COVID-19 here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

The Event

  1. The Walk of Life is being organised for Saturday 18th September 2021.
  2. The Forever Friends Appeal reserves the right to make necessary changes or cancel this event at any time, in light of unforeseen circumstances. Participants will be notified as soon as possible.
  3. Only registered participants are eligible to take part in the event and receive the event’s associated benefits (refreshments, medals etc.).
  4. The Walk of Life is not a race. It is set-up for the speed of walkers and is not equipped for running participants.
  5. Participants understand that the mileage for the marathon and afternoon walk is approximate and may vary when using your own distance tracker/app/watch on the day.
  6. Participants must understand that the marathon and afternoon walk are strenuous, physical events and if unsure of their suitability to enter, they are advised to seek medical advice before taking part.
  7. Participants must train properly in the lead up to the event, ensuring they are of a good fitness level and able to walk at the average speed of 3.5 miles per hour.
  8. The Forever Friends Appeal advise participants who are taking any form of medication prior to the walk to seek advice from a medical practitioner to be sure that their health will not be affected by this physical activity.
  9. 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 walk. This can be done at point of registration. See point
  10. Participants must notify the event organisers of any condition which makes them unfit to participate during the event, so that assistance can be requested from qualified persons.
  11. First Aid cover is provided through St John Ambulance and by taking part in the event, you consent to receiving medical treatment administered by medical personnel at the event if needed.
  12. This medical cover begins at 8am until 7.30pm on Saturday 18 September 2021. After this time, all participants agree and understand that the said First Aid cover will cease to be provided and will therefore either be required to end their participation in the event, or continue at their own risk.
  13. The Forever Friends Appeal has taken/will take all reasonable precautions to ensure all participants safety on the walk.
  14. Any participant who is unable to take part in the event should notify The Forever Friends Appeal as soon as possible.
  15. The Forever Friends Appeal reserve the right to refuse entry to the event, if for whatever reason we consider a person unfit to take part. We may also ask you to withdraw during the event if we have concerns about your ability to complete it due to fitness, injury or otherwise. If you choose to continue you do so with the understanding that you are no longer considered a participant of the event and that you absolve us of all and any responsibility, and progress entirely at your own risk.
  16. All participants enter the Walk of Life 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 Walk of Life.

Registration & Fundraising

  1. There is a standard £15 entry fee for all participants (£10 for early bird places, which close on 31st January 2021).
  2. The entry fee is non-refundable.
  3. Entry is personal to participants and cannot be transferred to anyone else.
  4. All participants must complete online entry, or complete and sign a paper entry form to register. Only registered participants are eligible to take part in the event and receive the benefits (refreshments, medals etc.) associated on the day.
  5. Places are limited and may sell out in advance, otherwise entry will close on Wednesday 15th September 2021 at 12midday.
  6. Upon completion of registration, a fundraising pack and sponsorship forms will be sent as soon as possible, unless otherwise advised.
  7. The Forever Friends Appeal may choose to offer discounted rates as part of promotional offers and reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any time.
  8. The suggested minimum sponsorship is £100. Participants must endeavour to raise this to the best of their ability.
  9. Additional fundraising activities in connection to the event are carried out at the participants own risk.
  10. Sponsorship must be raised for The Forever Friends Appeal’s charitable purposes.
  11. Participants must raise funds for The Forever Friends Appeal – entry is not permitted to support another charity.
  12. Any money raised from the event must be paid to The Forever Friends Appeal within 8 weeks of the event taking place and will be used for charitable purposes. Money pledged 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 any previous participation in events benefitting The Forever Friends Appeal, or a failure to notify us if you are unable to attend a previous event, may result in your entry being refused or cancelled.

