Sister and brother Lisa Harris from Peene near Folkestone and Richard Turner from Ashford are facing their own big freeze with an Ice Walk for Pilgrims Hospices on Saturday 9 March at The Towers School near Ashford.
So far, they’ve raised an amazing £450.00 in memory of their nan, June Fewins, who was cared for by Pilgrims in January 2018.
Richard said: “Nan was taken ill and spent some time in hospital before being moved to the hospice. She was reluctant to go at first as she wanted to be at home. She had lived in Ashford, in the same house, for about 60 years. This home became a meeting point for the whole family and you always knew that you could go to Nan’s house and bump into someone. She ruled the house with as much ferocity as love, and she loved to bake. She would always offer you a sweet or biscuit, whether you wanted one or not!”
For the first time in years I saw my nan smile. She wasn’t in pain, and although she wasn’t at home she described the hospice as a 5-star hotel.
June was diagnosed with incurable cancer at the age of 80 and began to need a greater level of care. She was admitted to Pilgrims Hospice Ashford and cared for on the ward.
The family called her room at the hospice ‘Nan’s house’ and at one point there were around 20 of her treasured family by her bedside. Richard and Lisa stayed with her for about two days, living in the hospice.
Richard said: “The staff were incredible and kept us comfortable, fed and watered and made sure we all had a place to sleep or at least a pillow or blanket for comfort.
“I knew of the hospice but had never experienced the extent of their care first-hand. I was surprised to learn that of the people who are cared for on Pilgrims wards, almost half come in for symptom management and are able to return home to continue living independently. There’s so much they can do to help people live, as well as caring for people at the end of life.”
When Richard first went to see his nan he says he was amazed by how spacious her room was, how comfortable she looked and how amazing the gardens looked out of her window. “For the first time in years I saw my nan smile,” he said. “She wasn’t in pain, and although she wasn’t at home she described the hospice as a 5-star hotel. Her last few days were like a holiday to her and she could say nothing but good things about the staff.
“Whatever she wanted for dinner was provided and, despite not drinking alcohol for years because of her medication, she enjoyed a whiskey every night. I find it hard to put into words what it was like seeing her and knowing that she was dying, but also seeing her so happy, so content and so relaxed.
“When Nan died, the staff were wonderful and offered such supportive words and told us how polite and nice she was and a pleasure to look after. I don’t think we could ever truly pay back the hospice for what they did for our nan but we wanted to do something to raise some money as a thank you, which is why we chose the Ice Walk.”
If you would like to support Richard and Lisa you can make a donation via their Just Giving page.
I don’t think we could ever truly pay back the hospice for what they did for our nan but we wanted to do something to raise some money as a thank you, which is why we chose the Ice Walk.
Robert Grew, Pilgrims Event Organiser, said: “This is such a lovely story. We really appreciate all that our wonderful supporters do in order for us to continue providing vital care for those who need it most.”