Minster landlords and Dave the dog present cheque to Pilgrims
Pilgrims Hospices won the hearts of regulars at the Bell Inn in Minster who have raised an amazing £1,141.84 for their favourite local charity. They raised the money by holding an 80’s disco charity evening.
Landlady and Landlord Fiona and Ken Shewring with Dave their four-year-old Irish Wolf Hound presented the cheque to Karen Kenward, Community Fundraising Manager for Pilgrims Hospice Thanet.
Fiona said: “A regular visitor to the Bell Inn offered to DJ an 80’s disco evening for charity, we asked our customers who they would like to support with the funds raised by the event.
“Pilgrims Hospices came up time and time again. Many of our families, friends and colleagues have needed Pilgrims care, we were very pleased nominate this very important local charity to benefit from our event.”
Thank you everyone who joined us to raise such a brilliant sum of money for Pilgrims.
Fiona added: “We held a huge raffle at the event, with some fantastic prizes, many donated by local businesses. Thank you everyone who joined us to help raise such a brilliant sum of money for Pilgrims.”
The regulars at the Bell Inn are used to the friendly face of Dave the dog when visiting. He has a well stock biscuit box behind the bar and will always share a paw for his treats. He’s a dog with a healthy appetite and will manage a tin of dog food, two tubs of his favourite biscuits daily and receives a special treat of Sunday lunch whenever he gets a chance.
Karen said: “This really is an amazing amount of money raised by the community in Minster, we cannot thank them enough. A huge thank you to Fiona and Ken for their continued support by way of Pilgrims Hospices collection tins placed on the pub bar.”
Karen added: “Dave the dog was a big surprise at the cheque presentation, he has also been entered in the competition to be the poster dog for Pilgrims new fun sponsored doggy walk Paws 4 Pilgrims.”
Paws 4 Pilgrims takes place next year, entries close for doggy photos on August 31st. If you would like to upload your dog’s photo please do so via Pilgrims Hospice Facebook page.
Care is provided from three hospice sites in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet as well as in patients’ own homes. To offer these services to patients and their families the charity must raise £11 million each year from the generous local community.
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.
24th August 2017
Jocelyn will welcome A Night to Shine to Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral staff will join hundreds of supporters for Pilgrims Hospices brand new sponsored walk, A Night to Shine, in memory of their colleague Jocelyn Prebble’s husband Richard who was cared for by Pilgrims Hospices early in the year. The charity says it hopes to make this Kent’s biggest sponsored walk yet.
Jocelyn’s colleagues were so inspired by Richard’s strength and courage as he fought against cancer. They will continue to celebrate his life by taking part in Pilgrims new night time 5K fundraising walk around Canterbury.
The Cathedral has long supported Pilgrims night time walks.
Jocelyn told us: “The Cathedral has long supported Pilgrims night time walks, and to continue with this exciting new event is a pleasure for us all. The route takes walkers through the atmospheric Cathedral grounds and cloisters where there will be the chance for a quiet pause to remember loved ones and place beautiful memory lanterns on the ground.
“Both my lovely husband Richard and my mum were cared for by Pilgrims. Having first-hand experience of their exceptional care spurs me on to fundraise and support the amazing work that helps so many people who are living with life limiting illnesses in east Kent.”
Jocelyn and Richard were publicans for more than 36 years before moving to Wingham after they sold The Rose and Crown pub in Perry Wood. Jocelyn is part of the reception team at Canterbury Cathedral and has loved being involved with Pilgrims night time walks for a number of years.
Jocelyn continued to say: “To involve people who may not usually participate in a this type of event or indeed feel involved enough to walk through the Canterbury Christ Church Gate – and the idea that young and old, able and not so able can shine and come into the Cathedral grounds and be welcomed – is brilliant. I’m going to be there to welcome the wonderful walkers again as the Cathedral will be part of the A Night to Shine route this year.”
We are so pleased to have the support of Jocelyn and her colleagues from Canterbury Cathedral.
Deborah Kellond, Community Fundraising Manager for Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury, said: “We are so pleased to have the support of Jocelyn and her colleagues from Canterbury Cathedral again this year. She has really been the welcoming face of the Cathedral team for many years and has really embraced her role by dressing up in our flashing merchandise, which is a sight not usually associated with such a revered setting. We have a special treat this year with one of the Canons in Residence also welcoming our walkers.”