Age Restrictions

  1. The Marathon 26.2 mile walk is restricted to participants aged 16 and over. In exceptional circumstances, and where permission and relevant evidence is provided by a parent/guardian, The Forever Friends Appeal may grant entry to those under this age. Please contact the event organiser Laura Pearce (laurapearce1@nhs.net / 01225 821535) to discuss prior to registering.
  2. The afternoon 10 mile walk has no age restriction.
  3. Everyone taking part must be registered, including children.
  4. Any participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied by another registered participant aged 18 or over.
  5. By registering participants under 18, where you are not the participant’s parent or legal guardian, you confirm that the relevant parental or legal guardian’s permission has been obtained.

Conduct

  1. Each participant is responsible for his/her own conduct and must not undertake any action that may cause injury or harm of any type to themselves or anyone else.
  2. Participants must remain vigilant and respect other canal towpath users and local residents and abide by any rules or instructions given on the day by the Event Team or volunteers.
  3. We respectfully ask that you do not use aggressive or abusive language and that you refrain from drinking alcohol and/or behaving in a way which may cause injury or harm to yourself and others, or which may cause offence or damage the reputation of the charity.
  4. All participants must use the litter and recycling facilities available within the start and finish areas and at the refreshment points. Please do not drop litter but carry if with you until you are able to dispose of it correctly.
  5. Well-behaved dogs are permitted at the event however must be kept on a lead at all times.
  6. Participants are responsible for ensuring that they are wearing appropriate clothing and footwear when participating in the Event, taking into account the nature of the event, the weather forecast and the terrain of the route.
  7. We reserve the right to ask participants and supporters to leave the event if they do not adhere to these terms and conditions, and no refunds shall be given in these circumstances.

Use of personal data

  1. By providing personal data when you register for the Walk of Life, you confirm that you consent to such data being used by us for the purposes of organising and administering the Walk of Life, and 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. 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.
  2. All participants full name, telephone number, medical information and emergency contact information will be securely given to St John Ambulance, for the sole purpose of administering the Walk of Life on the day. They will only reference your information, should you need medical attention at the event. No other data will be shared with St John Ambulance, or any other organisation.
  3. Your personal information may also be used for the purposes of sending communications to you, where you have confirmed that you would like to receive further information about the charity’s work when registering for the Walk of Life.
  4. 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: foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/privacy-policy

Filming & Photography

  1. By taking part or attending the event, all participants confirm they are happy for any photographs, video footage or stills taken during their participation in Walk of Life to be used by The Forever Friends Appeal to publicise the event and/or other fundraising purposes including but not limited to, advertising, publications, marketing material and any other documents that may be made available to the public.
  2. If you provide photographs or videos taken during the event to The Forever Friends Appeal, or post or tag on the charity’s social media accounts, you agree that these may be used by The Forever Friends Appeal for fundraising purposes. By sending such photographs or videos to us, you are also confirming that anyone featuring prominently in any such photograph has consented to their image being used in this way.
  3. If you do not want your image to be used please email ruh-tr.fundraising@nhs.net.

Other

  1. The Forever Friends Appeal reserves the right to refuse any walkers participation in the event at any time, if they breach the above Terms & Conditions set out.

How much is the entry fee?

It’s £15 per person – this includes registrations for under 18’s.

What happens if I can’t raise the suggested minimum sponsorship of £100?

Although we want you to raise as much as possible, it is only a suggested sponsorship level.  We won’t mind if you don’t quite reach the full amount, but please try as best as you can –the more you raise, the more you will support patients.

Can you help me with any advice on raising as much money as possible?

When you complete registration, we will send you a Walk of Life fundraising pack full of lots of fundraising hints and advice, as well as some walking tips. We are happy to help and answer any questions you may have, so just give the Events Team a call/email! Details will be within the pack.

Is the Walk of Life women only?

Definitely not!  We have lots of men take part each year.

Are there any age restrictions?

Yes. The walking marathon (26.2 miles approx.) and morning walk (16 miles approximately) is restricted to participants aged 13 and over. The afternoon walk (10 mile approx.) is restricted to participants aged 10 and over. In exceptional circumstances, and where permission and relevant evidence is provided by a parent/guardian, we may grant entry to those under this age. Please contact the event organiser Laura Pearce (laurapearce1@nhs.net / 01225 821535) to discuss, prior to registering.

