Fundraising stalwart and hairdresser Peter Hickman receives honorary title from Pied Piper charity

Gazette Series: Peter Hickman MBE and Pied Piper fundraiser Wendy Fabian (2816307) Peter Hickman MBE and Pied Piper fundraiser Wendy Fabian (2816307)

STALWART fundraiser and veteran hairdresser Peter Hickman MBE has been named honorary president of Gloucestershire children’s charity, Pied Piper.

Peter, who formed the charity in 1992 originally to help fund a new children’s ward at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital was chairman until 2004 and is still involved with the cause today.

Now the trustees have made him honorary president, in recognition of his tireless work raising funds for Gloucestershire’s sick and life-limited children.

Current chairman Roger Head, who has been at the helm for nine years, paid tribute to Peter.

“He’s been a great mentor to me,” he said.

“If I’ve ever had a problem, or needed advice, I’ve always picked up the phone to Peter. He’s been a great source of inspiration to me. He’s knowledgable and he’s very wise.

“Peter has been a great ambassador for the charity and we wanted to acknowledge that.”

Peter, 83, launched the charity, originally known as the Pied Piper Appeal, 21-years ago. Among his many achievements, he persuaded Princess Diana to become patron.

Since then, the appeal has raised more than £3 million to fund equipment and practical items in the children’s centre at Gloucestershire Royal, refurbish the Battledown children’s ward at Cheltenham General, build sensory rooms, enhance hospital environments and help make children’s life at home easier with hoists and other equipment.

It also administers the Cloud 9 charity, which sends life-limited children on holidays of a lifetime.

Peter founded his hairdressing business in 1957, which now has a chain of six, with one on Long Street in Dursley.

He was awarded the MBE in 2005 and said becoming the charity’s honorary president was an honour.

“I’m delighted with it,” said Peter, who lives in Cheltenham with his wife Susan.

“Pied Piper, with the people it’s got now, has developed into something very big, and I’m so pleased for the children of this county and their parents that it’s still there.

“The NHS can’t really afford the things that we would like – not need, like. With all the new discoveries coming up, they’re never going to catch up. That’s why Pied Piper is there. The NHS belongs to us. Not the doctors, not the nurses: us. They’re our hospitals.

“As an experience, it’s been very humbling. I’ve had a wonderful time.”

To donate to the charity, which is based at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, call 0300 422 6119 or visit www.piedpiperappeal.co.uk

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