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Dyson Cancer Centre

World Cancer Day – 4 February 2021

Today is World Cancer Day, an important day for us to highlight the positive impact our supporters are making for our patients and their families.

Since the launch of our RUH Cancer Care Campaign close to £10 million has been raised towards the Dyson Cancer Centre. This is truly astonishing and on World Cancer Day it’s a great opportunity to share with you the progress of the cancer centre build.

It’s thanks to your support that the Royal United Hospitals Bath will have a unique Cancer Centre built to serve people in our local communities who are living with cancer. The Dyson Cancer Centre will help transform the care to patients and their families by bringing the majority of the RUH’s cancer services together under one roof in a nurturing and therapeutic environment.

Because of the huge amount of fundraising support we have received for this project we are delighted to share the following news:

  • £9.8million has been raised so far for the Dyson Cancer Centre
  • Demolition work is well underway for building the new centre
  • Over the next 12 months we aim to raise £197,000 to finish off our cancer campaign to ensure the new centre is truly special in its design, facilities and equipment.


“It is really exciting to see the building work progressing. The new centre is so important for our patients, especially as COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of having a safe, spacious and modern environment for cancer treatments.”

Professor Mark Beresford, Consultant Oncologist and Clinical Lead for Oncology and Haematology at the Royal United Hospitals Bath




Thank you for your continued support in fundraising for the Dyson Cancer Centre. If you would like to find out more about the new centre please click here

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Supporter’s story: Why I support the RUH Cancer Care Campaign

The theme for this year’s #WorldCancerDay is I am and I will’ and the aim of the awareness day is to help raise awareness and inspire action.

We would like to share with you one of our supporter’s story’s. Meet Bev (pictured below on the left) she is doing all she can to help ensure those affected by cancer receive the support and care they need by supporting our Appeal and fundraising towards the Dyson Cancer Centre.  Here’s her story:

“Losing a daughter to Cervical Cancer at just 28 years old is one of the most heart-breaking things ever to happen to anyone.  My daughter Nic (pictured on the right) started her treatment at about the same time as the hospital launched their Cancer Care Appeal and she was excited to do something to help fundraise.

“What started out as a small coffee morning with her positive and enthusiastic attitude quickly turned into a daylong party in the garden which raised over £1,700. It was a day where although she was tired, she kept going, spent time with her friends and family. A day to remember and treasure in our memories. Not long afterwards she was told her cancer was terminal and it was the start of Nic encouraging me to continue fundraising after she died.

“We have done this by setting up a Tribute fund called The Nicola Robertson Forever Fund. I also chair and actively take part in a local fundraising group. Over the last 7 years since she died I have experienced things I never thought I was capable of, I’ve met some really lovely people who are now special friends and have given talks to small groups right up to a room full of people.

“We are so proud of Nic for what she achieved both in her life and after and I hope she is proud of us too.”

Thank you Bev for being so open and sharing your story with us. If you would like to find out more about our Cancer Care campaign please click here 

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Local business donates £10,000 for Dyson Cancer Centre

A generous donation of £10,000 has been made by MJ Church to the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal.

M J Church has been supporting The Forever Friends Appeal with its fundraising for the new Dyson Cancer since they lost Mark Hucklebridge, nephew, friend and colleague who sadly passed away from cancer in 2017.

Paula Church , Director at MJ Church said: “We have been fundraising for the RUH for over 15 years. It is our local hospital and it has supported many families who are connected to our business and we feel it is vital to do what we can to help support them. We know how important the new cancer centre will be to so many people.

“Instead of giving a gift to our customers this Christmas we decided to donate £10,000 to the charity’s RUH Cancer Care campaign and we would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas.”

MJ Church has been named one of the charity’s executive silver partners having raised over £150,000 for Appeal through a variety of different fundraising events, including their popular race day at Bath Racecourse – which sadly couldn’t take place this year due to the pandemic.

 Jo Common, Corporate Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “On behalf of the Appeal, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to MJ Church for their incredibly generous donation.

“Cancer is a cause that is close to the hearts of so many people, and thanks to the local community and businesses like MJ Church we will have a fantastic cancer centre which will transform care for our patients and their families.”

