Sunflowers and sunshine for hospice remembrance event

Pilgrims Hospices saw hundreds attend their summer remembrance event on Satruday 31 July 2022, held across their sites in Canterbury, Thanet and Ashford. 

More than 600 people remembered their loved one with a sunflower memory marker this year, which were planted in the three hospice gardens. The weather was kind, giving everyone the opportunity to celebrate and share their memories in the sunshine. 

At the charity’s Sunflower Days, family and friends came together to share stories and celebrate the lives of their loved ones, with Pilgrims volunteers and staff. The hospices’ Wellbeing Practitioners were on hand to share insights into their valuable work, which takes place in their Therapy Centres.

Visitors were shown some of the artworks produced by patients who attend the Hospice for Wellbeing sessions, which provides a welcome distraction from the realities of living with a life-limiting illness.

Ellie Cane, Individual Giving Officer at Pilgrims Hospices, told us:

“We are so grateful to all those who joined us on Saturday, to share their memories and celebrate their loved ones’ lives with us. It is our great pleasure to continue supporting the families and friends left behind, as part of the Pilgrims family. Of course, these Sunflower Days would not be possible without the kind help of our amazing volunteers. From serving refreshments of tea and cake, to helping visitors find their sunflower markers, and ensuring everyone who attended was well looked after.” 

So far the appeal has raised over £30,000, with donations still coming in. This is enough for Pilgrims to provide a programme of one-to-one bereavement support for over 100 individuals struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one.  

Ellie added, “On behalf of all of us here at Pilgrims Hospices, I would like to thank everyone who donated to this year’s Sunflower Memories appeal for their generous support. Without you, we could not continue to provide our vital care and support to our local community across east Kent.” 

This year the events were also accompanied by a short film, available to watch now on the Pilgrims Hospices YouTube channel.

Pilgrims Hospices cares for thousands of local people each year, free of charge, during the most challenging time in their lives. They offer care and support in people’s own homes, in the community and in their inpatient units as well as running a 24-hour advice line.