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