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Community remember loved ones at Trees of Love service  

Posted on 13 December 2017

Pilgrims Hospices Trees of Love, special remembrance services paying tribute to lost loved ones has so far raised over £55,000 to support people living with an incurable illness in east Kent.

Despite the exceptionally chilly weather, over 1800 people attended Pilgrims Hospices Trees of Love gatherings on Saturday 8 December which saw huge donated festive trees lit up in the hospice gardens in Canterbury, Ashford and Margate, all adorned with little white paper doves bearing personal messages.   Visitors shared their special memories of loved ones in the festive remembrance services.

Thank you everyone who donated to our campaign and dedicated a dove.


Sara Scriven, Pilgrims Hospices Individual Giving Manger, said: “We would like to thank everyone who donated to our campaign and dedicated a dove in memory of their loved ones. Sharing thoughts and being part of our hospice family keeps our loved ones firmly in our hearts.

She added: “This is such an amazing amount of money to raise for hospice care. It could pay for many hours of nursing care on our wards, within the Wellbeing and Therapy Centres or in patients’ homes. It will truly help to make a real difference to our patients and their families who need support and care in such difficult times.

“We very much hope to reach £70,000 across the three hospice sites once all of the donations are collected.”

We very much hope to reach £70,000 across the three hospice sites.

Pilgrims Hospices staff and volunteers gave readings at the services.

The Revd. Martin Belgrove, welcomed visitors to Canterbury with carols led by Barton Court Choir.

The Revd. Geoff Walters, welcomed visitors to Ashford.  Music was played by the Ashford Concert Band and friends, with carols sung by a choir drawn from the churches of Ashford and conducted by Tony Shaw.

The Revd. Ken Cox welcomed visitors to Margate.  Music was play by the Salvation Army Band with carols sung by choirs from local churches led by Choir Master, Tim Attride.

At the end of the service visitors shared minced pies, hot chocolate and mulled wine.

Added Sara: “Trees of Love wouldn’t be possible without the amazing support of our communities, including the help of so many volunteers who give their time and skills every year to make the events run smoothly.”

This year, there have been five additional Trees of Love services held in Barham, Charing, Cheriton, Dover and Romney Marsh, to allow more people to attend.

The Trees of Love and their doves will remain in the grounds of the three Pilgrims Hospices in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet until the New Year for people to visit.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a life limiting illness, click here to find out more about Pilgrims full range of services.

Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life limiting illness and their families. The charity offers a range of services: from end of life care given on its wards, to its new Wellbeing and Social Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.



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