Richard takes on the Thames in aid of Prospect Hospice

March 2019


The memory of his beloved wife of 46 years encouraged Richard Newport to take on the challenge of swimming the Thames, raising over £1,000 for Prospect Hospice.

He decided to swim the length of the river – a whopping 215 miles – after his wife, Carol, used services provided by the hospice for 10 days in September 2017. Richard was aided in his challenge by Marlborough leisure centre where he swam one mile a day in their pool (approximately 64 lengths). Towards the end of his training, after being away on holiday, he spent some mornings swimming up to 128 lengths a day!

Despite not seeing himself as a particularly competitive person, Richard is a member of four separate clubs for swimming, tennis, badminton and table tennis. He motivated himself during the Thames challenge by keeping a map on the Marlborough leisure centre noticeboard and on Facebook, marking off milestones along the way. He started his challenge in January 2018 and finished in November 2018, raising an incredible £1187.10 for Prospect Hospice.

Richard described the care and support he and his family received at Prospect Hospice as ‘second to none’. “When Carol first came into the hospice, a member of the IPU team took my 14-year-old grandson into a private room and spoke with him about everything,” Richard recalled. “They listened to his worries and really helped him understand. It meant an awful lot to the family”.

Challenges fundraiser, Sally Bere, said of the achievement: “We cannot thank Richard enough for his hard work and determination throughout the year in order to complete this amazing challenge. To swim an average of 64 lengths a day throughout the year is just incredible! Well done Richard, and thank you so much for your support.”

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