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Walk of Life

Hospital charity’s popular fundraising walk goes virtual

The Forever Friends Appeal is calling on supporters to sign up and take part in its virtual walking event, called My Walk of Life Marathon. It takes place throughout September and aims to raise much-needed funds for the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Like many organisations the charity has postponed and moved some of its events online because of the timing of the pandemic, social distancing and the strict restrictions on mass gatherings. Therefore this virtual event replaces the charity’s annual Walk of Life flagship fundraiser, which couldn’t be staged this year.

Laura Pearce, Events & Community Manager said:

“We have missed seeing our supporters take to the canal path this year but we hope by changing our physical walk to a virtual event instead, everyone taking part will feel connected, even though we can’t be together.

“It’s completely up to you how you decide to complete the 26.2 mile challenge, it’s your walk, and you can do it your way over 30 days. Take this opportunity to get out and discover the great outdoors or tot up your miles in your own home or garden – just ensure you comply with the social distancing rules.

“This event is interactive as when you sign up you create your fundraising page and set your target. You will then be able to share your page with friends, family and colleagues and see the other participants’ progress. You can also log your miles or track them by linking to Strava.

“By taking part in this challenge you will be helping us provide the rapid funding needed to support our staff, patients and their families. If you cherish our NHS you can make a difference locally by signing up and taking part in My Walk of Life Marathon.”

For 13 years the charity’s much-loved annual Walk of Life has seen thousands of people from all over Bath, Wiltshire and Swindon take to the towpath between Bishop Cannings and Bath to complete a sponsored walk, raising money for major campaigns and wards and departments at the RUH.

With this year being so different for all of us, your continued support for The Forever Friends Appeal will mean that the charity will be able to provide funding for the hospital’s wards and departments and towards its major campaigns and appeals such as the Dyson Cancer Centre and Speech Therapy Appeal. Participants can also choose to donate their sponsorship to a particular ward if they wish.

If you would like to make your step count for RUH staff and patients, sign up to the My Walk of Life Marathon today. Registration is free 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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Book your place on the Walk of Life 2020

Early bird places are now available for the popular sponsored canal walk, the Walk of Life, which will take place on Saturday 16 May 2020. Until Monday 2 December, people can book their place at a discounted rate for just £20.

The Walk of Life takes place along the Kennet and Avon Canal and is organised by the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH) charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. People can choose to walk one of three distances, 10, 16 or the marathon 26.2 mile walk from Bishops Cannings near Devizes to the Holburne Museum in Bath.

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“The Walk of Life is all about coming together to support our local hospital, the RUH. You may decide to walk in memory of a loved one, take part to thank staff, to show your support for someone receiving treatment, or simply to take on the challenge. Whichever your reason, every step you take will make a huge difference to patients.

“Michael Eavis CBE will officially start the Walk of Life in Bishops Cannings, where the marathon walk and 16 mile morning walk begins, a new walking distance for 2020. The marathon walking route passes through Bradford on Avon, where the morning walkers finish and the afternoon 10 mile walkers join, before heading to Bath.”

“So why not do something amazing and book your place today – your support will help us continue to fund additional specialist medical equipment, improve the hospital’s environment and support life-changing research and innovations that go above and beyond what NHS funding can provide.”

An incredible £100,000 was raised from this year’s Walk of Life, benefitting a variety of wards and departments at the RUH.

The Walk of Life is open to both men and women and you can choose to support any area of the RUH that is close to your heart, alternatively sponsorship will go where it is needed most to benefit patients.

You can enter as an individual or as a team of four or more, and you will receive fundraising and training support, a t-shirt, refreshments and snacks on the day and a medal on completion.

The Walk of Life began over a decade ago when it was created with and in memory of Vanessa Kyte, who passed away in 2007. Since then, thousands of people from all across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire have stepped out along the towpath to support patients and families.

Kier Construction, MJ Church and Savills are proudly sponsoring next year’s Walk of Life event.

To book your place or team’s place click here

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Michael Eavis is 2018 Walk of Life Ambassador

We’re delighted to announce Michael Eavis CBE as Ambassador for our 2018 Walk of Life. He will officially mark the start of the Walk of Life event, a 26.2-mile walking marathon that will take place on 12 May 2018. People are encouraged to sign up now to take part.

Michael Eavis at the RUH

The Walk of Life is an annual event which starts at The Crown Inn, Bishops Cannings and follows the the Kennet and Avon canal, finishing in Bath. There is also an option for people to take part in the afternoon and walk the 10 miles from Bradford-On-Avon to Bath.

It was created with and in memory of Vanessa Kyte, who passed away from cancer in 2007.  Every year, Vanessa’s family and friends love seeing the Walk grow and help raise even more funds for the cause that was so close to Vanessa’s heart.

This year, 500 people from across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire took part and raised funds for the Appeal and a record amount was raised, over £130,000 by individuals and corporate sponsorship for the Appeal’s major fundraising campaigns and RUH wards.

Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“The Walk of Life is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the life and memories of your loved ones. We were overwhelmed by the incredible amount raised this year and are extremely grateful to everyone for their support and making it a sellout.

“We are thrilled to have Michael join us as he is a big supporter of ours and he gave our walkers a great send-off this year. We are really looking forward to next year’s event as it’s one of the Appeal’s highlights in our event calendar.

“Fundraising for the RUH and its patients is vital and the funds are going towards the build of our new Cancer Centre, the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre as well as other departments in the RUH.”

To celebrate the success of this year’s Walk of Life event, we invited Michael to come and meet James Scott, RUH Chief Executive and staff.

Places for the 2017 Walk of Life sold out months before the event, so to avoid disappointment, interested walkers are invited to sign up as soon as possible..

General entry places and Corporate Challenge places for business teams for the Walk of Life cost £20 and everyone who signs up will receive a t-shirt, medal and refreshments along the way.  Sign up today

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