Community spirit helps to fill Pilgrims Hospices kitchens
Local suppliers, businesses, restaurants and manufacturers have all helped Pilgrims to keep the kitchens stocked with fresh produce, allowing the hospices to offer a full menu to patients and staff. While many local services have been postponed in order to stem the flow of the Coronavirus, business owners and suppliers have generously thought of Pilgrims Hospices; offering their excess fresh produce to be utilised in the charity’s kitchens.
The catering teams across Pilgrims Hospices wish to thank the local community for their amazingly generous donations which have allowed the hospices to provide a consistently full and varied menu at the hospices in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet.
Ian Ashton, Catering Manager for the hospices said: “The local community spirit has truly shone through, we are immensely grateful for everyone’s support.
“We are delighted to say, through so many generous donations, Pilgrims Hospices has now fully stocked fridges and our cold stores are currently at capacity with fresh produce.”
“The east Kent community is always extremely generous and our relationships with businesses that have extra capacity play an important role in how our catering budget and kitchens are managed.
The local community spirit has truly shone through, we are immensely grateful for everyone’s support.
Ian Ashton, Pilgrims Hospices Catering Manager
“As we have no further storage capacity we will have to refuse any further donations for the immediate future. However, if you would like to share produce with us in the future, we will be delighted to hear from you.”
Thank you everyone for supporting Pilgrims Hospices catering team with your generous offers.
If your business would like to support us with produce in the future, please contact Ian Ashton, Pilgrims Catering Manager by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
11th March 2020
Charlotte and Leanne are ready to take on marathon challenges
Working for Pilgrims Hospices care team is demanding, rewarding and fulfilling, finding time to step away from care at the end of life is important and, vital to the wellbeing of those who work in such challenging environments. Running is becoming increasingly popular amongst the staff at the Ashford hospice as part of a regular healthy lifestyle and encouraging energy boosting for personal health and fitness.
Charlotte and Leanne are both in training for marathon challenges next month and share some of their experiences in getting ready to run.
With busy careers within the care team for Pilgrims Hospices; both have a burning ambition to complete a marathon challenge. They are finding time in their busy schedules to train; Charlotte for the Brighton Marathonand Leanne, for the Virgin London Marathon.
It gives me such a boost to know that I’m running and raising funds for people who need Pilgrims care the most in my local community.
Charlotte Davies, Pilgrims Hospices
Charlotte Davies (34) from Ashford is a palliative specialist nurse at the hospice, her role takes her into the community to see patients and families in their own homes. She’s excited to being taking part in her first ever Brighton Marathon on 19 April.
Charlotte said: “I hope this will be the first of many; it’s all a bit crazy, juggling work, studying for a master’s degree and, training with two children of four and two years of age; it’s keeping me very busy.
“Training is going well! I’m enjoying it, even when it’s cold, dark and raining. It gives me such a boost to know that I’m running and raising funds for people who need Pilgrims care the most in my local community.
“I’m often seen on training runs around Ashford wearing my Pilgrims vest. Please give me a wave if you see me.”
Charlotte wanted to work in a hospice ever since she was a young girl. Her grandfather was cared for in a hospice leaving a lasting impression of love and care that has been her inspiration to join the nursing profession as a legacy to her much-loved grandfather.
Leanne Clark (29) from Ashford is a wellbeing practitioner in Pilgrims Therapy Centre at the Ashford hospice. Her role provides support and therapy for patients, helping to manage symptoms and build self-confidence so they can live well at home for much longer.
She said: “I have always wanted to run the London Marathon ever since watching it on TV as a young girl and, I wanted to run for a cause that is so close to my heart.
“Pilgrims looked after my nan in 2016-17; Nan attended the Therapy Centre for symptom management and received regular visits from the community nursing team at home.
My role in the Therapy Centre allows me to see first-hand what brilliant work everyone does at Pilgrims.
Leanne Clark, Pilgrims Hospices
“Nan always received care with the utmost dignity and respect right up until the end. It was from the beautiful care that I decided to pay back the hospice in the very best way I can. Nan was 87 years old when she died and the hospice made it easy for her to be at home where she wanted to be and, provided support to all of us as a family.
