24th August 2022

    Pilgrims Hospices make patient’s wedding wish come true

    Elaine and Jason Edwards, a former carpenter, from Herne Bay were married in a civil ceremony at Jason’s flat on Saturday 30 July 2022. This was an extra special occasion, as Jason has motor neurone disease (MND) and is receiving support from Pilgrims Hospices.

    The charity helped to make their big day possible, enabling them to create beautiful memories that will last forever.


    The family is incredibly grateful for Pilgrims’ care, which frequently extends beyond its physical hospices and into the wider east Kent community.

    Martyn Yates, Spiritual Care Lead and Complementary Therapist at Pilgrims, was integral in organising Elaine and Jason’s marriage.

    Jason and Elaine on their wedding day

     

    Elaine said: “Our experience with Pilgrims Hospices has been totally amazing. We had Martyn come out and see us from the spiritual care team, to help us with getting married. He was amazing. He was very informative, and due to all his help, we were married at home in Jason’s flat with a few family members and very close friends in attendance.

    Martyn Yates

    “Pilgrims gives us as a family help and support in ways we never imagined possible. They are on hand for help and advice 24 hours a day; it gives us peace of mind knowing that they are there throughout this hard time in our lives. It means so much to us that they are here for us. They do an amazing job, and we can’t thank them enough for all they do.”

    Martyn added: “One of the really important parts of the work we do at Pilgrims is to make every day as good as it can be for both our patients and their families – so they can live their lives to the full. Our links with community agencies help us to do this; in this case, the Canterbury registrars pulled out all the stops, and between us we were able to achieve Elaine and Jason’s wishes. It is so lovely to be able to do things like this for our patients and their families.”


    Pilgrims Hospices cares for thousands of local people each year, free of charge, during the most challenging time in their lives. They offer care and support in people’s own homes, in the community and in their inpatient units as well as running a 24-hour advice line.

    17th August 2022

    Pilgrims Hospices Summer Fair beats the heat!

    Despite the sweltering heat, hundreds of people attended Pilgrims Hospices’ annual Summer Fair on Saturday 13 August 2022, held at The Farriers Arms in Mersham, and showed their support for the local hospice charity.


    Although Mother Nature didn’t play ‘fair’ on the day, as temperatures soared, people of all ages travelled from miles around in the hopes of winning prizes and bagging bargains.

    Hospice staff and volunteers manned over 30 stalls, featuring games including the famous Bottle Tombola, Tin Can Alley, Paper Plane Game and Pilgrims Putting, which was new this year.

    The 2022 Summer Fair was kindly sponsored by estate agents Andrew & Co, who had their own fundraising game to help raise additional funds. Faversham Ices also kindly sold ice creams – which were unsurprisingly popular on the day – donated by Consort, so that 100% of the sales went to the hospice.

    Many local companies showed their support and donated towards the Grand Draw. Lifeboat Lettings donated a TV, the Wooplack Inn, Warehorne kindly gave a night’s stay and dinner for two, and the Kent Cookery School donated an evening course for two.

    Barry and Laura Ash as Superman and Wonder Woman

    Magician Geoff Partner amazed the crowds with his magic tricks, and husband and wife duo Barry and Laura Ash wowed visitors as Superman and Wonder Woman.

    Pilgrims Community Fundraising Manager for Ashford, Louise Newman, said: “We couldn’t be more grateful to all our supporters for going the extra mile and still volunteering or visiting on the day despite the extreme temperatures. As a local hospice, we are always so moved by the generosity of our communities. Whether people donated items or offered to lend a hand on the day, their kindness all adds up to make a huge difference for our patients.

    Special thanks to Landlords Lindsey Best and John Hockley from The Farriers Arms who donated use of their field and supported the event from start to finish.

    Over 70 volunteers joined forces before, during and after the event to ensure its success, and we are especially grateful for their ongoing support. On behalf of everyone who benefits from our services, may I say a huge thank you to all of the people who helped to make our Summer Fair possible.”

    Check out a full set of event photos on the Pilgrims Hospices Facebook page.

    Pilgrims’ next fundraising event is the Folkestone Downs Challenge, a 36km hiking event designed to showcase the very best of Kent’s spectacular south coast, which will be held on Saturday 3 September.

    For more details and to sign up, visit: folkestonedownschallenge.org


    Pilgrims Hospices cares for thousands of local people each year, free of charge, during the most challenging time in their lives. They offer care and support in people’s own homes, in the community and in their inpatient units as well as running a 24-hour advice line.

    12th August 2022

    Benches stolen from much loved hospice gardens

    Thoughtless thieves stole two benches from local charity, Pilgrims Hospices in Margate on Tuesday evening.  Shortly after nine pm, the newly refurbished wooden benches were captured on CCTV being carried by a man and a woman to a van parked on the main road.  The couple were caught on camera and the theft has been reported to the police.

    The wooden benches were recently refurbished by hospice volunteers, in an effort to improve the seating for patients and their families whilst using the gardens.

    We can’t thank the people of Thanet enough for their generosity and very kind words of support.

    Jon Sillett   Deputy CEO

    Jon May, Pilgrims Hospices Thanet Services Manager said: “We are all at a loss as to why people would want to steel from our charity. Just last week, a volunteer working party from Saga, repaired and gave the benches a fresh new look in blue paint, they looked wonderful. Saga employees are regular supporters of the hospices, and offer their time and expertise for which we are very grateful.

    “We are disappointed to say the least, that some people saw fit to steel our garden furniture, and feel even more disappointment for the volunteers who have taken so much time and effort to refurbish the benches and make them look so beautiful.

    “We rely on volunteer support from organisations such as Saga, and hope this unpleasant incident will not detract from the amazing work, they do for us now and in the future.  We really couldn’t do some of the vital work in and around our hospice and grounds without the generous support of our volunteers.”

    The charity has been inundated with kind offers from members of the community and local businesses, to replace the benches.  Jon Sillett, Deputy CEO, added: “We can’t thank the people of Thanet enough for their generosity and very kind words of support.  We have accepted a generous offer to replace the benches. Sadly, it’s unpleasant experiences such as this, that remind us how we are part of, and valued by the local community.

    We are now reviewing how we can improve the security on our site in Margate, and would love to enhance the security within the hospice settings to deter any future potential incidents. If you would like to make a contribution to items such as security gates, updating fences, lighting and other items, this would be very much appreciated. This would enable our gardens to be safe places for our patients and their loved ones to enjoy, and somewhere to create special moments and memories.

    If anyone would like to help with a donation, to help maintain the hospice for those who need Pilgrims care and support, you can donate here:  select Thanet garden and bench replacement donation from the drop down menu.  You can call Pilgrims Supporter Relations Team on 01227 782 062, every penny donated will be making a different to end-on-life care in our community.


    Pilgrims Hospices cares for more than 2,500 local people each year, free of charge, during the most challenging time in their lives. They offer care and support in people’s own homes, in the community and in their inpatient units as well as running a 24-hour advice line.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    9th August 2022

    Pilgrims shop goes the whole nine yards for a sale

    Pilgrims Hospices shop in New Romney will be holding a Yard Sale on Saturday 20 August between 10am and 3pm.

    The busy High Street shop will be open as usual, selling a range of clothing, bric-a-brac, books, toys, jewellery and more. At the rear of the shop, the courtyard will be open for customers to browse and purchase items that are not always readily available in store.


    The Yard Sale will include everything from power tools, hand tools, both preloved and vintage, to screws and nails, tool boxes, and ratchets, gardening equipment, comprising of lawn mowers, strimmers, plant pots, along with fishing gear and everything in between. There will also be plenty of crafting materials, puzzles, a tombola and a secret gift bag tub. Everything at affordable prices, and generating much-needed funds for local hospice care. 

    Julia Nailor, Pilgrims Hospices Shop Manager said: “We ran a very successful ‘Yard Sale’ last year, and customers have asked us to run the event again. The sale was one of our most successful days ever, with sales of more than £2,500 for the charity, we just didn’t stop all day! We hope our shoppers and supporters will help us do as well again this year.”

    The charity shop is run by a band of volunteers; Julia calls them her Pilgrims family.

    She added: “I appreciate each and every one of them, all with their different skill sets and qualities, this is a brilliant little gem of a shop and we are kept busy by our loyal local shoppers and often get a visit from holidaymakers and some even return to donate products to our shop.”

    “One of  the most unusual donations was a bright yellow cement mixer; it was snapped up quickly for a princely sum of £80 by a very happy purchaser.”

    New Romney shop volunteers:
    Jacqui Mears, Catherine Henwood, Fiona Bennett, Maureen Hicks and Mary Hyde

     

    Julia’s band of volunteers are busy bringing the Yard Sale to life; they’ve been collecting and preparing products for the event over the past few months, so there will be plenty to discover.

    Volunteer Jacqui Mears has been a team member for 12 years, originally sharing her time at Lydd and now at the New Romney shop on the High Street.

    She told us: “I only called in for a book.”

    She now volunteers her time to help three days each week to support the charity.

    Maureen Hicks who has also volunteered for 12 years said:

    “After retirement, I soon became bored. I knew someone who volunteered at the Pilgrims shop and I decided to offer my time too. My thoughts are that you never know when you might need Pilgrims’ support, so I’m very happy to be a Tuesday girl and part of Julia’s team of volunteers.”

    Volunteer Mary Hyde is the shop’s crafting expert, with an eye for craft materials and a champion knitter. Mary spends her spare time, when not volunteering at the shop, creating novelty knits as gifts and ensuring the shop dollies are fully dressed and ready for sale.

    She told us: “I’m looking forward to the Yard Sale, I’ve been picking out patterns, needles, fabrics and card-making materials from people’s kind donations, ready for our big event. There will be many items to choose from, and we even have a sewing machine and a dye cutting machine for sale too. I will be happy to share my knowledge and give advice to new crafters if I can on the day.”

    This is a very special role, and we all enjoy our little Pilgrims community, thanking those kind people who make donations and those who purchase; everyone is helping to make a difference to those in the community who need Pilgrims’ care.

    Julia Nailor, New Romney Shop Manager

    While the ladies were busy processing donations and sorting into relevant categories for pressing, sizing and ready for sale, they said that their oldest volunteer colleague was Vera who is 90+ years old, and helps on a Wednesday morning. Vera joined the Pilgrims volunteer team when the shop opened in 1994, and still enjoys meeting people and supporting the charity even if it is for less hours now. They all agreed as older ladies, it’s great to dedicate some time as a volunteer, they all made great friendships, and it helps to keep them all well and active.

    Although, having some strong gentlemen volunteers would really help with some of the lifting and carrying.

    Julia added: ”We do our best to have a diverse selection of clothing, bric-a-brac, jewellery, and toys and lots more. Especially during the school holidays, we have visits from lots of grandparents with their grandchildren selecting children’s books, games and puzzles to keep them amused.”

    Julia was a volunteer prior to being offered the role of shop manager, more than six years ago. She said: “I came in shopping with my daughter one day, and someone said ‘we could do with your help’. Before I knew it, I was shown around the shop and came back as a regular volunteer shortly after that!

    “As time went on, I was offered the opportunity to take up a paid role as a member of staff. I absolutely love my job but couldn’t do it without the support of my amazing volunteers.  

    “I don’t have a retail background, in fact I’ve done a number of different jobs over the years including office work and working with adults with learning disabilities before having a family, and then managing a pub with my brother. However, you do need bags of energy, an eye for detail, and a keen sense of what customers are looking for when shopping with us.

    “This is a very special role, and we all enjoy our little Pilgrims community, thanking those kind people who make donations and those who purchase; everyone is helping to make a difference to those in the community who need Pilgrims’ care.”

    The Yard Sale takes place on Saturday 20 August, 10:00-15:00 at our New Romney shop: 39 High Street, New Romney TN28 8BW

    Join our Facebook event!

    You can also join the New Romney shop’s Facebook group to keep up to date with the latest news.

    Would you like to volunteer in one of Pilgrims shops? Find out more at: 

    pilgrimshospices.org/shop-volunteers


    Pilgrims Hospices cares for thousands of local people each year, free of charge, during the most challenging time in their lives. They offer care and support in people’s own homes, in the community and in their inpatient units as well as running a 24-hour advice line.

    5th August 2022

    Sunflowers and sunshine for hospice remembrance event

    Pilgrims Hospices saw hundreds attend their summer remembrance event on Satruday 31 July 2022, held across their sites in Canterbury, Thanet and Ashford. 

    More than 600 people remembered their loved one with a sunflower memory marker this year, which were planted in the three hospice gardens. The weather was kind, giving everyone the opportunity to celebrate and share their memories in the sunshine. 


