Brave supporters face the elements for Pilgrims

‘Brave soles’ put their best foot forward in March to face Pilgrims Hospices Fire & Ice Walk challenge in Ashford, Canterbury and Ramsgate.

Up first was the Ice Walk challenge, where courageous participants faced a terrifying six-foot-long walk across a bed of razor-sharp glass. The Firewalk group then got all fired up for their epic journey; a barefoot walk over red-hot wood embers measuring around 800 degrees.

Lizzie Holmes from Lyminge was among the challengers. She made the decision to take on a Firewalk while her grandfather, Richard, received end-of-life care at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury in December 2017 and across the new year.

“The love and care that the staff and volunteers gave to our grandad and family during this difficult time is beyond words,” explained Lizzie.

“Pilgrims is such a homely environment; they did everything and they thought of everything, so I wanted to give something back. My grandad was right next to me when I signed up.”

Lizzie was among those who raised sponsorship for the event. The Fire & Ice Walk also took place in Ashford and Ramsgate, with the overall fundraising total for all three events expected to reach in excess of £30,000.

Pilgrims is such a homely environment; they did everything and they thought of everything, so I wanted to give something back. My grandad was right next to me when I signed up.

Lizzie Holmes, Firewalker

Deirdre Mewse from Ashford braved an Ice Walk. She said: “It was an amazing experience, facing up to the challenge of walking across broken glass. What a way to face your fears!

“My husband, Paul, was a patient at Pilgrims Hospice Ashford 17 years ago and the support both he and our family received was second to none. To be able to raise sponsorship to enable others to benefit from the fantastic work it does was a real pleasure. I would strongly urge anyone who has been thinking of doing a challenge like this to take the plunge.”

Robert Grew, Events Fundraiser for Pilgrims Hospices, explained: “It was great to see so many people braving the barefoot walk across the red-hot embers and broken glass. You could see how much it meant to each person once they had made it across the flames and conquered their fear. They were beaming from ear to ear. And so they should be! They’ve all raised an incredible amount of money in support of local hospice care, vital funds that will mean Pilgrims Hospices can continue to be there for people living with an incurable illness and their families right across east Kent.”

He added: “We’d like to thank Kent Sport in Canterbury, Towers School in Ashford, and Saga in Ramsgate for hosting these brilliant events, and also Paul Incredible, the Marvellous Burger Company in Ashford and Lola and Company in Ramsgate for supporting at the venues on the night. This fantastic event was successful because of all our fabulous volunteers who gave their time freely to help entertain and feed spectators on the night. Everyone’s help has been key in making these events possible. Sponsorship money is still coming in currently and we can’t wait to announce to final total later this spring.”

Visit our Facebook page to see photos from each event in Ashford, Canterbury and Ramsgate.

Fancy taking on an event or challenge for Pilgrims? We’ve got lots of exciting ones coming up:

 If you or someone you know is coping with a life limiting illness and you think you may benefit from Pilgrims free services, talk to your GP or Healthcare Professional about your options or click here to read about our Wellbeing and Social Programme.