When Kay Divall stepped out to join the sponsored 5-mile walk A Night to Shine for Pilgrims Hospices on Friday 20 September, she was thinking of her darling mum Dot who was cared for at the Ashford hospice in August 2019.
Kay has already raised almost £400 in sponsorship with support from her friends and family who know how important the care was for her mum and the family who were there. She said: “My mum Doreen Divall, always known as Dot, was 72 years old and lived with me in Lydd until spending her finals days at Pilgrims Hospice Ashford where she passed away on 1 August 2019.
“She had become unwell in December 2018 when we were visiting family for Christmas. After a crushing diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, she had admissions to several of our local hospitals and Kings College London, only to discover her only option was for chemotherapy.
“Mum made the brave decision not to undertake the treatment and decided she wanted to enjoy her time left and was determined to make the days count. We spent the last few months visiting her favourite places including the seafront, castles and spending time with her family and friends. Mum was determined to get out and about and remained a wonderfully positive person.”
I stayed at the hospice with Mum every night and other family members were with us during the day. We were all treated with amazing compassion and kindness, nothing was too much trouble.
Doreen was taken to hospital in early July and from there to Pilgrims Hospice Ashford on 15 July. Kay explained: “During her time at the hospice, Mum was treated with care and dignity to a level we could never have expected.
“All of the staff were friendly, caring and approachable. I stayed at the hospice with Mum every night and other family members were with us during the day. We were all treated with amazing compassion and kindness, nothing was too much trouble. Mum also had early onset dementia and was uncomfortable in unfamiliar environments; however, at the hospice, she felt comfortable and relaxed.”
Good friends Dionne Clifton and Laura Hickman joined Kay to celebrate her mother’s life and raise vital funds for Pilgrims Hospices by taking part in A Night to Shine on Friday 20 September.
“We’ve been friends for, ‘dare I say it’ 40 years and, we really enjoyed walking with so many others who were there to support such an important charity.” Kay added.
I know my dad would have agreed, the care and the support he and our family received was amazing. This is just our way of saying thank you to Pilgrims Hospices and helping to raise funds for more people who need help in our local area.
Laura’s dad Michael Townend, aged 62, was diagnosed the lung cancer in June 2018 and was admitted to the Ashford hospice later in the year for symptom management. Having received support and treatment, Mike was able to return to the comfort of his own home. As the year progressed, Mike became unwell and returned to the hospice where he passed away in December 2018.
Laura told us: “I know my dad would have agreed, the care and the support he and our family received was amazing. This is just our way of saying thank you to Pilgrims Hospices and helping to raise funds for more people who need help in our local area.”
Kay told us: “There are no words to explain how grateful we are as a family to all at the hospice in Ashford. The doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, volunteers and the domestic and housekeeping staff. In fact, everyone we had contact with was professional, friendly and made us feel cared for and completely at ease.
“I would like to say, these people who have the ability to make the worst time of any family’s life more comfortable and relaxed are so special. As a family, we are never going to be able to express just how thankful we are to Pilgrims Hospices.”
Robert Grew, Pilgrims Events Manager said: “We wish to thank the ladies for being such wonderful Pilgrims supporters. We hope by sharing your stories, it will encourage others to fundraise for our charity and help us to care for people with life-limiting illnesses in east Kent.”
Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life-limiting illness and their families. The charity offers a range of services: from end of life care given on its wards, to its new wellbeing and social programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.
6th September 2019
Laura is shining in memory of her dad Robert
Laura Homden from Whitstable, will be taking part in Pilgrims Hospices A Night to Shine sponsored walk on Friday 20 September; walking in memory of her dad Robert Bennett. Laura has already exceeded her fundraising expectations by raising over £550 to support the charity that cared for her father.
Laura told us: “Mum and Dad lived in Whitstable where he ran his building business with his brothers. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was only 57 when he passed away at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury in November 2007.
“The family miss Dad every day; so, when my niece Ella saw the event promoted she encouraged my sister Kate and I to sign up and do something positive to raise extra money for the charity that made such a difference to Dad’s final days of life.
“I’m looking forward to the 5-mile sponsored walk and want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been so generous by donating to my JustGiving fundraising page. I had set myself a target to raise £150 and it’s wonderful to have tripled that figure with the contributions from friends and family. Walking A Night to Shine will mean so much more knowing I have helped to provide care for those who need Pilgrims’ help the most.
We all miss Dad every day.
“I didn’t know very much about Pilgrims Hospices before Dad’s illness, actually if I’m truthful I found it all quite scary but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The care given was amazing. Dad was at the centre of everything the care team did, making him feel comfortable was always their top priority. They were there for his every need and even managed to find time to check on the family and help us through such difficult times. Pilgrims is very close to all of our hearts.”
Laura added, “The family has become great supporters and donate whenever we can; we want this amazing place to always be there for families in need.”
You can join Laura and her family at A Night to Shine on Friday 20 September for a fun night-time sponsored walk with live music, a friendly party atmosphere and lots more.
The event takes place simultaneously in Ashford, Broadstairs and Canterbury, with all the details and how to register on the Pilgrims website: www.pilgrimshospices.org/shine. Or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01227 812 609 for more information. Entry is £15 for adults and £12 for under 18s until 15 September 2019. Under 3s go free. Entry includes an event t-shirt and finisher’s medal.
Each year Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,400 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.