    At the charity’s Sunflower Days, family and friends came together to share stories and celebrate the lives of their loved ones, with Pilgrims volunteers and staff. The hospices’ Wellbeing Practitioners were on hand to share insights into their valuable work, which takes place in their Therapy Centres.

    Visitors were shown some of the artworks produced by patients who attend the Hospice for Wellbeing sessions, which provides a welcome distraction from the realities of living with a life-limiting illness.

    Ellie Cane, Individual Giving Officer at Pilgrims Hospices, told us:

    “We are so grateful to all those who joined us on Saturday, to share their memories and celebrate their loved ones’ lives with us. It is our great pleasure to continue supporting the families and friends left behind, as part of the Pilgrims family. Of course, these Sunflower Days would not be possible without the kind help of our amazing volunteers. From serving refreshments of tea and cake, to helping visitors find their sunflower markers, and ensuring everyone who attended was well looked after.” 

    So far the appeal has raised over £30,000, with donations still coming in. This is enough for Pilgrims to provide a programme of one-to-one bereavement support for over 100 individuals struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one.  

    Ellie added, “On behalf of all of us here at Pilgrims Hospices, I would like to thank everyone who donated to this year’s Sunflower Memories appeal for their generous support. Without you, we could not continue to provide our vital care and support to our local community across east Kent.” 

    This year the events were also accompanied by a short film, available to watch now on the Pilgrims Hospices YouTube channel.


    Pilgrims Hospices cares for thousands of local people each year, free of charge, during the most challenging time in their lives. They offer care and support in people’s own homes, in the community and in their inpatient units as well as running a 24-hour advice line.

    3rd August 2022

    Store50 brings second-hand, chic and eco-friendly fashion to Canterbury

    Store50 is Pilgrims Hospices’ newest shop, located at 50 St. Peter’s Street, Canterbury, in the heart of the city on its bustling high street.

    By nature, charity shops are known for stocking preloved goods; Store50 is taking that a step further, aiming to make second-hand fashion affordable, chic and eco-friendly at the same time.


    Opening on 4 August 2022, it will stock a diverse range of clothing for all, with a focus on “slow fashion” – an approach to producing clothing that advocates respect for people and the environment, often through reducing, reusing and recycling, rather than buying new items.

    The shop will particularly appeal to Canterbury’s thriving student population, who will find trendy threads to suit their wardrobes and their budgets.

    Store50 also features a dedicated denim section upstairs, a chill out area and vinyl record room downstairs, and a community board where people can leave messages about local news, events and business.

    Mandy Hawkett, Pilgrims Retail Area Manager shared: “We’ve been really keen to get this initiative off the ground for some time now, and have been searching for a suitable shop. We are delighted to have secured Store50. The team has pulled together fresh ideas with innovative and creative planning to give the shop something extraordinary for shoppers to enjoy. It looks like high end fashion with all the qualities of sustainability and so much more. We are also offering students a 10% discount, so it really is worth paying us a visit.”

    Amy Eldridge, Shop Manager, said: “We’re so excited to be launching this brand new charity shop for the quirky and diverse Canterbury community. We hope that by encouraging shoppers to thrift and be mindful about their purchases, we can help to build a more sustainable retail economy that benefits people and our planet. By shopping with us, you will help to stop items going to landfill, save precious pennies, and also contribute to Pilgrims’ vital services across east Kent – supporting our charity to provide compassionate care to patients and families where and when they need it the most.”

    Emily Bartlett and Demi Hale, Supervisors, added: “It’s a re-envisioning of a charity shop, set apart from the mainstream and what people are used to. We hope it will be popular across different age groups, not just students – it’s perfect for the everyday shopper, too!”

    Store50 is open 10:00-18:00 Monday-Saturday and 10:00-16:00 on Sundays.

    Tag us on social media using #pilgrimsshops and #store50thrifts.

    Do you have a passion for slow fashion and a love for all things local?

    Store50 is looking for volunteers to join its growing team, and they’d love to hear from you!

    To find out more and apply, click here, call Amy on 07983 131 627 or email amy.eldridge@pilgrimshospices.org.


    Pilgrims Hospices cares for thousands of local people each year, free of charge, during the most challenging time in their lives. They offer care and support in people’s own homes, in the community and in their inpatient units as well as running a 24-hour advice line.

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