Bath: John Cleese launches Walk of Life 2014

20 November 2013, 13:41 | Updated: 20 November 2013, 14:09

John Cleese at RUH's Walk of Life launch

British actor and comedian John Cleese, re-visited the Royal United Hospital to help launch The Forever Friends Appeal’s 2014 Walk of Life.

This 21 mile walk along the Kennet and Avon canal between Devizes and Bath takes place every year in May and raises significant funds for Cancer Care at the RUH. The date for 2014 has been set as Saturday 17th May and people are being encouraged to sign up early, so they can start kick start their training and fundraising.

Over 225 people took part in the 2013 Walk of Life. Many took on the full 21 mile challenge, whilst others chose to walk 12 miles in the morning from Devizes to Bradford-On-Avon or 9 miles in the afternoon from Bradford-On-Avon to Bath. The total raised so far is a staggering £38,000 for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. 

May 2014 will see the Appeal organising the seventh annual Walk of Life event, which was created in 2008 in memory of Vanessa Kyte – a truly inspirational mum, daughter, sister, wife and friend who was diagnosed with cancer in the year 2000. Seven years on, Vanessa passed away at her home in Rudge with her family around her. 

Whilst re-visiting the hospital to see the Gamma-CT Scanner, funded through The Forever Friends Appeal, John met both Nic Noble and Diane Young, {pictured above} Vanessa’s sister and mother from Warminster.

Nic Noble comments:

“Vanessa was an extremely motivated fundraiser who was determined to raise as much as she could for Cancer Care. Along with our family and friends, we are therefore keen to continue with Ness’s fundraising spirit and do everything we can to help The Forever Friends Appeal charity raise funds towards the build of this much needed new Cancer Centre. We are just so thrilled that John Cleese was able to help us launch the date for next year’s Walk in May – and that 2014 will see even more people sign up to take on this fabulous challenge.”

This positive walk to celebrate life sets off from Devizes Wharf, heads along the Kennet and Avon canal through Bradford-On-Avon and finishes just off the canal pathway in Sydney Gardens, Bath. Walkers can choose to walk 9, 12 or 21 miles and are encouraged to raise sponsorship to go towards a pioneering new Cancer Centre.

One in three people are affected by cancer and everyday lives are changed by this disease. The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5million towards the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre. This Cancer Centre will be a state of the art building, with every part designed around the needs of patients with different forms of cancer.  It will transform care for patients and their families at the RUH.

Open to both men and women, entry to the 2014 Walk of Life is just £15.  Events & Community Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Jo Hones, comments: 

“We will also be launching a Walk of Life Corporate Challenge which is new for 2014.  It will be the perfect opportunity for companies to enter teams of staff, colleagues, clients, suppliers, friends and family. It will be a great team building and fundraising opportunity, so keep your eyes peeled on our website for more information coming soon.” 

Volunteer marshals are located on various locations along the Walk of Life route – handing out water, refreshments and encouragement.  Please contact the Appeal if you would like to volunteer your time to help marshal at the event.

To sign up for the 2014 Walk of Life, download an entry form from or call the events team on 01225 825823 for more information.