1,200 metal detectors from as far away as the USA, across Europe and the UK gathered recently for the annual ‘Rodney Cook Memorial Rally’ (RCM) 3-day charity weekend festival on 1st – 3rd September. The fifth anniversary of this huge fundraising event that, in that time, has become the biggest metal detecting rally in Europe.
The organisers recently presented RUHX with £56,000 raised this year, and across the five years the RCM rallies have raised an extraordinary £180,000 for RUHX, the official charity of the Royal United Hospitals Bath.
The Rodney Cook Memorial Rally was initially set up in 2018 by Gary Cook, in memory of his dad Rodney Cook who sadly passed away at the RUH after having cancer in 2017. Gary’s dedication and passion for supporting cancer services with this event means that proceeds from the ticket sales, raffle and extras will go towards providing new cutting-edge Robotics Surgery at the hospital, helping buy the RUH’s first Robotic Surgery machine earlier this year.
The new Da Vinci surgical robot is now plugged in and powered up in Theatres, all thanks to the ongoing fundraising efforts by RUHX hospital charity’s extraordinary supporters like Gary Cook and the RCM. Its arrival has ushered in a new age at the hospital, supporting more than 400 complex surgical operations across the RUH, saving time, resources, and lives in an instant.
Gary Cook, founder of the event said: “The staff who cared for my father at the RUH were quite simply incredible, caring, and wonderful people. I felt compelled to try and do something to raise some money for RUHX to repay that kindness. So, from something awful, the RCM Rally was born.
"Since its inception, the Rodney Cook Memorial Rally has raised a staggering amount for cancer services at the RUH. I would like to thank everyone involved in the organisation and running of the event, everyone who has supported us and those that attend, please accept our heartfelt gratitude. My goal is to get to one million pounds raised via these events and I don’t want to stop until I have done that.”
Jon McFarlane, Consultant Urological Surgeon at Royal United Hospitals Bath added: “Gary and his team are doing an incredible job with the RCM Rally, and we are so grateful for the funds they have raised to support RUH cancer services.
"The introduction of robotic surgery will make a big difference for our patients, allowing people to recover and get back to normal life faster, with fewer side effects. Having advanced medical equipment such as this also helps us to attract the best medical and nursing staff to the RUH and improve cancer care for our local population.”