Gavin’s sporting challenges raise awareness and funds for Pilgrims

Gavin Dixon from Chartham is raising funds this summer for a local charity that is close to his heart. He’s attempting to raise more than £2,500 for Pilgrims Hospices, the charity that cared for his much-loved grandad, William Dixon, who passed away this year.

Gavin is already well on the way to achieving his goal with more than £1,600 raised so far.

The next challenge on his list is the popular Canterbury Half Marathon on Bank Holiday Monday 27 August. This well recognised and much-loved event is organised by Nice Work to support Pilgrims Hospices and attracts a large number of runners from across Kent and further afield; it’s one of the county’s favourite half marathons.

The Bank Holiday event attracts a huge crowd each year and the beautiful backdrop of the Kent Downs is inspiring for the novice and veteran alike.

Gavin’s grandad, William Dixon


Gavin said: “My grandad passed away suddenly from renal (kidney) failure at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury, at the age of 87. He was originally from Luddenham, just outside of Faversham, and settled in Rough Common, where he spent most of his later years.

“I remember him as an incredibly proud and independent man with an infectious smile, living comfortably and happily. His passing came as a massive shock to us; until recently he had shown no signs of any health problems.

To celebrate my grandad’s memory and to support Pilgrims Hospices to care of others, I’ve taken on a series of events and challenges to raise important funds.


“To celebrate his memory and to support Pilgrims Hospices to care for others, I’ve taken on a series of events and challenges in order to raise important funds. I’m signed up for the Canterbury Half Marathon and will follow that with a skydive in September. I will also be looking to compete in some other organised events and have already competed in a triathlon. I’m potentially looking to add another event or two in the coming months, along with organising fundraising events with the support of my friends and family.”

Gavin, who is a project manager working for Openreach, added: “I do my best to stay fit and find that exercise is a great way to unwind after busy days under pressure. I’m often at the gym or running and also do other activities including cricket. I find doing the things I love while generating funds for such a special charity is really inspiring; I believe my grandad would be incredibly proud.

“My training is going well and even though the heat has been incredible, I’ve maintained a training programme. The Canterbury Half Marathon will be a challenge, however, I’m looking forward to it and intend to achieve my best possible time regardless of the weather conditions.

I experienced first-hand what an incredible job the nurses and staff do at Pilgrims; making patients and families feel as comfortable as possible.


“I experienced first-hand what an incredible job the nurses and staff do at Pilgrims; making patients and families feel as comfortable as possible. I found everyone to be so caring and considerate during a very emotional and exhausting time for my family. I cannot thank them enough for making Grandad’s last few days as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

“I wish to thank everyone who has been supporting me with the challenges. If I can raise over £2,500 by the end of September then I will put myself forward to run the 2019 London Marathon as my final challenge for this incredible cause.”

If you’d like to support Gavin with his fundraising for Pilgrims you can visit his JustGiving page.

Robert Grew, Pilgrims Events Fundraiser, said: “We are delighted to have the support of Gavin; he’s taken on some really amazing challenges in order to support even more people in east Kent who need our care. The Canterbury Half Marathon course is challenging and covers the quiet country lanes on the outskirts of the city. The route is quite wonderful and the event is so well supported.”

If you’d like to find out more about the Canterbury Half Marathon or register to take part, contact Right now, you can sign up for the Canterbury Half Marathon as a Pilgrims Hospices runner for free with a commitment to raise at least £100 in sponsorship.

Simply download the Canterbury Half Marathon application form, complete and return it to Robert Grew at the above email address and start running for #TeamPilgrims today!

Pilgrims Hospices is an independent charity that provides its services free of charge. To do this they heavily rely on the support and generosity of the local community in east Kent. It currently costs £14m a year to run their full range of services.