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Hundreds to take part in charity walks 10th anniversary

More than 300 walkers will line the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath this Saturday 14th May, as part of The Forever Friends Appeal’s annual Walk of Life, proudly sponsored by Kier Construction.

The Walk of Life is a positive walk to celebrate life. Hundreds of walkers will set off from Devizes Wharf this Saturday at 9am, with many people choosing to complete the full 21 miles to Bath, others opting to walk 12 miles from Devizes to Bradford on Avon, and some 9 miles in the afternoon from Bradford on Avon, to finish in Bath’s Sydney Gardens. The majority of people are taking part to raise money for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, while others will walk in support of various wards and departments at the hospital. Many people will take part in the Walk with family and friends to celebrate the lives and memories of their loved ones.

This year the Walk of Life is proud to celebrate its 10th Anniversary. The Walk was started in 2006 by sisters Vanessa Kyte and Nicola Noble and was originally an epic 80 mile walk around the RUH Catchment area, known as “March Miles”. The sisters started the Walk with staff at the Appeal to raise money for a new Cancer Centre at the RUH. Vanessa sadly lost her life in November 2007 having lived with cancer for seven years and Nicola has continued taking part in the event every year in her memory, which has now evolved into the “Walk of Life”.

To celebrate 10 years since the Walk first started and to raise funds for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, Nicola has been extremely this week, recreating the very first 80 mile walk around the RUH Catchment area that she and Vanessa first started back in 2006. Nicola and her beloved dog “Flo” set off from Devizes last Monday 9th May to walk a total of 80 miles between Chippenham, Bath, Radstock, Warminster and will finish back in Devizes on Friday 13th May. This Saturday 14th May, Nic and Flo will complete a final 21 mile walk by taking part in the Appeal’s annual Walk of Life – taking them to over 100 miles in 6 days!

On their 80 mile “Go With the Flo” Walk this week, Nic and Flo have been met by lots of friends and family on their way, and have even bumped into HRH The Duchess of Cornwall on their route, whose dog “Beth” looked very similar to Flo herself! HRH who has support The Forever Friends Appeal in the past, was kind enough to stop and talk to Nic and wished the pair the very best of luck on the rest of their journey!

Events & Community Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Emily Lynch, comments:  “We are so grateful to the hundreds of Walkers who have already signed up for the Walk of Life’s 10th anniversary – it’s going to be our best year yet! Together with staff at the Appeal, we are all so proud of Nic Noble and her dog Flo for taking on their epic 100 mile challenge around Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire, which will raise much needed funds and awareness for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. Raising money for a new state of the art Cancer Centre was the reason the Walk began 10 years ago and continues to be the driving force behind continuing the event every year.”

One in two people are affected by cancer and everyday lives are changed by this disease.  The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising a minimum of £8.5million towards the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre.  This Cancer Centre will be a state-of-the-art building, with every part designed around the needs of patients with different forms of cancer.  It will transform care for patients and their families at Bath’s Royal United Hospital.  The Appeal have currently raised an incredible £7.2 million and have another £1.3 to go until they reach their minimum target of £8.5 million.

Walk of Life sponsors, Kier Construction, are pleased to be working in partnership with the RUH Bath NHS Trust on the redevelopment of the hospital site. This is now Kier’s third year of sponsoring the event.

Emily continues, “We are extremely indebted to Kier Construction who for the third year have gone above and beyond to provide the Appeal with incredible support with the event, which this year includes a special BBQ at our lunch time stop in Bradford on Avon’s Victory Field. With so many walkers taking part to raise money for the hospital this year, we’re hoping to smash last year’s fundraising total of £35,000. The walk is just going to keep growing!”

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