Pilgrims retail team celebrate award winning success

Pilgrims Hospices retail team were delighted to receive the hospice ‘Retail team of the Year’ award this month.  The award was presented at the annual Hospice UK Conference in Warwick; the award celebrates the innovative work of charity retail stores and the people who work within them. 

As a national charity Hospice UK support over 200 hospices who collectively provide vital care for 200,000 people across the UK who need end of life care or have life limiting illnesses every year.  Pilgrims Hospices in east Kent care for over 2,800 patients, their families and friends from three hospice sites in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet, within the community and in people’s homes.

Tim Stewart, Retail Manager for Pilgrims Hospices accepted the award on behalf of his team within the Pilgrims shops and eBay site. Tim said: “The national award is open to all hospice retailers across the UK, Pilgrims are very proud to have been cited as the best.”

Pilgrims received the award for making significant increases in sales over the past 12 months making considerable reductions in costs.

“Pilgrims has improved recruitment and retention of volunteers during this year, we are very pleased to have such a wonderful team working throughout our 32 stores in east Kent.” Tim explained.

Pilgrims are very proud to have been cited as the best                                                                                             Tim Stewart

The team has encouraged donations and continue to engage with corporate partners by running corporate staff donation days, hospice staff donation days and use social media and the newly branded livery on the vans to increase awareness of the variety of Pilgrims Hospices services available to those who need care the most.

Tim explained: “Pilgrims Hospices renamed our house clearance service to Caring Collections, offering a personalised and compassionate service to all our donors and in particular our bereaved donors.  We have also remodelled some of our shops; this has demonstrated, to our customers, that we respect their donations and this has encouraged further donations.”

As part of Pilgrims environmental awareness policy over 600 tons of unsaleable stock has been prevented from going into landfill by working with: textile, bric-a-brac and book recycling companies and other charities (Sense, The Dogs Trust, Tools for Self-Reliance).

The charity also recognises the importance of their drivers; they’re often the first point of contact after people have experienced a loss.  The service they receive from Pilgrims drivers can leave a lasting impression on individuals; about the hospices and as a result the drivers have compassion training, in order that they are comfortable having conversations with people who are bereaved.

As part of our Corporate Social Responsibly code, Pilgrims part of the Recycle Your Cycle scheme which refurbishes bikes in prisons across the country, providing the shops with good quality bikes to sell and prisoners with transferable skills.

The charity also collaborates with Working with Community Repaint, by stocking repackaged paint from excess and end of line stock, from Dulux and Crown Paints, enabling us to sell high quality paints at affordable prices

Most importantly, this award is recognition of the continued support and hard work of our dedicated and loyal volunteers.

You can click here to find out more about Pilgrims Hospices shops and where to find them visit.

Each year Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,300 people in East Kent 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.