22nd December 2023

    Pilgrims Hospices announces closure of Concession at Blue Diamond Garden Centre

    We are sorry to announce the permanent closure of our concession within the Blue Diamond Garden Centre on the Stour Business Park at Chartham, effective Saturday, 13th January 2024.

    Over the years, we have enjoyed a positive working relationship with Blue Diamond, who are the primary leaseholder, and we respect their decision to utilise the building for their own purposes.   We are actively seeking new premises in the local area and are committed to announcing our new location as soon as possible.

    We express our sincere gratitude to all the dedicated staff and volunteers who have been an integral part of the shop, as well as to the local community for their support over the past 12 years.  Thank you for your generosity. It’s been a privilege to be part of your community.

    While bidding farewell to our current location, Pilgrims Hospices Retail will not be leaving the area entirely.  We encourage you to continue supporting our hospice through our Furniture Shop, where donations are welcome.  The Furniture Shop is conveniently located at the back of Stour Valley Business Park, opposite the car wash.

    We extend our heartfelt thanks for your understanding and ongoing support, and we look forward to sharing updates with you in the New Year. Until then, we would like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

    21st December 2023

    Jingling All the Way to Generosity: Pilgrims Hospices Lottery Christmas Superdraw hits high note, raising almost £55,000 for local hospice care!

    Pilgrims Hospices Lottery is delighted to announce the overwhelming success of its Christmas Superdraw, with more than 2,500 participants taking part and contributing to an impressive fundraising total of almost £55,000 for Pilgrims Hospices care in east Kent.

    Shiralee Riddell, Pilgrims Hospices Lottery Manager, expressed her gratitude, stating: “We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in the Christmas Superdraw, making it yet another successful event. The generosity and support we’ve received are truly heart-warming, and we are thrilled to see so many people joining hands to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need.  My team here at Pilgrims Hospices Lottery has received wonderful messages from people purchasing tickets, creating an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement and further encouraging community involvement and support, which is quite wonderful.”

    The Christmas Superdraw featured an array of exciting cash prizes, offering participants the opportunity to win more than 20 amazing prizes, with a first prize of £2,000.  In the spirit of spreading holiday cheer, Pilgrims Hospices Lottery has ensured that prize cheques have been promptly posted out, guaranteeing that the lucky winners receive their rewards in time for Christmas. This thoughtful gesture adds an extra layer of joy to the occasion, creating a memorable experience for the winners and their families.


    We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in the Christmas Superdraw

    Shiralee     –     Pilgrims

    The funds raised through the Christmas Superdraw will significantly contribute to Pilgrims Hospice care in East Kent, enabling the charity to continue providing vital support and services to those facing life-limiting illnesses. The success of this initiative underscores the community’s commitment to making a positive impact and spreading kindness during the holiday season.

    For more information about Pilgrims Hospices Lottery and their ongoing efforts to support hospice care, please visit www.pilgrimshospices.org/lottery or call the friendly lottery team on 01227 379741


    Pilgrims Hospices Lottery: Pilgrims Hospices Lottery is a charitable initiative dedicated to raising funds for Pilgrims Hospice care in East Kent. Through engaging events and activities, the organisation strives to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals facing life-limiting illnesses.

    20th December 2023

    Team Chocolate Orange to sweeten the spirits at Pilgrims Hospices

    In a heart-warming gesture of appreciation for the dedicated staff and nurses at Pilgrims Hospices, Team Chocolate Orange delivered 300 delectable Chocolate Oranges on Friday, 15th December. This initiative is a heartfelt thank-you for their unwavering commitment to providing end-of-life care for the local people of east Kent.

    Allan Pippard, along with his wife Joanne, representing the Faversham Town Walking Football group, spearheaded the delivery. The group has passionately collected the Chocolate Oranges as a token of gratitude for the compassionate care extended by the Pilgrims Hospices team.  Jo’s mother, Diane Mewett was cared for at the Canterbury hospice in early 2017, and they have since been advocates of the hospice and the care provided.

    The roots of this chocolaty initiative trace back to Chris Lamb, whose son Elliot received care at Alder Hey Hospital and sadly passed away in 2010. Fuelled by a desire to transform grief into positive change, Chris initiated the Chocolate Orange Challenge. This annual tradition not only commemorates Elliot’s memory but also stands as a symbol of appreciation for the tireless efforts of healthcare professionals.

    Kevin Mullins, a member of Team Chocolate Orange said: “I’m delighted to hear that Faversham Town Walking Football has successfully reached the target of 300 Chocolate Oranges to thank our incredible staff under the banner of Team Chocolate Orange.  This is a huge feat, as last year 300 Chocolate Oranges would have cost donors £300, but due to the price increase this year, the cost was £450.  It’s an incredible show of gratitude from a small cohort of people and a true reflection of the character of the group.  Praise is due to Allan for organising the collection and agreeing to make the delivery on behalf of Faversham Town Walking Football.  I’m sure for both Allan and Joanne, it was a special moment.”

    Kevin added, “I would also like to mention Pete Kenehan, who made an incredibly generous individual donation to our overall team Chocolate Orange collection following the passing of his wife, Sue Kenehan, at Pilgrims Hospices.”

    Allan Pippard, coordinator of the Chocolate Orange collection, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming delivery, saying, “It’s a privilege to be part of this initiative that spreads joy and gratitude. The Pilgrims Hospices team does exceptional work, and this is our way of saying thank you for their dedication to our community.”

    The delivery will definitely bring a touch of sweetness to the hardworking staff and nurses at Pilgrims Hospices. The Faversham Town Walking Football group looks forward to continuing this tradition of giving back and making a positive impact in the local community.

    Leila Ilkhan, Pilgrims Hospices Corporate and Trusts Partnerships Manager, said: “We really appreciate the chocolaty treats and wish to thank everyone involved for thinking of the Pilgrims team as we approach the festive season.  We will be sharing the treats across all three of the Pilgrims Hospice sites in Canterbury, Ashford, and Thanet.”

    About Team Chocolate Orange

    Team Chocolate Orange is a community initiative that aims to express gratitude to healthcare professionals through the annual Chocolate Orange Challenge. Inspired by the memory of Elliot Lamb, the initiative seeks to turn grief into positive change by delivering sweet treats to those who provide end-of-life care.

    Pilgrims Hospices

    Pilgrims Hospices is a leading provider of hospice care in east Kent. Committed to delivering compassionate and personalised end-of-life care, the hospice charity plays a crucial role in supporting individuals and their families during challenging times.

    About Faversham Town Walking Football

    Faversham Town Walking Football is a local sports group dedicated to promoting health and well-being through the joy of walking football. Engaging in community initiatives like the Chocolate Orange Challenge, the group aims to make a positive impact beyond the sports field.


    Hannah shines with sustainable creativity in Pilgrims Hospices Store 50 window displays

    Pilgrims Hospices is proud to spotlight the remarkable work of Hannah Golding, the window dressing specialist at Pilgrims Hospices Store 50 in Canterbury. Hannah’s innovative and sustainable approach to window displays has garnered attention and praise, making her an invaluable asset to the Pilgrims team.

    Innovation and Repurposing:

    Hannah Golding’s window displays are renowned for their creativity and innovation. When asked about her inspiration, she shared, “I always try to think about, moving forward, how I can use and reuse some of these pieces in the future, being totally sustainable.” A prime example is her Christmas display, which is a take on Widow Twanky from the Marlow Theatre Christmas Pantomime, featuring a repurposed pantomime dame costume made from repurposed or upcycled textiles, cardboard, and plastic bottles, showcasing her unique ability to turn pre-owned items into captivating works of art.


    I try to make the most of the space in our small window to create maximum impact on the high street, and the brilliant mannequins we have always help with the theatrics.

    Hannah    –     Pilgrims

    Sustainability Focus:

    Sustainability is at the heart of Hannah’s work. “The windows are so important to our shops. Sustainable Santa was such a success in the window last year; I thought we were on to something here,” she explains. By showcasing sustainable items, Hannah not only promotes responsible consumption but also helps build the brand of the store as a hub for eco-friendly and fashionable finds.

    Local Collaboration:

    Hannah’s collaboration with local organisations, like using the pantomime dame costume from a Marlow Theatre production, adds a fascinating touch to her displays. She emphasises the importance of community involvement, stating, “It was wonderful to be donated the costume by the Marlow Theatre; I hope we will be able to work with them on future projects.”

    Challenges and Solutions:

    Working with pre-owned items presents challenges, but Hannah navigates them adeptly. She elaborates on the process of creating displays: “I try to make the most of the space in our small window to create maximum impact on the high street, and the brilliant mannequins we have always help with the theatrics.” Her dedication to maintaining quality and visual appeal is evident in every display.

    Community Engagement:

    Hannah ensures her displays resonate with the local community. “We really want our windows to be part of the community,” she says. By gauging and incorporating community preferences, especially during festive seasons like Christmas, Hannah makes the store a vibrant and welcoming space.

    Long-Term Impact:

    Beyond aesthetic appeal, Hannah believes her work has a broader impact on raising awareness about sustainable practices and responsible consumption. “Our displays truly strike a chord with our customers, and we are enthusiastic about our ongoing integration into the wider community,” she adds.

    Hannah Golding, 43, born in Canterbury and currently residing in Whitstable, has been working with Pilgrims Hospices for a year. Apart from her window dressing role, Hannah is also involved in jewellery making under the guise of ‘little shop of hnh’, and is part of the makers shop Walrus & Oyster in Burgate, Canterbury, showcasing her multifaceted talents. @littleshopofhnh – littleshopofhnh.etsy.com

    Store50 has recently been awarded the Canterbury BID, Christmas Window Competition 2023, Platinum Award!

    Store 50, 50 St Peters Street, Canterbury CT1 2BE, 01227 949609

    Follow us on social media for updates:

    Facebook Store50: Pilgrims Hospices; Instagram: @pilgrimsshop-store50


    Pilgrims Hospices is a charitable organisation dedicated to providing compassionate care and support for individuals facing life-limiting illnesses. With a focus on quality of life and well-being, Pilgrims Hospices serves the community by offering a range of services and support for patients and their families.

    13th December 2023

    A message from Pilgrims Hospices on the death of Ann Robertson, founder and lifetime president

    It is with great sadness that Pilgrims Hospices shares the news that its founder and lifetime president of the charity, Ann Robertson, has died.

    Ann, who was 89 years old, died peacefully on 7 November after a short stay at the William Harvey Hospital, where she was supported by both the hospital and hospice specialist palliative care teams. She was a visionary local nurse who wanted to make a difference for the people in her community facing terminal illness. Thanks to her devotion, Pilgrims Hospices has been giving end-of-life care to our community in east Kent, for more than 40 years.

    In an interview in June 2022, Ann said, “The story of Pilgrims is not just a historical chronicle; it is a tribute to the faith of the early pioneers, the spirit of the patients and their families who inspired its inception, and the skill and dedication of the staff, volunteers, and fundraisers who have worked tirelessly to keep the ship afloat over the past 40 years. It is a positive example of a small acorn giving birth to mighty oak trees.”

    Pilgrims Hospices is Ann’s legacy, and she would be happy to know that the charity will continue to offer its end-of-life care services to everyone in east Kent who needs its support.

    Helen Bennett, CEO, said:

    “I have been privileged and proud to work with our remarkable founder, Ann, helping to shape her vision for end-of-life care for our east Kent community. When Ann welcomed Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother to oversee the opening of our Canterbury hospice in 1982, the possibility of opening two more hospices in Ashford and Thanet was not part of Ann’s plan. Her drive and determination very quickly proved there was a need for two further hospices, and our community came out to support us, fundraising to generate the money needed to build our Margate (1992) and Ashford (2001) hospices.”

    Karen Warden, Chair of Trustees, said:

    “On behalf of Pilgrims’ Board of Trustees, we are greatly saddened by the news of Ann’s death. Many of us have fond memories of Ann, her drive, determination, and wit. We are all proud to have been part of her vision and her remarkable achievements. She was an inspirational woman who maintained strong connections with Pilgrims and continued to be instrumental in steering the charity to achieve great things up until the end of her life. Our hearts and thoughts are with Ann’s family at this time.”


    Santas jog for a cause: Pilgrims Hospices festive fundraiser raises over £26,000

    On a chilly Sunday morning, the Herne Bay seafront transformed into a sea of red and white as more than 1,100 Santas gathered for Pilgrims Hospice’s annual festive fundraiser. The jolly event, held on Sunday 10th, December, saw enthusiastic participants donning Santa Claus costumes and jogging along the picturesque coastline to support end-of-life care in east Kent.


    We are immensely grateful for the incredible turnout and the generosity of our supporters, who jogged their way into the hearts of our community.”

    Rachael      –      Pilgrims

    Organised by Pilgrims Hospices, a leading provider of hospice care in the region, the festive fundraiser brought together the community in a heartwarming display of solidarity. Rachael Edmed, a dedicated Community Fundraising Manager at Pilgrims Hospices, expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support from participants and donors.

    “The festive spirit was alive and well on the Herne Bay seafront as Santas of all ages, shapes, and sizes gathered to make a meaningful difference,” said Rachael.  “We are immensely grateful for the incredible turnout and the generosity of our supporters, who jogged their way into the hearts of our community.”

    The event, which exceeded expectations, is anticipated to raise more than £26,000. These funds will play a crucial role in sustaining and enhancing end-of-life care services provided by Pilgrims Hospices in east Kent. The contributions will directly impact the lives of individuals and families facing challenging times, ensuring they receive compassionate care and support.

    Pilgrims Hospices has been a pillar of strength in the community, offering specialised care for those with life-limiting illnesses for more than 40 years. The success of the festive fundraiser underscores the community’s commitment to ensuring that everyone has access to high-quality end-of-life care when they need it the most.

    As the holiday season continues, Pilgrims Hospices extends its gratitude to all the Santas, sponsors, and volunteers who made this event possible. The funds raised will go a long way in providing comfort, dignity, and support to those navigating their end-of-life journey in east Kent.

    This year alone, Pilgrims Hospices has to raise £11 million through voluntary donations in order to run our full range of services. Sponsorship raised through events like these helps us continue caring for local people at the end of their lives.

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