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Walk of Life

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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Robin Smith Ward team up to walk marathon

More than 30 staff members at the Royal United Hospitals Bath are getting ready to walk 26.2 miles throughout September to raise funds for the hospital.

Colleagues from both Robin Smith ward and the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) and Brownsword Therapies Centre are taking part in My Walk of Life Marathon, a virtual walking event organised by The Forever Friends Appeal. The teams include nurses, cleaners, senior sisters, healthcare assistants and administrative staff.

The aim is to walk 26.2 miles during September and there’s still time for people to sign up and join hundreds of other walkers who are taking part in their own way.

The Robin Smith team is captained by Sam Rye, Senior Sister, who said: “Each and every day we spend so much time on our feet walking to various wards and departments at the hospital and to and from patients. Therefore we have decided to take on the challenge of walking a marathon by recording the distances we walk in a shift.”

The team is hoping to raise enough money to transform Robin Smith ward’s patient day room to provide a positive and therapeutic space which will enhance patients’ recovery.

Team RNHRD is looking to give the courtyard garden in their outpatients department a revamp. Their captain, Andrea Ferreira, Senior Sister for Rheumatology, said: “At the moment the garden looks a little sad. It would be lovely to have some greenery and make the courtyard prettier for patients to look out on while they are waiting for their appointments.”

Karlie Evans, Events and Community Officer said: “It’s so wonderful to see so many RUH staff sign up and I hope it 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 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 by funding projects and medical equipment that make a real difference to our patients and their families. Participants are also welcome to support a particular ward, department or appeal if they wish.

To make your steps 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.mywalkoflifemarathon.co.uk.

If you are unable to take part in the event this year, please consider making a donation to the RUH staff teams. Each member of the teams is raising £100 – you can find them on the website above.

 

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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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