Sue Ryder staff get set to make a splash to raise vital funds for families needing their care

May 24, 2023

It’s paddles at the ready for the 15-strong team of staff from Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice who are taking to the water to compete in the 23rd Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival this June.

Sue Ryder Nurses and healthcare teams are swapping their uniforms for charity vests and hospice support staff their pens for paddles on Saturday 10 June to compete against 47 teams who will be battling it out over the 200-metre course, in authentic dragon boats.

This is the eighth year that the Peterborough Sue Ryder hospice has been chosen as charity partner for the festival with all money raised going towards providing expert and compassionate palliative care to local people, as well as supporting their families.

The Sue Ryder ‘Thorpe Angels’ team includes Sue Ryder Nurses and Sue Ryder Healthcare Assistants, the clinical team lead, a ward clerk, medical secretary and admission and discharge coordinator, plus a physiotherapist and occupational therapist.

Sue Walton is the hospice ward clerk and has worked at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice for nearly 13 years. She said: “I grew up around yachts and at one point I had a canoe, so it will be lovely to get back out on the water. I am really excited for the event and looking forward to camaraderie and team spirit.”

Sue will be joined by the hospices’ medical secretary, Laura Reilly. “I took part in a Dragon Boat Festival last year and thankfully didn’t capsize! I am looking forward to another friendly, social, competitive event and hoping it will be as sunny as last time!”

The Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival, organised by New Wave Events and sponsored by Hotpoint, with ESP Magazine as media partner, is being held at Peterborough Rowing Lake, Thorpe Meadows. As well as plenty of action on the water, there will be lots of bankside entertainment and refreshment stalls making it a fun day out for all the family.

Nilesh Patel is Senior Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. He said: “This is one of the biggest events in our calendar year and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to the festival again. It’s fantastic that we have been able to show our own support by entering a team of Sue Ryder staff, who are themselves raising funds for the very care they help give. So, please come on down and join us for this fun family day and give our Thorpe Angels a cheer and a wave.”

Last year alone £39,600 was raised for the hospice, and it’s hoped they charity will raise even more this year to help the hospice give more care to more people.

Find more information about the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival here.

To donate to Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice’s Dragon Boat team, donate online at: