‘Teamwork makes the dream work’ say tandem cycle couple
Experiencing Pilgrims Hospice care has inspired Polly Troth and her boyfriend Daniel Millington to take to their custom built tandem for the much-loved annual Pilgrims Cycle Challenge on Sunday 6 May.
Polly, a teacher from Dover, and her boyfriend Dan, are taking part in the popular charity cycle ride for the first time and undertaking the Classic 45-mile route through the beautiful east Kent countryside in memory of Polly’s Grandmother, Joan Troth, fondly know as Nana, who was cared for at Pilgrims Hospices in January.
Polly said: “Nana was born and bred in Canterbury and was cared for at the hospice there. I had an image in my head that made me think of a hospice as a sad place to be, but I could not have been more wrong! It was bright and cheerful, with welcoming care staff and volunteers. The nurses were amazing and we were completely overwhelmed with the level of care my Grandmother received. The staff were absolutely flawless and treated her and our family with compassion, kindness and love throughout her time in the hospice; as they do with the many families who need their help.
The staff were absolutely flawless and treated her and our family with compassion, kindness and love throughout her time in the hospice; as they do with the many families who need their help.
“We saw the Cycle Challenge promotion and said, ‘let’s do it!’. Although we are regular cyclists, we’ve never undertaken such a personal challenge. We will be forever grateful to the hospice and hope to complete the ride as a way of showing our gratitude.”
Their bicycle built for two was expertly created by Dan using pieces from donated bikes and the pair has been busy building up their cycle miles in preparation for the big ride in May.
“Dan loves a project and he soon had the tandem ready for our practise rides. Our motto is ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ and I’m sure it’ll be put to the test; 45 miles on a tandem is a very long way!” Polly added.
Polly’s dad Ashley and his brother Russell are more seasoned cyclists and have challenged themselves to complete the 100 mile ‘Century’ route. Having ridden the Cycle Challenge before, they will be supporting Pilgrims Hospices once again with their pedal power this Bank Holiday Sunday.
Polly told us: “We’ve already passed the £300 fundraising target we set ourselves and really hope to achieve £500 for Pilgrims Hospices. If we do, that could pay for more than 24 hours of nursing care in one of their three hospices in Canterbury, Ashford and Thanet. Thank you to everyone who is being so generous and supporting us.”
You can support Polly and Dan by making a donation to their fundraising effort on their Just Giving page.
There is still time to register for the Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge and take on your own 45, 75 or 100 mile challenge for Pilgrims on Sunday 6 May. The event starts and finishes at the Sports Pavilion, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7SR and on the day registrations are welcome. You can check out full event information and register online or contact firstname.lastname@example.org on 01227 812609.
Every mile pedalled will raise vital funds to help Pilgrims provide their skilled and compassionate end-of-life care for people and their families right across east Kent.
The Cycle Challenge is made possible by the kind support of local businesses and organisations. Thank you to Kent Sport, Biketart, Barretts, Kingsfords Solicitors, Noel Tatt, South Coast and London Array for their involvement.
Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life limiting illness. 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.
25th April 2018
Keen quilters honour Maureen’s memory with unique donation
Local quilting groups have donated 20 patchwork quilts to Pilgrims Hospices, helping to ensure that Pilgrims #FeelsLikeHome for patients and their families.
Barn Owl Quilters in Swalecliffe and Oyster Patchers in Whitstable made the joint donation in memory of Maureen Corrigan – a former group member and owner of The Fabric Shop on Harbour Street, Whitstable – who was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury in 2017-18.
Maureen’s husband, Bob Corrigan, and her niece, Donna Judge, presented the quilts at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury Therapy Centre on 10 April 2018. They were joined by Maureen’s friends and fellow quilters Shirley Emery, Chris Tumber and Joan Hinns, who is also the founder of Barn Owl Quilters and ran it for 20 years.
It was one of Maureen’s final wishes that the clubs made patchwork quilts and donated them to Pilgrims. Over the years, Maureen herself made and donated quilts for Pilgrims; to date, the clubs have donated 70 quilts in total.
Due to her love of sewing, Maureen opened The Fabric Shop in 1983; customer requests for quilts then led to her taking up patchwork, too. It quickly became known simply as ‘Maureen’s Shop’, and she became good friends with many of her customers. Through this, she began attending first Oyster Patchers and then Barn Owl Quilters.
During her time at Pilgrims, Maureen taught fellow patients how to make fabric tulips. Jenny Aylward, Associate Practitioner at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury, said:
“Thanks to Maureen, other patients will now be able to make tulips as part of our creative therapy programmes. She also arranged for quilting group members to make these tulips, along with other items, to sell at a Christmas fair in our Canterbury Therapy Centre last year. In this way, Maureen has helped us to raise vital funds for Pilgrims, too.”
Hundreds of pooches and pups embarked on Paws 4 Pilgrims on 25 March, a 5K coastal walk in Deal and a new fundraiser for Pilgrims Hospices.
More than 300 dogs and their owners walked the beautiful coastal route from Deal towards Walmer. All the dogs who took part received their very own special Pilgrims dog collar disc. After the walk, many of the dogs took part in a fun dog show, where proud owners showed off their dogs and classes included everything from Most Handsome Dude to Cutest Puppy.
Karen Kenward, Pilgrims Hospices Community Fundraising Manager for Thanet, said: “We were thrilled the event was such a success and the weather held out for us. Seeing so many dogs walking and posing for each class in the show was just overwhelming. It was great fun for the whole family.”
With sponsorship still to come in, early indications show that this event has raised £7,000 to support Pilgrims, a charity that offers care and support free of charge to people across east Kent who are living with incurable illness.
Karen added: “Your support means everything to Pilgrims Hospices and the people we care for. Around three quarters of our funding comes from our generous local community, so we could not continue to be there for the people who need our care without you. I’d like to thank everyone who either entered or supported the event, our volunteers and staff, our sponsors – Your Leisure and White Mill Veterinary Centre – and a special thank you to Jenkins Canine Services. Together we really do make a difference.”
One special guest on the day was Mia, the winner of the Paws for Pilgrims poster-dog competition, who was picked from more than 200 entries in the lead up to the event to appear on the promotional posters.
Mia’s owners, Sally and Dean Martin, joined in the fun on the day. Dean said: “What an amazing event this was; Mia really enjoyed the whole experience. I couldn’t believe the interest this event gained, it was just brilliant. I even photographed a dog watching us all walk from its bedroom window, how funny is that! Mia won second place in the Fastest Sausage Catcher class; she really loves her food and now she owns a rosette for it, too.”
‘Brave soles’ put their best foot forward in March to face Pilgrims Hospices Fire & Ice Walk challenge in Ashford, Canterbury and Ramsgate.
Up first was the Ice Walk challenge, where courageous participants faced a terrifying six-foot-long walk across a bed of razor-sharp glass. The Firewalk group then got all fired up for their epic journey; a barefoot walk over red-hot wood embers measuring around 800 degrees.
Lizzie Holmes from Lyminge was among the challengers. She made the decision to take on a Firewalk while her grandfather, Richard, received end-of-life care at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury in December 2017 and across the new year.
“The love and care that the staff and volunteers gave to our grandad and family during this difficult time is beyond words,” explained Lizzie.
“Pilgrims is such a homely environment; they did everything and they thought of everything, so I wanted to give something back. My grandad was right next to me when I signed up.”
Lizzie was among those who raised sponsorship for the event. The Fire & Ice Walk also took place in Ashford and Ramsgate, with the overall fundraising total for all three events expected to reach in excess of £30,000.
Pilgrims is such a homely environment; they did everything and they thought of everything, so I wanted to give something back. My grandad was right next to me when I signed up.
Lizzie Holmes, Firewalker
Deirdre Mewse from Ashford braved an Ice Walk. She said: “It was an amazing experience, facing up to the challenge of walking across broken glass. What a way to face your fears!
“My husband, Paul, was a patient at Pilgrims Hospice Ashford 17 years ago and the support both he and our family received was second to none. To be able to raise sponsorship to enable others to benefit from the fantastic work it does was a real pleasure. I would strongly urge anyone who has been thinking of doing a challenge like this to take the plunge.”
Robert Grew, Events Fundraiser for Pilgrims Hospices, explained: “It was great to see so many people braving the barefoot walk across the red-hot embers and broken glass. You could see how much it meant to each person once they had made it across the flames and conquered their fear. They were beaming from ear to ear. And so they should be! They’ve all raised an incredible amount of money in support of local hospice care, vital funds that will mean Pilgrims Hospices can continue to be there for people living with an incurable illness and their families right across east Kent.”
He added: “We’d like to thank Kent Sport in Canterbury, Towers School in Ashford, and Saga in Ramsgate for hosting these brilliant events, and also Paul Incredible, the Marvellous Burger Company in Ashford andLola and Company in Ramsgate for supporting at the venues on the night. This fantastic event was successful because of all our fabulous volunteers who gave their time freely to help entertain and feed spectators on the night. Everyone’s help has been key in making these events possible. Sponsorship money is still coming in currently and we can’t wait to announce to final total later this spring.”
Brothers back in training for 100-mile Cycle Challenge
Two brothers from Kent are back in training for this year’s Cycle Challenge, riding 100 miles to raise vital funds for Pilgrims Hospices after their dad, Dave, was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet last year.
First entering as Team Morgan in 2017, brothers David, Lewis and Kris are all keen cyclists. Last year they raised more than £1,000 for Pilgrims by completing the challenge. It was an extra special occasion for the family because their father, Dave Morgan, was there to watch them cross the finish line.
Dave was first diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010 and underwent an operation that left him with several health problems. “He never complained about anything and always had a smile on his face,” recalls his son, David.
“He’d spent a few spells in the hospice when he had an acute pain flare-up and was always happy to see the staff, as they were always happy to see him. Dad was cheeky!”
In November 2017, Dave went to Pilgrims Hospice Thanet for pain relief. Due to complications he didn’t return home; Dave passed away on 2 December 2017.
“The staff at the Margate hospice are exemplary. They were always willing to help and nothing was too much trouble. We were allowed to stay night and day, and we were always offered food and drinks.”
David continued: “Shortly after Dad passed, my mum flew to Scotland to be with our aunt Diane who had ovarian cancer. She was also in a hospice and the staff were amazing there, too.
“My family lost Dad and Diane in the space of nine days. They were both treated with dignity and respect by all hospice staff; as a family we cannot ever repay their kindness and support at such a tragic time.”
As a token of their appreciation the brothers decided to sign up for Pilgrims’ Cycle Challenge 2018 and now Team Morgan is on its way to raising more than £500. Sadly, Kris can’t join them this year, but the brothers will have the back-up of some good friends.
The staff at the Margate hospice are exemplary. They were always willing to help and nothing was too much trouble.
“At my father’s funeral two of his work collegues said they wanted to take part in the challenge, as did two of my school friends who had known Dad growing up. He had more than 150 people at his funeral – it was amazing. With donations on the day, £730 was raised for Pilgrims.”
And the brothers intend to carry on cycling and raising more money. David added: “As my youngest brother is unable to take part this year, I’m sure this means we’ll all be doing it again next year!”
Team Ynez reunites for Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge
Mark Button from Faversham will once again lead Team Ynez in Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge on Sunday 6 May 2018, in memory of his wife, Ynez, who was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury.
Mark will cycle 45 miles across east Kent in memory of his wife, Ynez, who spent five weeks at the Canterbury hospice last spring.
Ynez couldn’t speak more highly of Pilgrims staff, says Mark: “During those five weeks Ynez was cared for with genuine love and compassion, for which we will all be forever grateful.
“She had been through such a tough few weeks prior to that, so to be in a place where the aim was to make her feel comfortable and alleviate the severe pain she was in was all she wanted. The hospice also provided amazing support to me and other family and friends who were going through such an emotional and worrying time.”
Mark signed up for Cycle Challenge 2017 three weeks before Ynez passed away. Within two days he had raised more than £1,000. Mark said: “Ynez was very clear that we should give back to the hospice. She was so elated to know that the hospice would get some well deserved funds to continue their great work.”
It was amazing! We felt elated to complete the challenge in memory of Ynez, but also to ride it together, united in our support of the amazing work carried out by the hospice and the care they had provided to Ynez and so many others.
It wasn’t long before others joined Mark. With seven members signed up and in training, Team Ynez was born. Mark admits he has never been a serious cyclist, and neither have his team mates, but the atmosphere of last year’s ride gave them all a boost.
“It was amazing!” recalls Mark. “We felt elated to complete the challenge in memory of Ynez, but also to ride it together, united in our support of the amazing work carried out by the hospice and the care they had provided to Ynez and so many others.
“It gave me a real lift at what was still a very emotional time for us. Everyone had their own personal reasons for being there, but the feeling of togetherness and camaraderie was something I’d never experienced before.”
The 2018 team currently has nine members, including Mark’s identical twin brother, Chas, and his nephew, Ollie. The team is based in different parts of the country, but Mark is optimistic it will all come together on the day.
It gave me a real lift at what was still a very emotional time for us. Everyone had their own personal reasons for being there, but the feeling of togetherness and camaraderie was something I’d never experienced before.
“Having done it before I can honestly say I’m excited and certainly more relaxed than last year. It’s such a well organised event that allows people of differing fitness and ability to join in. That said, the word challenge very much applies, so preparation is vital. I intend to keep taking part as long as my legs will allow me to.”
Mark added: “The generosity shown by family and friends last year was overwhelming. I can’t expect that same level again this year, but as a team we are still determined to raise a significant amount of money.”