After Hayley Jehle’s mum, Annette Jehle, was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet in 2016, the family decided to dedicate a sunflower in her memory as part of our Sunflower Memories campaign. Here, Hayley shares how this provides a way for them to celebrate Annette’s life and meet other families who have come together to remember loved ones.
When my mother, Annette, was diagnosed with cancer, Pilgrims Hospices was there for us all. Mum enjoyed going to pamper days at the hospice, and knew that she could speak to members of staff for support and guidance whenever she needed. In her last few days, Mum stayed in the hospice and received such wonderful care from all the staff there.
Sunflower Days are such a lovely opportunity for all the families who have experienced Pilgrims care and lost loved ones to come together and remember. It’s very special for us to be able to involve Mum’s grandchildren, too; they always enjoy looking for her sunflower in the gardens.
As a family we support Pilgrims at a number of events, and choose to attend the Sunflower Memories day in memory of Mum and to celebrate her life. Sunflower Days are such a lovely opportunity for all the families who have experienced Pilgrims care and lost loved ones to come together and remember. It’s very special for us to be able to involve Mum’s grandchildren, too; they always enjoy looking for her sunflower in the gardens.
Sunflower Memories events will take place at our hospices in July 2018:
Pilgrims Hospice Ashford needs you for its Summer Garden Party
Pilgrims Hospice Ashford will hold a fantastic Summer Garden Party (previously the Summer Fair) on Saturday 4 August 2018. Last year saw more than 2,500 visitors and a staggering £22,000 raised in support of hospice care.
Last year’s success was due to the kindness of the local community, who joined in by supporting and donating many items to make the day so enjoyable.
Victoria Friar, Community Fundraising Manager for Ashford, said: “This year we welcome visitors to enjoy a wonderful afternoon of fun and relaxation in the beautiful gardens of the hospice. As always, we’ll have many stalls and games for all ages as well as the opportunity to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea, with the option of a glass of bubbly.”
We’ll have many stalls and games for all ages as well as the opportunity to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea, with the option of a glass of bubbly.
Victoria Friar, Community Fundraising Manager at Pilgrims Hospice Ashford
Each year Pilgrims needs to raise £11m through voluntary donations so events like this make a real difference to local end of life care. This summer, you can show your support for the charity by having a fun day out with friends and family.
Pilgrims are asking the local community to help out by donating plants, garden produce, bottles of Pimm’s, beer or wine, new craft items, new toys and games and fresh cakes (Pilgrims can freeze them if you’d prefer to deliver to the Ashford hospice in advance of the fair; cream-free only please).
If you can help, please drop items into Reception at Pilgrims Hospice Ashford, Hythe Road, Willesborough, Ashford TN24 0NE.
More than 150 cyclists proved their pedal power in support of Pilgrims Hospices on Sunday 24 June for the fifth Divas on Wheels cycle ride. This popular event has raised thousands of pounds for vital hospice care over the years.
Setting out from a brand new venue, The Independent Pedaler on Highland Court Farm in Bridge near Canterbury, riders could choose from either a 25-mile or 50-mile route through the beautiful Kent countryside.
Lydia Todd, Community Fundraising Officer for Canterbury, said: “We were delighted to see so many of our regular riders along with new faces on an amazingly sunny summer day, with everyone ready to support Pilgrims. Cyclists taking part for the first time told us they really appreciated the support from our Bike Heroes and enjoyed the cheery atmosphere and fantastic scenery.”
Cyclists taking part for the first time told us they really appreciated the support from our Bike Heroes and enjoyed the cheery atmosphere and fantastic scenery.
Lydia Todd, Community Fundraising Officer for Canterbury
The new venue gave riders a wonderful relaxed start; being right in the heart of the countryside meant that the routes started and finished on quiet country lanes. Pilgrims looks forward to Divas on Wheels returning to The Independent Pedaler in 2019.
This year, 7 female Bike Heroes joined the dedicated volunteer team, including experienced riders who led small groups and offered roadside repairs and help to anybody who needed it.