“My role in the Therapy Centre allows me to see first-hand what brilliant work everyone does at Pilgrims; helping to make patients’ and their loved ones’ lives that little bit easier. The compassion my nan received from doctors, nurses, physios and so many others at the hospice was lovely and, I will forever be grateful to all the staff that cared for her.
“Everyone is so kind, so thoughtful and it’s brilliant that not only is the patient cared for as an individual but also the family’s welling is a priority as well.”
When speaking about Pilgrims, they shared how it is a beautiful place to come with no judgement. They provide a safe space for families too, at a time when they really need us. Organisations such as Pilgrims are invaluable to the local community.
Leanne said: “My training is going well so far. The miles are slowly increasing and, it’s getting serious as the event is really close now.
“I came through the really tough stages and feel I’m ready to take on the challenge.
“I just think of all the people I am running for and, about my nan and it spurs me along.”
Top tips from Charlotte and Leanne
Anyone looking to run a marathon should consider it carefully before taking up the challenge. You need to devote time every week to the training, in order to complete the challenge reasonably. Be aware it will take a toll on your body but with gradual training, you’ll gain such brilliant health benefits.
Give yourself plenty of time to train and be aware that life does tend to get in the way.
Prepare, join a running club if you need to, the support, friendship and tips you learn from others are brilliant.
Join a local parkrun, it’s 5km, free and they’re held all over. From there, build up to a 10km, then a half marathon and before you know it, you are at your first marathon.
Charlotte said: “I took up running after my son was born, he’s two years old now; it was one of the best things I’ve done.”
Every penny raised by our supporters in Brighton and London marathons will be helping to provide end-of-life care in Pilgrims Hospices near you.
If you or someone you know is coping with a life limiting illness and you think you may benefit from Pilgrims support, talk to your GP or Healthcare Professional about the options or click here to read about our Wellbeing Programme.
10th March 2020
The annual Paws 4 Pilgrims fundraising dog walk will take place on Sunday 29 March in Deal. Tara Baltera from Margate with her daughter Lily are taking part, they will be walking Wally, the 5-year-old Dalmatian on the 5km walk along Deal’s beautiful coastline.
The gorgeous spotty dog is a rescue dog from Dalmatian Welfare and belongs to Tara’s friend Paul who will be joining them for their Sunday morning stroll to support end-of-life care within the local community.
By supporting our event you are helping to raise important funds and to help people to live well in every moment.
Karen Kenward, Pilgrims Hospices
Tara said: “We don’t have a dog ourselves and Lily loves dogs; we often take Wally out for walks, she’s wonderful company and enjoys lots of exercise, so it’s good for all of us.
“We enjoy supporting local good causes and this particular event is always such a lovely day. We always stay for the dog show after the walk and have a number of rosettes to show for it! Lily enjoyed winning dog most like its owner.”
The walk takes the dogs and their walking buddies along the Deal coastline towards Walmer before returning. After the walk, there’s a fun dog show with lots of classes for furry friends to take part in. Could your dog be the ‘fastest sausage catcher’?
Come along and watch, there will be refreshments and stalls to enjoy too, it’s a great day out for the whole family.
Karen Kenward, Pilgrims Community Fundraising Manager at the Thanet hospice said: “It will be great to see Wally and her friends again this year. There are lots of our regular Paws 4 Pilgrims supporters registered and many new to the event too.
“By supporting our event you are helping to raise important funds and to help people to live well in every moment.”
You can register to take part here or come along and register on the day.
8.30am: Registration opens
10.30am – 12pm: 5k walk along the Deal coastal route
12pm – 3.30pm: Fun dog and agility shows
Early bird entry (closes 15/03/2020)
12 years and over: £8 / 11 years and under: £4 / Family: £20*
Standard entry (closes 22/03/2020) and on the day entry
12 years and over: £10 / 11 years and under: £6 / Family: £30*
* Family entry includes two people of 12 years and over plus two people of 11 years and under.
Fun dog and agility shows
There will be a fun dog and agility show after the walk, which dogs can be entered into for £2 per class or £1 per class for those who have entered the walk.