3rd September 2019
Little Chloe joins walkers on A Night to Shine
Little Chloe Pullen from Elms Vale, Dover will have only just reached her 10th birthday when she takes part in Pilgrims Hospices’ A Night to Shine sponsored 5-mile walk in September. She took part last year in memory of her granddad, Derek Pullen, who was cared for by Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury in 2011 when Chloe was only two years old. Chloe hopes to reach her fundraising target of £100 to help even more people who need end of life care.
Chloe will be walking with her dad Gary Pullen who told us: “My dad and Chloe’s Grandma Vera lived in Maxton, Dover until Dad passed away from Mesothelioma in November 2011. Dad was 65 and was cared for by the excellent staff at the Canterbury hospice.”
Gary explained how much his daughter had enjoyed the event last year; especially the brilliant drums of the Samba Palo Mar band, the excitement of meeting Raffles the Pilgrims mascot bear, wearing her flashing headband and of course, receiving a medal for taking part.
“When Dad became ill, I didn’t really know very much about Pilgrims Hospices. What I can say now is, the staff at the Canterbury hospice were wonderful to both of my parents, at home and on the ward at Canterbury.
“We’re looking forward to the walk again this year and pleased to be a part of such a large gathering of supporters. We will enjoy the party atmosphere in the knowledge that our support is helping to do some really important work for such a vital and much loved local charity.”
You can help to support Chloe’s fundraising by donating to her JustGiving page.
Care is provided from three hospice sites in Ashford, Canterbury and, Thanet as well as in patients’ own homes. To offer these services to patients and their families, the charity must raise £11 million each year from the generous local community.
13th September 2018
Jenny and Freddy step out to shine for local hospice care
Pilgrims Hospice Ashford Health Care Assistant (HCA), Jenny Jackson, will be joining hundreds of supporters at the charity night time walk, A Night to Shine, on Saturday 22 September. She hopes to encourage as many of her colleagues as possible to join her and raise funds and awareness for end-of-life care in east Kent.
Jenny who is 33 from Aldington, has been a member of the Pilgrims team for nine years. Jenny said: “I joined Pilgrims Hospices after having my family; I really love my role as part of the team here at the Ashford hospice. It’s a privilege to support patients, their families and friends in such difficult times.
“During the past few years, any spare time has been taken up with supporting my family and focusing on completing my health and social care degree. I will graduate in January and now that my son is attending secondary school, I can enjoy getting involved in new things.”
I really love my role as part of the team here at the Ashford hospice. It’s a privilege to support patients, their families and friends in such difficult times.
Jenny and her 13-year-old son, Freddy, decided that A Night to Shine was a great opportunity to spend some time together, have some fun and generate important funds for Pilgrims at the same time.
Jenny added: “I do my best to look after my health and stay fit. I took up running earlier this year and regularly run around 10k. As well as walking 6 miles with my son, I will be running for Pilgrims in the Givaudan 10k race in October. I want to encourage as many people to join me as a fabulous way of having fun and getting fitter, too.
Freddy, who is attending North School in Ashford, is hoping to raise some sponsorship from friends at school and his family.
Victoria Friar, Pilgrims Hospice Community Fundraising Manager at the Ashford hospice, said: “We can’t wait for this event; many of our walkers will dress up and there will plenty of opportunities to purchase glow sticks and lights to brighten up the walking. Local DJ, Webbo, will be helping my team to create a special party atmosphere at the Julie Rose Stadium before we all start our adventure. We are hoping to see as many of the Pilgrims staff as possible joining Jenny for a fun-packed evening!
“Please help us celebrate the lives and memories of loved ones while raising funds to help our charity to continue with its good work.”
The event will take place in Ashford, Broadstairs and Canterbury simultaneously. Choose a 3 or 6-mile sponsored walk; entry is £15 for adults and £12 for under 18s if you register by 16 September, and under 3s go free whenever you sign up.
Entry includes a t-shirt, torch, medal and memory lantern for you to personalise with your own message or design.
What do a bear, a penguin, a cockerel and a medieval man at arms have in common? These are just some of the participants Pilgrims Hospices’ A Night to Shine sponsored walk in Ashford on Saturday 22 September.
A team has been entered from Nando’s Ashford branch along with the company’s mascot Barci, a red and black cockerel. Kayleigh Ben Saada, Second Assistant Manager at the restaurant, said: “We were inspired to take part in support of a loyal customer who’s faced the biggest challenge life has thrown at him. Due to the love and support he’s received from Pilgrims Hospices, Nando’s Ashford want to raise as much money as possible to give back to an amazing charity in our community.”
William Butterfield will be polishing his armour, supporting the walk by standing guard as a marshal to ensure walkers can safely navigate the route. He said: “This is very much a family affair for my girlfriend, Ellie, whose father was cared for by the hospice 17 years ago. Everybody offers their help in some way to ensure the night is a great success.”
Finally, Raffles the Pilgrims Hospices bear will be joined by his friend, Awesome the penguin, as they walk the route to encourage people as they take part.
Whether you’re in fancy dress, bright colours or decorating your outfit in memory of a loved one, everyone is welcome at A Night to Shine.
A Night to Shine takes place in Ashford, Broadstairs or Canterbury. Sign up on the night and choose a 3 or 6-mile sponsored walk; under 3s go free. Entry includes a t-shirt, torch, medal and memory lantern for you to personalise with your own message or design.
Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life limiting illness and their families. The charity offers a range of services: from end of life care given on its wards, to its Wellbeing and Social Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.