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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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Hospital ward teams up for My Walk of Life Marathon

Staff members from the neurology ward at the Royal United Hospitals Bath have teamed up for the My Walk of Life Marathon, a virtual walking event organised by the hospital’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal.

Doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, clinical nurse specialists and administrative staff from Helena Ward are clocking up 26.2 miles of walking during September.

Rosie Lloyd, a Senior Sister on the Helena Ward said: “We have decided to take on the challenge of walking a marathon by capturing our steps during our busy shifts to raise some money to improve patient experience on Helena ward.

“We would like to put the funds towards an outdoor area for Neurology patients to enjoy, either for therapy sessions or for them to spend time with their families during visiting. Neurology patients often have a longer stay in hospital than other patients so having an outdoor area for them would aid their recovery and have a positive impact on their physical and emotional wellbeing.

“Each member of our team is hoping to raise £100. So please help spread the word and support us with a donation if you can.”

Helena ward cares for patients like Ed Jackson, former professional rugby player who sustained a spinal cord injury in an accident which left him paralysed and was told that he may never walk again. After dedicating himself to intensive recovery and rehabilitation at three hospitals, including Helena Ward, Ed is not only walking, but climbing mountains and raising thousands of pounds for charities, including The Forever Friends Appeal.

Ed said:  “The incredible people of the NHS saved my life and got me back on my feet and this wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

Karlie Evans, Events and Community Officer said: “It’s great to see another ward signing up, and it’s not too late if anyone else would like to take part.

“The response to the event so far has been fantastic. More than 194 people are taking part, raising £24,595 to date, and they have covered over 2,000 miles already.

“It’s completely up to you how you decide to complete the 26.2 mile challenge by the end of September. Why not take this opportunity to get out and discover the great outdoors or tot up your miles in your own home or garden.”

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.my walkoflifemarathon.co.uk.

If you are unable to take part this year, please consider making a donation to Helena Ward – you can find them on the website above.

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Cheers! Helping our NHS heroes stay hydrated

Dedicated hydration stations are helping frontline staff at the RUH stay refreshed thanks to funds raised in response to COVID-19.

The stations which look like small fridges have been installed across the hospital, there is now one on every ward. Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising said:

“It might seem simple but we all know it’s important to stay hydrated. Our staff are constantly reminding our patients to drink fluids but the message is also important for them too.

“It has been difficult for our staff to have easy access to a cold drink on our wards and during the summer it gets very warm in the hospital. They also have the added pressure of wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) throughout their shifts so it’s important that our clinical colleagues stay hydrated.

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors and an NHS charities together grant the new hydration stations are making a big difference to staff. We’ve also been able to provide thousands of reusable water bottles for our colleagues. They can label the bottles with their name and keep a cold drink in the hydration station throughout their shift.”

According to the NHS website it states that it’s important to drink enough fluids. In climates such as the UK’s, we should drink about 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated.

Since the roll out of the hydration stations, there has been an overwhelming response from staff. Victoria Marlow, Senior Sister on Philip Yeoman ward said:

“It’s great to have a dedicated drinks station. We really appreciate the generosity that has enabled us to have this on our ward and we all love the water bottles too. It will definitely make it easier for us all to keep hydrated, a big thank you to everyone who donated.”


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