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 care on its wards, in people’s own homes and through the Wellbeing Programme held in Pilgrims Therapy Centres.
5th March 2020
Early referral to hospice care helps Hamid to live well
When Hamid Hajilou from Broomfield near Herne Bay was diagnosed with stomach cancer, little things that most people take for granted – including walking, sleeping and cooking – became a struggle. Thankfully, an early referral to Pilgrims Hospices helped him get back on his feet and resume the active lifestyle he has always enjoyed.
Hamid worked as a car sales manager for more than 20 years, with previous experience in the retail trade and catering industry. He retired in April 2019, but after returning from a family holiday later that year he began to feel unwell. Hamid started experiencing sciatica-like leg pain in October 2019. It became difficult for him to stand and impacted his ability to cook, a hobby he loves: “I’m a big Rick Stein fan, I could watch his shows for hours!” The pain was so debilitating that he didn’t know where to turn.
I can’t speak highly enough about Pilgrims, not only of the staff but of the concept – they just listen to you. My life changed when I got to know the hospice team. They asked about my wellbeing and mental health, including my spirituality, everything. I’m not religious but I really appreciated it, just the fact they cared enough to check.
Hamid’s wife Peyma is a Maternity Matron at East Kent Hospitals. She said: “I had my medical head on and I knew that his pain wasn’t being managed. We didn’t know what to do, but because I have an NHS background I was able to navigate and help us access the care he needed. Once Pilgrims was involved, everything changed within two weeks.”
Hamid added: “The Pilgrims care team are angels, particularly the hospice nurse who saw me initially and the consultant Dominique who prescribed me the correct pain relief – she spent two hours with Peyma and I in between her already full day.”
Hamid was diagnosed with stomach cancer in December 2019, which has spread to his back. He had radiotherapy treatment at Kent and Canterbury Hospital on 31 December 2019 then transferred to the Canterbury hospice as an inpatient, before being discharged nine days later. His pain was managed so successfully by Pilgrims that he could stand up out of a wheelchair, something which hadn’t seemed possible before his referral. He was anxious about going home in case things took a downward turn again, but Pilgrims is continuing to support him.
Hamid said: “I’d been in so much pain that I didn’t even care about the cancer, I just wanted the pain to stop. When I was offered a room in the hospice, that seemed dreamy. I sobbed with relief.”
Peyma added: “I couldn’t believe my eyes; it was like five-star accommodation.”
Hamid continued: “I can’t speak highly enough about Pilgrims, not only of the staff but of the concept – they just listen to you. My life changed when I got to know the hospice team. They asked about my wellbeing and mental health, including my spirituality, everything. I’m not religious but I really appreciated it, just the fact they cared enough to check. Any food I wanted was cooked to order and hospice nurses would come and talk to me. One nurse, Seema, gave me a foot massage in the early hours of the morning. That humanitarian aspect blew me away. The hospice staff are always so accommodating, saying with a smile, “Just call us if you need anything.” That means so much.”
Pilgrims has shown us so much kindness and compassion. If I won the lottery, I would make a large donation to the charity because it has made such a difference to my life. Thanks to the hospice team, I’m pain-free.
Pilgrims got Hamid’s symptoms under control, ensured he was on the correct medication and facilitated a smooth return home. Social workers helped him secure a disabled badge and the occupational therapy team arranged home aids including a bed, chair cushion and stool for cooking in the kitchen. Hamid has also accessed physiotherapy services. At a recent hospital appointment, his consultant was amazed at how well he is doing since his referral to Pilgrims care.
Peyma said: “We need to change the perception of hospice care, because it can affect prognosis and quality of life in such a positive way. There is so much to be offered; even little things you take for granted like being able to shower or being made a cup of tea. It feels like home.
“When you’re not in pain, you’re not thinking about cancer; it’s not shadowing our lives anymore. Who knows what’s around the corner? We just take each day as it comes.”
Hamid added: “Pilgrims has shown us so much kindness and compassion. If I won the lottery, I would make a large donation to the charity because it has made such a difference to my life. Thanks to the hospice team, I’m pain-free and that’s the most important thing. With their support, I hope this means that I can have a few years of good quality life with my beautiful wife and lovely son.”