The Dyson Cancer Centre will be located next to the main entrance of the RUH and will bring the majority of the RUH’s cancer services, including research teams, under one roof.

If you would like more information about the Dyson Cancer Centre and make a donation towards the charity’s RUH Cancer Care campaign or to find out how your business can support The Forever Friends Appeal to benefit patients at the RUH please click here

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My Walk of Life Marathon is a great success

The first virtual walking marathon created by The Forever Friends Appeal has been a great success. During September the charity saw participants clock up 4,657 miles to raise much-needed funds for the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Thanks to the 197 people who took part in the My Walk of Life Marathon the charity has received £40,698 to help transform patient care on the hospital’s wards with some of funds also going towards the Dyson Cancer Centre and the Speech and Language Therapy Appeal.

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “I would like to thank everyone who’s taken part. You’ve really helped make a difference to our patients and their families.

“We missed seeing our supporters take to the canal path this year, however we’ve loved seeing everyone’s updates online and reading our walker’s stories about why they are walking for the RUH.

We’ve also enjoyed seeing peoples’ photos as they’ve walked the 26.2 mile distance in a day or throughout the month as they recorded their daily steps. Thank you for supporting our local hospital.”

The charity welcomed a number of teams who fundraised collectively, including staff tracking their steps to raise money for their wards and families and friends walking together virtually to raise funds in memory of a loved one.

For many of the other participants The My Walk of Life Marathon was seen as an opportunity to thank staff by raising funds because of their own personal connection with the RUH. Alan Morley, aged 70 from Bath took part to raise funds for the RUH’s cancer services.

Alan said: “Thank you to all who have sponsored me and kept me going. Since lockdown I have been walking long distances and I thought 26.2 miles in a month would be easy so I decided to walk at least a marathon each week until the end of September and I managed to walk 353 miles in total.

“My reason for doing this is because I had bowel cancer in 2009 and after surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy at the RUH I was given the all clear in August 2015. However a year later it was discovered that I had a different and rare cancer called pseudomyxoma peritonei which affects three people per million per year worldwide.

“My treatment was done at one of the two hospitals in the UK that treat this cancer, however all my ongoing diagnostic tests and oncology consultations are conducted at the RUH. So, this was my way to say thank you to the staff for looking after me for the last 11 years.”

The Forever Friends Appeal invites anyone wishing to take part in next year’s Walk of Life which will be held on Saturday 18 September 2021 to sign up here  

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Kelly’s tribute fund raises over £25k for Dyson Cancer Centre

A tribute fund that was set up in memory of a young mother who lost her battle with cancer has raised over £25,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal.

Kelly Ross was only 32 when she died in 2015, leaving Jack (11 months) and Ruby (3) behind. She had always spoken about supporting the Appeal, so her family decided to set up a personal tribute fund through the charity to fundraise towards the new Dyson Cancer Centre at the hospital.

Five years on and the family have organised and taken part in a variety of events and challenges, including football matches, raffles and running marathons to name but a few.  Earlier this year year Kelly’s daughter Ruby, now 9, organised a coffee morning in their home town of Devizes and raised £1,700.

With fundraising activities being cancelled this year Kelly’s brother Ashley with his wife Katie and brother in Law, Jason Muir, decided to take on their biggest challenge yet by attempting a non-stop version of the White Horse Trail, a 80-mile hike that links all of the White Horses in Wiltshire. Friends and family joined them for sections of the three-day trek and they were greeted at the final White Horse by Kelly’s parents, as well as Ruby and Jack.

Following the event Katie said: “From the bottom of our hearts thank you so much to everyone who has donated, joined us and sent messages of love and support. We couldn’t have done it without you all. We are all doing this for Kelly who is worth every penny, every blister, every ache and pain!”

More than £3,000 was raised from the hike, bringing the grand total raised by the tribute fund since its inception to over £25,000.  As a result the family are now Senior Partners of the charity and will see Kelly’s name in the Dyson Cancer Centre.

