Celebrating volunteer Dr Peter Biggs, a Trustee and a pillar of support at Pilgrims Hospices

Volunteers’ Week, celebrated between 3 and 9 of June 2024, serves as a poignant reminder of the immeasurable value volunteers bring to various organisations, charities and communities. It’s a time to express gratitude for their tireless efforts and to raise awareness about the transformative power of volunteering.


Dr Peter Biggs, a retired GP with an illustrious career spanning 42 years in Canterbury, found himself drawn to the mission of Pilgrims Hospices after witnessing the vital role they played in providing specialised care to terminally ill patients. Reflecting on his journey, Peter shares, “I saw the growing work at the hospice over the years. Without the special care, terminal care would have been very much secondary. I wanted to continue to support a service that I very much valued.”

His path to volunteering with Pilgrims Hospices began serendipitously, as he recalls, “I was looking for something where I could use my experience in a way that I thought would be valuable for people, and the hospice came along just at the right time.” Encouraged by his wife to explore volunteering opportunities, Peter found himself drawn to the role of trustee when Pilgrims Hospices put out a call for applicants.

I saw the growing work at the hospice over the years. Without the special care, terminal care would have been very much secondary. I wanted to continue to support a service that I very much valued.

Dr Peter Biggs

As a trustee, Peter assumes a multifaceted role, overseeing, supporting, and advocating for the patients, their families, and the broader community. Contrary to common misconceptions, trusteeship entails more than just governance; it involves offering guidance and support to the executive team while championing the interests of the community.

One aspect that sets Pilgrims Hospices apart is its commitment to diversity and inclusivity, evident not only in its volunteer base but also in its board of trustees. Peter highlights the diverse expertise among the trustees, celebrating the depth of understanding it brings to addressing various issues, a model he believes other organisations could learn from.

In his role, Peter has witnessed first-hand the profound impact of Pilgrims Hospices’ volunteer-driven initiatives. From fundraising events to community outreach programs, he has seen the transformative power of volunteerism in action. “The team at Pilgrims couldn’t do the valuable work they do, without the support of our amazing volunteers,” he emphasises.

With a wide variety of volunteering opportunities, if you want to do something  incredibly rewarding and valuable, Pilgrims Hospices is a good place to be.

Dr Peter Biggs

“I’ve found Pilgrims to be a passionate supportive community of staff, volunteers, and one that is welcoming to all. With a wide variety of volunteering opportunities, if you want to do something  incredibly rewarding and valuable, Pilgrims Hospices is a good place to be.

“I’m delighted to say I took part in the Pilgrims Golf Day fundraiser last year, and thrilled to be on the winning team, this year my wife and I will be taking part in the Pilgrims Way Challenge walk. As part of my role as a trustee, I’ve also visited a number of the hospice shops and experienced the wonderful warmth of the volunteers that work within them.”

Peter’s journey as a volunteer at Pilgrims Hospices has been one of profound fulfilment and growth. Through his experiences, Peter underscores the importance of open dialogue surrounding end-of-life care and the need for continued support for hospice services.

This Volunteers’ Week, let us join together in celebrating individuals like Dr Peter Biggs, whose selfless dedication and unwavering commitment enrich the lives of those they serve. In honouring their contributions, we acknowledge the transformative power of volunteering and the profound difference it makes in our communities.


Inspired to become a Pilgrims’ volunteer?

Visit pilgrimshospices.org/volunteer and look out for more stories and information throughout Volunteers’ Week!


Volunteers’ Week celebrates the amazing contributions volunteers make to communities across the UK. The celebration starts on the first Monday in June every year. It’s a chance to recognise, celebrate and thank the UK’s incredible volunteers for all they contribute to our local communities, the voluntary sector, and society as a whole.


Each year, Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to thousands of 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.