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Walkers step out in their hundreds for the Walk of Life

More than 300 walkers lined the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath on Saturday as part of The Forever Friends Appeal’s annual Walk of Life, proudly sponsored by Kier Construction.

Walkers set off from DevizesWharf at 9am, with many people completing the 21 miles to Bath, while others chose to walk 12 miles from Devizes to Bradford on Avon, or 9 miles in the afternoon from Bradford on Avon to finish on the front lawns of the beautiful Holburne Museum in Bath.

The Walk of Life’s eighth year saw hundreds of walkers sign up from across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire. The majority of people chose to raise money for a pioneering new Cancer Centre at Royal United Hospital in Bath, with others supporting various wards and departments at the hospital. Many people also took part in the Walk with family and friends to celebrate the lives and memories of their loved ones.

The Walk of Life was created with and in memory of Vanessa Kyte from Rudge, near Frome who lost her life in November 2007 having lived with cancer for seven years. Vanessa’s Kyte’s sister, Nicola Noble from Warminster, led this year’s Walk before walking the entire 21 miles to Bath. Nicola has been involved with the walk since it started in 2008 and both her and Vanessa’s mother Dianne Young, are determined to help turn Vanessa’s dream of a new Cancer Centre for the hospital into reality.

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 £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.

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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 was Kier’s second year of sponsoring the event.

David Snell, Director of Kier Construction said:  “As a local employer with staff resident in the Bath area, we are pleased to once again lend our support to The Forever Friends Appeal and their current fund raising campaign.  Staff from our Bristol office were pleased to take part in the 2015 Walk of Life with a large group of Corporate Challenge walkers and a number of volunteer marshals from our Graduate Training Team along the route.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with the charity in 2016.”

Events & Community Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Emily Lynch, comments:  “This year’s Walk of Life was such a great success – perhaps the best yet! We are extremely indebted to Kier Construction who for the second year have gone above and beyond to provide the Appeal with incredible support on this year’s event. We’re also grateful to the Holburne Museum for providing our walkers with such a beautiful and unique finishing location.  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 £40,000. The walk is just going to grow next year.”

To find out more about the Walk of Life and how you can get involved next year, please visit www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk or call the events team on 01225 821535 for more information.

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