She added: “Every day in east Kent 19 people receive the news that they have a terminal illness and have less than a year to live; a number that is set to rise. We believe each one of them deserves quality care so they and their family can live each and every moment they have well.”
A Night to Shine will take place simultaneously in Ashford, Broadstairs and Canterbury, bringing together people from across the east Kent community for one very special night on Saturday 30 September 2017.
In each town there’ll be music, a friendly atmosphere, an energetic warm up and lots more. Walkers will set off together into the evening at 7pm amid a sea of lantern light.
Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people living 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.
22nd August 2017
Úna’s marathon victory for Pilgrims
Behind the scenes at Pilgrims Hospices a range of professionals – nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, counsellors and doctors – work together to support individual patients, families and carers throughout their journey.
Here, Pilgrims nurse ÚnaLeavy shares her personal experience of working at Pilgrims.
What made you decide to take on the London Marathon?
I did it on a whim; when I was a community nurse in Ashford, my colleague was putting herself into the ballot so I decided to do the same. Neither of us got in, so we tried again the following year. I was so lucky to get a ballot place on my second time entering. I’ve since spoken to several people, patients’ families included, who have entered yearly without success. One particular family had three people who’d been trying for seven years to no avail. I feel very fortunate to have been given such an amazing (albeit frightening) opportunity.
I feel very fortunate to have been given such an amazing (albeit frightening) opportunity.
What was training like?
After not getting a place the first year, I had stopped “trying” to be a runner. I’d attempted Couch to 5k several times and never quite got there… but there’s nothing quite like having to run 26.2 miles to encourage you to complete your first 5k!
I started my Couch to 5k running plan on 31 October 2016; one minute of jogging (a ‘hoppy walk’, as I call it) and two minutes of walking. I also followed the first-time finisher plan. Although I missed some training sessions, I kept up with it. On 30 December I jogged continuously for 55 minutes and covered 4.1 miles; I was over the moon.
In January, I attended a special marathon training day. I was a fish out of water. Listening to other attendees, I discovered they were concerned about only being up to 13 miles in their training; my 4.56 miles suddenly paled in comparison. But not to be disheartened, I then completed the Llyd Half Marathon (my first ever half) on 12 March 2017. It was an amazing experience; I did it in 2 hours 54 minutes 31 seconds and ran the first 9 miles without stopping.
What was fundraising like?
A race night I organised raised more £1,000; local companies sponsored the races and friends, family and colleagues sponsored me. I also raised £80 by collecting and recycling textiles from friends and neighbours.
How did it feel to cross the finish line?
It was almost anti-climatic because the entire race was so amazing, but receiving my medal was phenomenal. The London Marathon was spectacular and so inspiring, and the support from spectators was incredible.
I’m so proud of myself – the self-belief that I can do things that seem so far out of my reach will stay with me forever.
Since completing the London Marathon, and in an attempt to get back into running, I’ve set up a running club. 10 members signed up in the first week, all of whom are Pilgrims staff; a great indicator of how well we work as a team and how supportive we are of one another.
What’s it like working at a Pilgrims hospice?
Before starting at Pilgrims in May 2016, I worked as a community nurse in the Ashford area. I really enjoyed working with patients receiving palliative care and felt it was an area of nursing I would like to work in. I was very lucky to get a role at Pilgrims just as I felt ready to move on; moving from one brilliant team in the community to an equally brilliant and cohesive team at Pilgrims, I can honestly say I haven’t looked back.
Palliative care is a very specialised area, and I’ve learned so much already in my time at Pilgrims. Alongside nurses, doctors and healthcare assistants we have specially trained staff to cover all aspects of patients’ and families’ needs, including:
We all share the same focus: patient-centred care.
What can Pilgrims offer to patients and their families in east Kent?
There’s a Therapy Centre at each hospice that families and patients – both inpatients and those who come in from home – can benefit from. We also have a community team of specialist nurses who care for patients in their own homes.
I’d recommend Pilgrims for anyone in east Kent living with an incurable illness. Our focus is on enabling patients to live well, and as they wish, whilst encouraging their full potential in mind, body and spirit.
As a community nurse, I supported a lot of people who required palliative care: psychological and emotional support and symptom control. Many of these people and their families believed the hospice was a place to go just before dying, and no amount of encouragement would get some of them to come through the door.