Students from Canterbury College who are currently working towards their hairdressing qualification were on hand to offer the Divas a beautifully styled French plait before their ride; this helped keep their hair under control during the ride and reduced the risk of helmet hair!
As always, Pilgrims had immense support from their volunteers in the run up to Divas and on the day. Without their help and support the event simply wouldn’t be such a fantastic fundraising success. Maureen Smith, a Pilgrims volunteer, and her husband, Terry, a Pilgrims Trustee and fellow volunteer, said: “Thank you to Pilgrims for organising this event so brilliantly. Well done; it was a pleasure to be there doing our bit. It was great fun but with a serious purpose.”
Divas is such a supportive event, with riders encouraging each other on the way and plenty of help at hand if it’s needed. It’s girl power at its best!
When the riders returned to the Divas Village, Pilgrims volunteers presented them with medals and Pink Lady Apples goody bags filled with treats. They were also on hand to provide refreshments including homemade cakes and snacks.
Lydia added: “Divas is such a supportive event, with riders encouraging each other on the way and plenty of help at hand if it’s needed. It’s girl power at its best!
“We were delighted to hear the great stories about how much our Divas enjoyed the route and beautiful scenery. We hope to see them all back again next year.”
Each year, Pilgrims offers care and comfort to more than 2,500 people who are coping with an illness that cannot be cured.
Pilgrims would like to thank event sponsors Pink Lady Apples, E-Flow Cycles and The Independent Pedaler, without who this event would not have been possible.
After Jacqueline Lane’s dad, George Hill, was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury in 2016, the family decided to dedicate a sunflower in her memory as part of our Sunflower Memories campaign. Here, Jacqueline shares how this helps them to reflect on George’s life and share their memories with other families.
My dad, George, was cared for at the Canterbury hospice in the last three weeks of his life in 2016. When my mum and I became unable to provide the level of care that Dad deserved, we made the hard decision to look into hospice care. At first I felt like we were betraying Dad as we’d cared for him ourselves for many years, but these fears and concerns were soon alleviated when my dad went into Pilgrims.
Sunflower Memories gives my family a chance to reflect on Dad’s life and share our memories with other families who have been supported by Pilgrims.
The Pilgrims staff treated Dad with respect and dignity, which allowed Mum and I to stop being his carers and to simply enjoy spending time with him. Pilgrims not only looked after my dad, they looked after the whole family at such a difficult time.
I support Pilgrims through taking part in several events. It’s a way of saying thank you, and raising vital funds to ensure that other families receive the same wonderful care and support that Pilgrims provided to us. Pilgrims continued to care for us after Dad passed away. Sunflower Memories gives my family a chance to reflect on Dad’s life and share our memories with other families who have been supported by Pilgrims.
Sunflower Memories events will take place at our hospices in July 2018:
Laura’s story: “Pilgrims helped us build special memories with my sister”
Laura Chapman-Modi (27) from Wembley, London, recently experienced Pilgrims Hospices care when her sister, Katy Chapman-King, from Birchington, was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet during February and March 2018, aged 29. Here, Laura shares how Pilgrims supported Katy, and her family, so that they could create special memories together. Now, Katy’s family and friends are fundraising for Pilgrims so that others can continue to benefit from local hospice care.
My sister, Katy, was introduced to Pilgrims when she was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer just before her wedding day on 24 August 2014; a disease we’d already lost our father to years before. Katy was in remission for more than two years, but unfortunately the cancer came back and was no longer treatable.
Katy was offered to stay at the Thanet hospice for respite and symptom control, both before and after her wedding, to ensure that she could make the big day – and she did! She knew that this was the place she would want to spend her last few weeks; she’d been there before, knew the staff and felt safe in the hands of the Pilgrims doctors and nurses. They helped to alleviate Katy’s fears around dying and supported our whole family whilst she was in their care, and they continue to do so now that she has passed away.
When your loved one is ill, the hospice almost becomes a second home; the Pilgrims staff make you feel as welcome and as cared for as possible.
All the Pilgrims staff are very knowledgeable and provide fantastic support not just for patients but for their families, too. Katy received expert care from Pilgrims. They helped with symptom-control for the type of cancer she had and provided reassurance and support at a really difficult time. As a family, we will always be so grateful for this. When your loved one is ill, the hospice almost becomes a second home; the Pilgrims staff make you feel as welcome and as cared for as possible.
Nothing was ever too much to ask; Pilgrims would always try to help in any way they could to make Katy’s wishes fulfilled – including a night out at the pub! This helped us to build special memories in the last few weeks we had with her.
Pilgrims would always try to help in any way they could to make Katy’s wishes fulfilled.
A big highlight for Katy was that her beloved cats – Honey, Hope and Pebbles – were able to come into Pilgrims and visit her. They were such an important part of her life and having them in the hospice gave her so much comfort. Pilgrims also made sure that Katy could go out as much as possible and continue to do things when she wanted to. This even meant that she got her first tattoo, which she had always wanted to do.
In appreciation of the care that Katy received and in her memory, myself, Katy’s husband, Alex Chapman-King (34), and several other family members and friends are now fundraising for Pilgrims. We completed It’s a Knockout in May 2018; our team, Katy’s Kittens, came in fifth place and raised more than £1,000. We’re also planning sponsored runs for Pilgrims including the Canterbury Half Marathon, as well as a skydive, to continue raising much-needed money for such a worthwhile cause so that the hospice can continue the fantastic work it does day in, day out. We hope that our fundraising will help other families like us to experience the extra special care that Pilgrims offers.
Alex: “Pilgrims provided a lifeline”
Katy’s husband, Alex, shares why he is personally motivated to support Pilgrims.
“My life was pretty much normal until I turned 30 in 2014. That year, my Dad, Barry King, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and cared for at the Thanet hospice. Two days before Dad’s funeral, Katy was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. We’d already planned to get married that August. Pilgrims provided a lifeline when Katy was first diagnosed, managing to get her feeling well enough for our wedding day.
I’m choosing to fundraise for Pilgrims so that the support they gave Katy and my dad can be offered to others who are experiencing palliative care in the local east Kent community.
“Pilgrims staff were always available to offer support and care, not only to Katy but to me as well. They allowed my last few weeks with her to be memorable, helping us to create quality time by controlling Katy’s pain and symptoms. The hospice enabled her to pass away with dignity and respect. I believe everyone has the right to die with dignity and respect and Pilgrims offer this aspect of care. For me, this is why I’m choosing to fundraise for Pilgrims; so that the support they gave Katy and my dad can be offered to others who are experiencing palliative care in the local east Kent community.”
After Lisa D’Agostini’s dad, Francesco D’Agostini, was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Ashford in 2016, she decided to dedicate a sunflower in his memory as part of our Sunflower Memories campaign. Here, Lisa shares how this gives her a chance to remember, reflect and recognise the vital work that Pilgrims does.
I always remember Dad commenting on the warm welcome he received from staff when he arrived at Pilgrims Hospice Ashford; something simple goes a long way in making someone feel more at ease in unfamiliar surroundings. For his three children, this was our first time stepping foot into a hospice and we were unsure what to expect.
Dad loved a good chat and joke with the Pilgrims staff; nothing was too much trouble and their time was freely given.
Pilgrims is such a calm, peaceful and homely place and dad had a lovely view, with his bed positioned overlooking the fabulous garden and water features. I can’t praise the staff highly enough for the wonderful care and time they gave to Dad and to us as a family.
Dad loved a good chat and joke with the Pilgrims staff; nothing was too much trouble and their time was freely given. Patients are treated as individuals with the utmost dignity and respect. We were able to visit Dad at any time, day or night.
Sunflower Days provide an opportunity to remember, reflect and recognise the amazing work that Pilgrims carries out.
I attended Sunflower Memories for the first time in July 2017 and found it very emotional. It helped to remind me that others had gone through the painful loss of a loved one just like me. Sunflower Days provide an opportunity to remember, reflect and recognise the amazing work that Pilgrims carries out. It’s so important to support such a wonderful charity in order to ensure that more people have the opportunity to experience the care they may need in the future.
Sunflower Memories events will take place at our hospices in July 2018: