On 26 September 2021, laughter and colourful powder paint filled the air in Palm Bay, Cliftonville as hundreds walked, jogged and ran the Thanet 5k Colour Run to raise vital funds for Pilgrims Hospices. Amongst them were a team from the cardiology department at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT), who took part in memory of their much-loved colleague, Trish Penman.
The team has raised almost £1,000 to help ensure that Pilgrims’ holistic, compassionate services continue to be available to people across east Kent who are living with a terminal illness.
Trish worked at the QEQM, Kent and Canterbury and William Harvey hospitals in cardiology, respiratory and A&E. She was 49 when she diagnosed with advanced cancer in November 2020, and was supported by Pilgrims at the end of her life; she died in the Thanet hospice on 31 July 2021.
Catherine Goult, Chief Cardiac Physiologist at EKHUFT, said:
“Trish was known and loved around the Trust for her smile, her twerking, her generosity of spirit and her phenomenal work ethic. When she was diagnosed, she made her wish known that she would like to spend her final days in Pilgrims Hospices; she felt it was somewhere she and her two boys could be cared for and supported at that time.”
Catherine and her colleagues decided to enter the Thanet 5k Colour Run so that Pilgrims’ vital services can continue to be offered to those who need them in the future. They have been supported in their fundraising by many kind people, and aim to plan a few more fundraising activities to reach their £1,000 target.
She continued: “It was moving to be at the start with so many other people whose lives had also been touched by Pilgrims; reading the messages on their numbers and t-shirts made it clear that everyone was there for a reason close to their heart. It was a great way to celebrate the life of our friend because the day was filled with laughter and colour! We loved seeing people’s costumes, too.
“Trish would have loved the warm-up because she loved music and dancing and was so energetic. The atmosphere was great and everyone was just having fun. The colour cannons made sure that we all finished fully covered in powder paint!
“From the registration process through to the marshals on the day and the very welcome packet of crisps at the end (best crisps I’ve ever had!), at every point everyone was so kind. It made us feel proud that we’d achieved something together in Trish’s memory; the medals are also really unique and quirky, they’re a great souvenir of the day.”
Pilgrims means a lot to us because death is something that we will all have to face at some point. It can be a frightening time, but Pilgrims can take away some of the fear and pain; they can alleviate suffering and bring humanity, dignity and even joy into those final days.
Karen Kenward, Community Fundraising Manager, said: “It was lovely to welcome Catherine and her colleagues to support this year’s Thanet Colour Run. This event always brings so much fun, laugher and colour to all who join it each year. It’s just wonderful to see so many people come together to support our charity in such a joyous way, and in turn help raise incredible funding for the next person who needs us. Thank you all so very much and enjoy your well-earned medals with pride; we hope to see you next year.”
“Pilgrims was there for Trish and her family at the hardest time they’ve ever had to face. Trish was given comfort and dignity during the final days of her life.
“Pilgrims means a lot to us because death is something that we will all have to face at some point. It can be a frightening time, but Pilgrims can take away some of the fear and pain; they can alleviate suffering and bring humanity, dignity and even joy into those final days. The hospice is a sanctuary that helps us to focus on the present and live each moment.”
Catherine and her team hope to raise £1,000 for Pilgrims, and they are almost there! Click here to sponsor them via their JustGiving page.