Jan Witt, Legacy & Tribute Manager at the Forever Friends Appeal said: “The Forever Friends Appeal relies on the wonderful generosity of families out in the community who wish to celebrate the lives of their loved ones through fundraising. Setting up a personal tribute fund really does help make a really big difference to the patients and their families who are cared for at the RUH.

“Acknowledging the Kelly Ross Tribute Fund as a Senior Family Partner is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for everything her family, friends and colleagues have done in her honour.”

To find out more about setting up a tribute fund in memory of a loved one please click here


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RUH granted planning permission for new Dyson Cancer Centre

We are delighted to hear that The Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath NHS Foundation Trust has been granted full planning permission for construction of the new Dyson Cancer Centre.

James Scott, RUH Chief Executive said: “On behalf of the community we serve, we’re delighted to reach this significant milestone. Our new world-class Centre will help transform the care we provide for patients, families and carers and provide a nurturing and therapeutic environment, reducing stress and anxiety and promoting health.

“It’s taken a huge amount of planning and preparation, working with staff and patients and our partners to get to this point.”

Scheduled to open for patients in 2023, the new Centre will be located next to the main entrance of the RUH and will bring the majority of the RUH’s cancer services, including research teams, under one roof.

Caroline Gilleece, RUH Matron and Cancer Lead Nurse said: “We are really excited by what the future holds. This will be more than just a building, it will be a therapeutic environment centred on patient care and experience, which will  also provide a fantastic place to work, so we can retain our dedicated staff and attract the very best to join us.”

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “We are delighted that the planning has been approved. It’s truly special in its design and facilities and we would like to take this opportunity to thank people for showing their support for our RUH Cancer Care Campaign.”

Cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support is investing £1.5million to create a new patient support centre called the Macmillan Wellbeing Hub which will be at the heart of the Dyson Cancer Centre.

Maggie Crowe, Macmillan Partnership Manager said: “I’m thrilled to hear we are now are one step closer to opening the doors of our new purpose-built Macmillan Wellbeing Hub. It will be a sanctuary for patients and their families inside the Dyson Cancer Centre. It will offer vital support as they go through treatment including counselling, a complementary therapy suite and overnight accommodation so that families can stay close to their loved ones.”

Work will start on site in 2020 to demolish the old Therapies block, clearing the way for construction to start on the new Dyson Cancer Centre in early 2021.  The Centre will mark the final phase of the RUH’s current Fit for the Future estates redevelopment plan, to transform the northern part of the hospital site.

In the last decade the RUH has invested heavily in its estate and infrastructure and delivered a range of new facilities, including the award winning Dyson Neonatal Care Unit, a new pharmacy at the heart of the hospital and the recent RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre.

Further demolition and landscaping work to create a ‘green heart’, a purpose designed garden area for the hospital, will take place once the Dyson Cancer Centre is open.

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Trekking Everest for the Dyson Cancer Centre

Thanks to Penny Slayton’s determination to show support for our RUH Cancer Campaign, she’s raised more than £1,500 for the new Dyson Cancer Centre.

She said: “I got the fundraising bug in 2017 after completing a wing walk. I decided that my next adventure was a trek to Everest base camp to raise more funds. I started training, gradually increasing distance, time and backpack weight. I trekked with eight others including Australians, Americans, Canadians, and five Sherpas. The Sherpas were fantastic; they were great company and looked after us all amazingly.

“There were so many highlights – climbing Kala Patthar at 18,000ft to watch the sun set over Everest was just magical, camping in minus 12 degrees and waking up with frosty eyelashes, and hearing the boom of the avalanches. Also flying into Lukla, the world’s most dangerous airport, with the Himalayan peaks above the helicopter, and walking along the valleys with helicopters flying below you. The scale of the place is mind-blowing!

“The biggest challenge of all was the altitude. You feel your body working harder to compensate for the lack of oxygen – it wasn’t a nice feeling. Walking on the narrow track got tricky especially when a convoy of yaks came towards us. And the loos, well there’s no further explanation needed!

“It’s great to know that the money I’ve raised will help future patients. I was diagnosed with cancer in June 2012 and this amount is a little gesture to say thanks to the incredibly caring, supportive and professional team at the RUH.”

Thank you Penny for taking your steps for the RUH.

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