As Forever Friends Appeal workers at the Royal United Hospital in Bath stepped up preparations for next year’s Walk of Life, they announced this year’s event has added £32,000 to the fund for a new cancer centre.

The annual walk from Devizes to Bath, on the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal, has become increasingly popular and organisers are hoping for a record entry in May 2013’s event.

The walk was started in memory of Vanessa Kyte, a mother from Rudge, near Frome, who lost her battle with cancer five years ago.

After she was diagnosed, she fundraised tirelessly for the Forever Friends Appeal. Over the years, she collected more than £100,000 for local and national charities.

Her sister, Nicola Noble, said: “After Ness had both her breasts removed, she started running.

“Raising money for a charity she believed in is what she was about.”

This year’s Walk of Life was the most successful to date, with more than 210 supporters taking on either the 21-mile walk from Devizes to Bath, the 12-mile morning stint from Devizes to Bradford on Avon or the nine-mile afternoon section from Bradford to Bath.

Tim Hobbs, the head of fundraising at the appeal, said: “On the five-year anniversary of Vanessa’s death, the Forever Friends Appeal charity would like to announce that an impressive £32,000 has been raised from the 2012 Walk of Life, which will go towards the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, to help build a new cancer centre at the RUH.”

He added: “Vanessa, along with Nic and the rest of her family, always wanted us to be focused on cancer care as our primary campaign and I believe she would very much approve or our vision for the new RUH Cancer Centre and the way our fundraising activity is developing to achieve it.”

The appeal also has places in the 2013 Bath Half Marathon on March 3. To sign up, visit the website www.foreverfriendsappeal. or call 01225 825823.