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Make every step count for patients this September

A charity ambassador and dedicated fundraiser is getting ready to walk 26.2 miles throughout September to raise funds for the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Nicola Noble, from Warminster, is taking part in the My Walk of Life Marathon, a virtual walking event organised by The Forever Friends Appeal. The aim is to walk 26.2 miles during September and there’s still time to sign up and join hundreds of other walkers taking part in their own way.

Nicola will walk in memory of her sister Vanessa Kyte who sadly passed away on 15 November 2007, seven years after first being diagnosed with breast cancer, which soon developed into secondary lung cancer and brain tumours.

Nicola said, “My family and I have been supporting the Forever Friends Appeal for over 10 years. Ness and I helped set up the very first organised sponsored walk for the charity. I will be donating my sponsorship towards the charity’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign for the Dyson Cancer Centre because we want to help make a difference to future patients living with and beyond cancer – a cause my sister Ness was so passionate about before she passed away.

“This cancer centre has been my motivation and I’m looking forward to taking on this year’s My Walk of Life Marathon event so if you haven’t signed up yet, please do – take part with your friends or family it’s a rewarding challenge to do. Or if walking is not your thing, please sponsor someone who is taking part as your donation will help make a difference. Thank you.”

Laura Cherry, Events and Community Coordinator said: “We are grateful to have Nic’s support and we hope her story inspires others to take part.

“It’s been the most challenging year the NHS has ever faced and because of the pandemic and ongoing restrictions, we had to cancel our beloved Walk of Life canal walk, at a time when support at the RUH has been needed most.

“To make sure people can still walk and help the hospital this year, we have turned it into a month long virtual walking event. It’s completely up to you how you decide to complete the 26.2 mile challenge, you can do it your own way over 30 days. Why not take this opportunity to get out and discover the great outdoors like Nic or tot up your miles in your own home or garden.”

By taking part in this virtual walking event for The Forever Friends Appeal, the charity will be able to continue to support the staff beyond the coronavirus crisis and fund projects and medical equipment that make a real difference to our patients and families. Participants are also welcome to support a particular ward, department or appeal if they wish.

To make your step count for RUH staff and patients sign up to the My Walk of Life Marathon today. It’s free to register and if you raise £100 by 30 September you will receive a medal. For more information visit: www.my walkoflifemarathon.co.uk.

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Covid-19 Appeal funds support for RUH staff and patients

Staff and patients at the Royal United Hospitals Bath are to benefit from a generous grant from NHS Charities Together.

NHS Charities Together is the umbrella organisation of all NHS charities, which shot to prominence when Captain Sir Tom Moore raised more than £32 million for it.

The RUH’s charity The Forever Friends Appeal has received a further grant of £50,000. It will be used to provide mental health support, outdoor seating for staff and visitors and support for patients who are living with dementia.

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We would like to thank the public who donated to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 urgent appeal. Thanks to peoples’ generosity we can provide the immediate support and meet the practical needs of our staff and patients in the weeks and months to come.

“Our frontline colleagues have been through a really demanding time. They’ve shown resilience, strength and spirit over the past few months, and now’s the time to give them the support they need to recover, take respite and prepare as we head towards winter.”

The mental health support will ensure teams that have been affected by COVID-19 are invited to attend debriefing sessions, called ‘Pause Days’. These sessions will be run by psychological therapists and have proven to be effective in aiding mental health recovery following exposure to a period of time that has been traumatic and stressful.

Entertainment for patients living with dementia will now be funded – items such as DAB radios, Bluetooth speakers and listening devices for the hard of hearing will be provided, helping to reduce anxiety and loneliness and having a positive effect on their mental wellbeing

The funding will be used to provide more outdoor seating so staff can sit, relax and reflect during busy shifts and teams can meet while social distancing. The additional seating will also be a welcome addition for staff forums such the LGBT+ and Allies and equal abilities groups to get together.

Rhyannon said: “The public’s generosity means that these fantastic projects are now being put in place for our staff and patients. We are still responding to the new challenges of COVID-19 and we continue to fundraise to provide the necessary support for our hospital.”

In total the Forever Friends Appeal has received £123,000 of restricted funding from NHS Charities Together specifically for projects related to COVID-19.

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Ted’s Big Day Out is back

Schools, nurseries and youth organisations in Bath, Wiltshire and Somerset are invited to take part in Ted’s Big Day Out on 18 October to help raise funds for Children’s Therapies at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath.

Big Ted, our loveable mascot is making a come back this year to help us celebrate our 20th anniversary. He will also be making a few special guest appearances on the day to join in with the fundraising activities.

Lauren Noble, Senior Community Fundraiser said:

“The aim is to raise money to fund specialist children’s equipment, such as educational and therapy toys for the hospital’s Children’s Therapies department and Children’s Centre.

“We have had a number of schools and nurseries sign up which is great and we would like to extend our invitation to brownies, guides, scouts and other youth groups to sign up and take part.

“This year’s theme is ‘celebrate your way’ – so it’s up to you whether you organise a fancy dress day, wear a silly hat, have a teddy bears picnic or do something else in exchange for a suggested £1 donation per pupil, whilst having fun along the way.”

Patients like Henry Latchem, aged six who is treated at the RUH will be one of the patients to benefit from the funds raised by Ted’s Big Day Out. Henry has cerebral palsy which affects the coordination and his muscles, particularly in his lower body and legs.

Emily Graham, Head of Children’s Therapies at the Royal United Hospitals Bath said:

“Henry’s a bubbly little boy and tries very hard in his physiotherapy sessions, which he’s been having at the RUH since he was 11 months old.

“Henry needs to use specialist seating, standing and mobility equipment and has a walking frame so he can play with his friends and move at school. The hospital is currently looking at different styles of walking frames to best suit Henry to promote improvement in his mobility skills and balance.

“This is why donations from Ted’s Big Day Out are so important as we will be able to purchase an extended range of toys and equipment to make children’s’ experience of therapy sessions more enjoyable. They will also enhance our assessments so we can ensure children like Henry have the right equipment to help them play and move around.”

To sign up your school or youth group please click here or call 01225 824013.

You will receive a free fundraising pack and the first 10 organisations to sign up will receive a visit from Big Ted.

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