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Welcome and thank you for your interest in The Friends of the Royal United Hospital.

We are a family of volunteers, ex-volunteers and a number of paid staff, all working together to provide support to the patients and staff of the RUH in Bath.

A short history of The Friends of the RUH

The organisation was created in 1957 as a group of volunteers who wanted to dedicate their spare time to help the hospital.  One of the founder members was Margaret Berry (Dame Mary Berry’s mother). Since then we have evolved our services and now provide the Friends of the RUH Shop and The Café at B18, as well as assisting on the wards and public spaces, and, tending to the hospital’s gardens. 

FRUH is an independent organisation; it is not a department of the hospital.  We are governed by the Charity Commission, and we hold Charitable Incorporated Organisation status.

As a Charity we have to have a specific formal purpose, which is:

‘To preserve and protect the health of patients of the Royal United Hospitals Bath by providing and assisting in the provision of facilities, support services, and equipment not normally provided by the statutory authorities.

The Royal United Hospital Bath is sole beneficiary of the funds we raise.

The charity is managed by the Chief Executive and 8 trustees who are unpaid volunteers. Each Trustee provides us with a wealth of professional experience to assist in the proper governance of the charity. This involves dealing with policy, legal matters, finance, staffing, health and safety, liaison, and coordinating with the RUH.

Retail trading is our primary source of income, accounting for 99% of the money we receive and all surplus funds being donated to the hospital. The retail services are provided by a mix of paid staff and volunteers, as this allows us to donate as much money as possible to the RUH.

The Convenience Shop in the Atrium is open seven days a week and stocks a wide range of merchandise including sandwiches, ready meals, newspapers, soft drinks and nightwear, as well as a wide range of sweets and snacks.

The Cafe at B18 is a consistently popular refreshment stop for both RUH staff and visitors to the hospital. The Cafe team specialise in providing an extensive range of homemade sandwiches, rolls, and cakes which sell out very quickly. We also supply expertly made hot drinks and chilled beverages.

FRUH has a total of around 200 volunteers providing the RUH with their time from between two hours per week, up to three or four days per week.

FRUH works with the RUH management to identify roles where volunteers can make a positive contribution to the patient experience of the RUH, and most volunteers are supervised by RUH staff while performing their duties.

The influence of FRUH can be found throughout the hospital.  With Welcome Volunteers helping to direct and assist visitors arriving at the hospital, as well as Ward Volunteers working with patients and staff on the wards and in clinics.

Our volunteer gardening team also care for the plants, hanging baskets and relaxing gardens in the hospital grounds.

All net profits from the FRUH retail areas and monies from fundraising are spent supporting patients at the RUH.

The Charity awards grants to support projects at the RUH and works closely with the RUH senior management to target areas that will provide the most benefit to patients and the hospital.  In addition, the Charity funds two staff roles to provide the administration and recruitment of RUH volunteers.

£124,841 towards a new Ultra Sound room in the Breast Care Unit

£15,000 towards an Intra Oral Scanner for the Oral Department

£15,000 towards the Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation Swallowing Machine for the Acute Stroke Unit

£10,000 for Masimo Rad Newborn Sensors and Midwife Kits for Chippenham Birthing Centre

£9,996 for Emergency Toiletries Packs, for patients who arrive at hospital with no toiletries.

£6,800 for a blader scanner for the Trauma Assessment Unit

£6,800 towards digital wall/calendar clocks for Dementia patients located throughout the RUH

£4,800 towards bedside lockers for Parry Ward

£4,843 towards the hospital’s garden maintenance costs

£3,633 towards RUH Patient Activity Bags.

£2,248 towards the Respiratory Outpatients waiting room upgrade