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Walk for Hamish – Bath Spa University
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Four friends take part in fundraising “Walk for Hamish” from Devon to Bath Spa University in memory of school friend this weekend

Friday, 3 March, 2023

A group of school friends are walking from Exmouth in Devon to Bath Spa University in memory of their friend who was a graduate of the University.

Hamish Ratley took his own life in 2022, and now a group of his friends are doing a “Walk for Hamish” and raising money for a charity which supports families in Devon and North Somerset who have been bereaved by suicide. Hamish’s parents and sister are currently being supported by the charity, Pete’s Dragons’.

James West, Harry Savage, Sam Birkinshaw and Kate Brown started the over one hundred mile walk from Hamish’s hometown yesterday (Thursday) and aim to reach the University on Saturday, 4 March, which would have been Hamish’s 26th birthday.

Hamish studied an English Literature undergraduate degree and completed a masters in Crime and Gothic Fiction at Bath Spa University. He went on to work as a librarian at the University of Bath and was considering a return to Bath Spa to study for a PhD. 

After being inspired by his tutor at Bath Spa, Professor Bill Hughes, Hamish gave a talk about Thomas Ligotti at the International Gothic Society Symposium in Dublin at Trinity College which Hamish said “was the best week of his life.”  

Bath Spa University staff will be on hand to welcome the group of four fundraising friends with refreshments, when they reach the campus this weekend, and anyone wishing to add to the fundraising efforts can contribute through this JustGiving page.

Louise Ratley, Hamish’s mother said: “Hamish immersed himself into student life, he was a student representative and ambassador, helping at open days for new students. He had a great enthusiasm for helping both potential students and their parents. Hamish cared for people, had a genuine interest in them and was kind, compassionate and had a gentle demeanour, being able to put people at ease. He loved meeting new people and helping them.” 

Sara Gallagher, Head of Student Wellbeing Services at Bath Spa University said:  “Through speaking about suicide, we can help to remove the stigma associated with asking for help. We want all members of our Bath Spa University community to feel confident to know what to say and do, and together we can make our community safer and help prevent suicide.” 

More information and links for support can be accessed on our Student Wellbeing Services web page.

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