Years ago, I witnessed the work done by Pilgrims when a very close friend was admitted several times to get his symptoms under control. Once this was done, he went home again. After experiencing Pilgrims from a family / friend perspective, I’m able to give a truly informed opinion on the care given here. Without hesitation, I would recommend Pilgrims for anyone in east Kent who is living with an incurable illness.
Our focus is on enabling patients to live well, and as they wish, whilst encouraging their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Pilgrims has a revolving door, allowing patients to be treated as an inpatient if / as required but focusing always on the patient’s true desire, which for most is to return to their own homes be surrounded by their loved ones. That said, many patients admitted to Pilgrims frequently don’t want to leave, as they feel so safe, protected and cared for here.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I feel lucky to be part of the Pilgrims team. The service we provide here is second to none, and this is proven by the consistent positive feedback we get from patients and their families. It is, without a doubt, a very challenging place to work – it’s not an easy job and it an play havoc with your emotions – but I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. The support I receive from my colleagues enables me to enjoy working in what can be a very upsetting environment; I’ve lost count of the number of appropriately timed hugs I’ve received from them.
It’s an honour and privilege, and truly humbling, to be allowed to care for people at a time in their lives that is so incredibly difficult.
So many of the staff at Pilgrims have been here since it opened, which is a testament to the kind of place it is to work. Contrary to popular belief, hospices are not sullen or depressing places; in fact, the opposite is true. The work I’ve done here during the last 14 months, and the job satisfaction I’ve experienced, far outweigh the difficulties faced on the job. It’s an honour and privilege, and truly humbling, to be allowed to care for people at a time in their lives that is so incredibly difficult. To feel that I can make a difference, however small, to them and their loved ones makes it all worthwhile.
Working at Pilgrims really helps me to appreciate the here and now – to live in the moment, to value the little things in life and to find time for things that make me happy.
Our Wellbeing and Social Programme is free for patients who are in the later stages of a life limiting illness, and their families. It aims to enhance their wellbeing in mind and body.
The first step is to talk to your GP or healthcare professional. They can advise whether the programme is right for you. More information is available here.
17th August 2017
Pilgrims Hospice Thanet awarded ‘Good’ rating
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has awarded Pilgrims Hospice in Thanet a ‘Good’ rating across all areas – praising the team there for providing a safe, ‘homely’ and supportive environment; with compassionate care and a culture of team work.
The inspection took place on 15 and 16 June 2017, with the independent health regulator rating Pilgrims Hospice Thanet based on its levels of safety, effectiveness, how caring the service us, its responsiveness and leadership. The hospice, which is based in Margate, is one of three sites in east Kent run by Pilgrims Hospices.
Cate Russell, Pilgrims Chief Executive, said: “I’m delighted to share the results of this inspection, it is a great achievement. Each and every day our staff work tirelessly to successfully deliver on our promise to local people living with a terminal illness so they can access the extraordinary care and comfort they deserve.”
We are truly proud of the hard work and professionalism of all our staff
She added: “We already know from national benchmarking that the services we provide here are excellent in all areas. From the quality of care, to the growing diversity of our services to meet the community’s changing needs. We are truly proud of the hard work and professionalism of all our staff as they continue to focus on delivering the very best care.”
The CQC found that people felt safe receiving care from the hospice, there was a ‘homely atmosphere’ with staff treating people with ‘genuine kindness and respect’ and said people were placed ‘at the heart of the service’. Staff, they said, took time to understand and respond to each person’s individual needs and those of their family.
Other key achievements highlighted were: confidence in the management team from staff, clear clinical governance, effective safety processes and ‘appropriate medicines management’.
Key achievements were: confidence in the management team, clear clinical governance and effective safety processes.
Added Cate: “Pilgrims vision for 2020 is an ambitious one: we are always striving to improve our care, raise our already high standards, develop new skills, and reach more people. This is an important stepping stone on that journey.”
“I was so scared of the word hospice but I could not fault anyone. Nothing is too much.” Patient
“The place is definitely well managed, there is a great atmosphere here.” Patient
“The staff are lovely here, they give me real dignity.” Patient
“It’s not about managing death, but also managing life.” Staff member
“All the staff we spoke to spoke positively of the culture in the hospice and of the support that was offered.” Inspector
“It’s all about teamwork.” Staff member
16th August 2017
Pilgrims helps couple’s wedding wish come true
Bob Cook married his fiancé Sue in Pilgrims Hospices Canterbury family room with friends, family and members of Pilgrims staff to share their special day.
