16th February 2022

    Bob encourages everyone to embrace Pilgrims Hospices care

    When Bob Jager from Greenhill, Herne Bay was offered Pilgrims Hospices care, he didn’t think it was for him. That changed when he visited the Canterbury hospice; now, he wants to spread the word and encourage others to make the most of Pilgrims’ vital services.

    Bob, a retired painter and decorator, recently spent time in the Canterbury hospice before returning home to his wife and family. Like so many people, he had heard about hospice care but never experienced it himself.

    He said: My wife, Dot, and our daughter, Lorraine, convinced me to give it a go. When I came to Pilgrims for the first time, I saw how beautiful it is.

    “I thought it would be a horrible place. I’d only heard others talk about hospices and the things they said scared me, but I shouldn’t have listened to them. This is why we need to talk about it, because it’s been such a wonderful experience for me.”

    Bob’s friend of 60 years, Denis Berwick, added: “Everybody fears it, especially as you get older. I always thought the same as Bob, but coming to see him at Pilgrims was the first time I’d been inside a hospice and I realise now how nice it is.”

    Denis and Bob at the Canterbury hospice


    Bob and Denis are keen fishermen and members of the Canterbury and District Angling Association (CDAA). Inspired by the care his friend is receiving, Denis plans to organise CDAA fundraisers for Pilgrims in the future to help ensure that others can benefit from Pilgrims’ compassionate care across east Kent.

    Bob continued: “The care I’ve received has been wonderful, absolutely marvellous; I’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness, the politeness, the attitude and the friendliness of everybody here. I’m sleeping at night, I’ve got peace and quiet, contentment, and I’m happy. The Pilgrims staff are truly wonderful. The food is really cracking, too, you just can’t knock it.”

    “My advice to anyone who is unsure whether hospice care is for them is: Go for it, most definitely. You’re silly if you don’t.”

    Each year, Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,500 people in east Kent who are 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.

    2nd February 2022

    Kathleen retires after 13 years with Pilgrims Hospices Wellbeing team

    Pilgrims Hospices much loved Wellbeing Practitioner, Kathleen Steele, recently retired from the Thanet hospice after 13 years of caring and supporting patients’ wellbeing needs. She leaves behind a wealth of creative knowledge and a legacy of virtual therapy videos for patients to help them interact with the Wellbeing team from the comfort of their own homes.

    Kathleen joined Pilgrims from a career in supported learning services for people with learning disabilities.

    She told us: “I noticed the vacancy with Pilgrims and immediately felt it was a good match for my skills and I definitely wanted to remain in vocational services.

    “I have loved my time with Pilgrims, it’s such a rewarding role helping to support people to live as actively as possible earlier in the course of their illness and assisting them to remain independent and positive by sharing time with our support team and others using our services.”

    Kathleen at a Therapy Centre session


    During her time with Pilgrims, Kathleen contributed to the wellbeing of thousands of service users who have come to the Therapy Centre day services for a wide variety of therapy sessions.

    Kathleen with her colleague, Chris

    Kath from Cliffsend, said that she’s looking forward to spending more time with her husband Alan, and becoming even more proficient on her paddleboard; they have some well-earned holidays planned too. She has been studying the ancient Chinese art of brush painting, and looks forward to spending more time on her creative hobby.

    Kath said: “I’ve always been a creative person and the Chinese brush painting is so therapeutic, and relaxing. The art form has been around for more than 6,000 years, it’s the traditional art of painting on rice paper or silk with a natural animal-hair brush and ink. I describe my style as abstract and I’m looking forward to challenging myself with some imaginative painting with my newfound free time.”

    Kathleen with her colleague, Sophie

    Kyla from Pilgrims’ Complementary Therapy team said: “I’ve worked closely with Kathleen on many projects and her legacy of ideas and creative thinking will continue to be part of Pilgrims Wellbeing programmes. I wish Kathleen a very happy retirement, and hopefully she will pop in to see some of her friends here at the hospice now and again.”

    If you are interested in working in end-of-life care, and feel you have the qualities to help people to live well until the end of their lives, check out our current vacancies for more information and apply today.

    Each year, Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,500 people in east Kent coming to terms with an illness that sadly cannot be cured. The charity supports patients to live life as well as possible until the very end,comm free from pain and distress. 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.

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