Peter Dearing dives headfirst into helping raise £50,000 for Thames Hospice

Regional Development Director Peter Dearing has covered over 100 miles by hiking and swimming to support people living with life-limiting conditions across Berkshire.

Peter raised more than £1,000 towards a pledge by E Sargeant & Son Funeral Directors to raise £10,000 per year for five years for Thames Hospice.

He said: “E Sargeant & Son is now in its fourth-year fundraising for Thames Hospice and has consistently met its ambitious targets, despite restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic making traditional fundraising activities difficult to organise.

“I was so inspired by the teams’ perseverance that I decided to contribute to their 2021 goal by pushing myself to cover 113 miles across four weeks in more ways than one.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen Peter become an avid walker around his hometown of Fordingbridge, as well as a regular swimmer at New Forest Health and Leisure when it reopened in May. However, he needed to push himself further to reach his target for Thames Hospice.

His routine consisted of swimming most mornings and walking at least five miles per day by setting aside three hours for daily exercise, which was helped by his local knowledge of several accessible walking routes through the New Forest.

He said: “Going for walks and getting fit were just about the only things you could do during lockdown restrictions, so I was readier than ever to take on a demanding challenge like this.

“I realised very quickly that it’s easy to go for a walk or a swim, but to do it every day for four weeks requires planning and dedication, so I was gaining great skills while helping a worthy cause.”

Peter set up a JustGiving page and was able to more than double his £500 goal thanks to donations by friends, family and colleagues across Funeral Partners.

Jane Symmons, Head of Major Gifts at Thames Hospice, said: “The hospice has had a challenging 18 months, and our clinical team have been simply amazing providing care to our existing patients as well as those with Covid. They have had to conform to new ways of working whilst continuing to deliver the service we are known for.

“We are so grateful to know we can depend on the continued support and donations from Peter and the E Sargeant & Son teams. This has meant we can continue to care for local people who urgently need hospice care, whether it is through our inpatient facilities, day therapy, our community team or our counselling and therapy services.”

Peter hopes his fundraiser encourages more people to stay active as well as find creative ways to support Thames Hospice as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease.

E Sargeant & Son plans to host several events later in the year to reach their £10,000 goal for 2021, including quizzes and a jazz lunch night. Donations can be made to the fundraiser at