The couple from Littlebourne near Canterbury asked Martyn Yates, Spiritual Care and Complementary Therapy Lead at the hospice if he could help to make their wishes come true.
We are delighted to have shared their special day.
Martyn said: “When Bob told us of his wedding wishes, we did our level best to support his plans and were so delighted to have been able to share his special day with his bride Sue.
“Special occasions that support families through difficult times are an important part of our work here at Pilgrims.”
Bob and Sue have been a couple for 20 years and had plans to marry before Bob was admitted to the Canterbury hospice for pain management. Sue told us: “We are soul mates. We’ve been each other’s best friend, when we first found out Bob was seriously ill I must admit we thought the worst. The word hospice scared us, we felt like it was the end. But it’s given us all the support we need and I cannot thank them enough. I want people to know that although most of us think the hospice is all about dying there’s much more to it than that. It’s been for us about a build up of support and a network of support that’s almost like a little extended family its help us to live and it’s given us a security net. Then on our wedding day the was so much love in the room.”
Each year Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,300 people in East Kent coming to terms with an illness that sadly cannot be cured. The charity support patients to live life as well as possible until the very end, free from pain and distress.
As well as the high quality care we offer on our three wards, we also support people in the community, in their own homes and through our Wellbeing and Social Programme at Pilgrims Therapy Centres. Click here for more information on patient care.
11th August 2017
Michel Faber on love, loss and end of life
What does it mean to write and to talk openly about death, grief and the end of life?
In 2014, Michel’s wife, Eva, died after a long battle with multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer that is unpredictable and different for everyone. Before Eva’s illness Michel had only ever written fiction, but shortly before her death he began to write poetry. These poems – three written before Eva died and the rest afterwards – form his collection Undying: A Love Story (2016), which he read from at the event.
All I can do, in what remains of my brief time, is mention, to whoever cares to listen, that a woman once existed, who was kind and beautiful and brave, and I will not forget how the world was altered, beyond recognition, when we met.
Michel’s poems chronicle their journey as a couple, from Eva’s initial diagnosis until after her death. In [indecipherable] kappa he recalls being ‘sick with terror’ when they returned from the local clinic after receiving the news. A final poem, Purring, reflects on the night that Eva died. What comes across most strongly throughout the collection is the enduring nature of love.
Asked what had made this experience expressible as poetry, Michel said:
“The poems came to me when Eva died; it seemed odd not to share them if they would resonate with others. They are unguarded and direct, so turning them into fiction felt disrespectful. Eva’s death gave rise to poetry, but I don’t feel I will write poetry again.”
After the reading, Dr Stella Bolakichaired a panel discussion and Q&A. Stella is a Senior Lecturer at the University whose research interests include illness narratives and how the arts can help medicine to be more humane. She was joined by Theresa Rowlstone from the clinical team at Pilgrims.
Michel shared some of Eva’s own artwork produced in the last years of her life. She was a painter, photographer and writer, a legacy that Michel is keen for others to recognise. Her work included photography combined with medical scans of her body, and a poem – The Beauty of Beeping – about the ‘machines who sing all the time’ during chemotherapy treatment. Michel highlighted how Eva was ‘most creative when she was most disabled’:
“When you’re a creative person you tend to procrastinate, but Eva didn’t have many more tomorrows so she was intensely creative in the late stages.”
He also highlighted the importance of being creative at milestones like birth and death.
Art therapy at Pilgrims allows people to trace their journey through drawing or painting. Creative writing and memory boxes are also a practical way for people to tell their story and leave a legacy.
Theresa Rowlstone, Advanced Nurse Practitioner at Pilgrims Hospices
Stella asked whether hospice patients feel a need to tell their story, too. Theresa agreed:
“Art therapy at Pilgrims allows people to trace their journey through drawing or painting. Creative writing and memory boxes are also a practical way for people to tell their story and leave a legacy.”
In response, an audience member shared a story about their friend who had passed away at Pilgrims Hospice Ashford. They had never painted before, but experienced a beautiful spiritual journey through painting at art therapy sessions offered by Pilgrims.
Michel agreed and recognised that – in an age of constant recording on digital devices – it’s important to have tangible things that people leave behind so we can hold them in our hands and truly experience them and remember.
We host Time to Talk community events throughout the year for the general public, aiming to open up the conversation about death and dying; with film screenings, poetry readings and Death Cafes and much more, there’s something for everyone.