Any participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult (age 18+) at all times. The participant under the age of 18 and the guardian must both register for the event, for the same distance and by completing registration, the parent/guardian agrees to the Walk of Life Terms and Conditions for the child’s participation.

How far is the walk?

*Please be aware that all mileage is approximate and has been measured on several occasions, in different ways by our Events Team. Distance will vary slightly, depending on the app/watch/other technology you are using to track your distance.*

The full marathon walk from Bishops Cannings to Bath is 26.2 miles. The morning walk from Bishops Cannings to Bradford on Avon is 16 miles.  The afternoon section from Bradford on Avon to Bath is 10 miles.

Do I need to train?

Yes. It does not matter if you are an experienced walker or have never done anything like this before, as long as you put in the training. It is designed to be challenging but achievable if you’ve prepared well.

When and where does the walk start?

For the full walking marathon and morning walk, you will need to arrive at The Crown Inn, Bishops Cannings by 7.30am to attend our Welcome Briefing and fun warm up. We’ll then set you off from 8am. For the afternoon 10 mile walk, you will need to arrive in Victory Field, Bradford on Avon by 12.30pm to attend our Welcome Briefing and fun warm up. We’ll then set you off from 1pm. Please note these timings are subject to change and we may need to introduce a staggered start, depending on final numbers. We will let you know final details in a dedicated walk mailing a few weeks before the event takes place.

How long is the walk expected to take?

It really depends on your fitness levels.  From our seven years’ experience, some people complete the full 26.2 miles by 2.30pm, others don’t finish until 6.30pm.

Will there be toilets along the way?

Yes! We will be arranging for our walkers to be able to access a number of toilets along the way, particular within pubs along the towpath. There are also a number of public toilets. You will be sent a Walker Pack a month or so before the event, which will include a map detailing where these will be.

What about water and food on the day?

Please bring your own water bottle that we can refill for you throughout the day. There will not be individual single-use plastic bottles We also recommend you bring any snacks you’ve tried and tested beforehand. There will be a number of GoodNess stops along the route with goodies (flapjacks, fruit etc.) and plenty of water so that you can fill up your water bottle. At our lunchtime base in Bradford on Avon, we hope to have a BBQ, or you’re more than welcome to bring along a picnic. Further details about this will be sent out with your Walk Pack, a month or so before the event.

Can I form a team for the walk?

 Absolutely!  We have a Team Entry option which is new this year. Team entry is open to groups of 4 or more and you can take part with friends and family, colleagues or any other type of group.

Will my friends and family be able to come and cheer me over the finish line?

Yes of course – the more the merrier!  The morning walk finish line is in Victory Fields, Bradford on Avon and the marathon and afternoon walk finish line is at the Holburne Museum in Bath.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are welcome but we ask that they are kept on a lead at all times. Owners are responsible for keeping their dogs under control and bringing doggy bags!

How will I get home at the end of the walk?

We would suggest that you ask a friend or family member to come and collect you – and of course cheer you over the finishing line at the same time!  If you need advice on train and bus schedules, just give us a call and we’ll help you find all the information you need.

Am I required to have health insurance?

We recommend personal health insurance for each participant and/or seek professional medical advice, particularly if you have any concerns with regards to the challenge. Our medical team can only provide basic first aid services. All walkers must agree to the Walk of Life Terms and Conditions before they will be allowed on the walk.

If I don’t want to take part in the event can I volunteer to help instead?

Yes please! We are always looking for volunteers to help marshal the route or help out at our GoodNess stops. Please give the Events Team a call on 01225 821535 / laurapearce1@nhs.net to have a chat.

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

This beautiful walk was created with and in memory of a wonderful lady, Vanessa Kyte, who passed away from cancer in 2007.  Every year, Vanessa’s family and friends love seeing the Walk grow and help raise even more funds for the cause that was so close to Vanessa’s heart. You can read Vanessa’s story here.

Don’t fancy walking? why not help volunteer at the Walk of Life

Read our event news

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