14th December 2022

    Thousands raised at Pilgrims Hospices Victorian Christmas Fayre

    Pilgrims Hospices first Victorian Christmas Fayre held at Kennington Hall on 19 and 20 November 2022 was a huge success and started the charity’s annual festive fundraising events.

    Over £13,000 was raised and 1,200 people attended the beautiful Georgian country house to show their support for the local charity who provide free end of life care throughout east Kent.

    Visitors enjoyed delicious refreshments, crafts, festive bargains, games galore, live music from the Invicta Ukulele Club and Hythe U3a Swing Band.

    There was also lots to keep children entertained in the craft corner, including decorate a gingerbread man or paint a plate. The man of the moment, Father Christmas himself, also handed out presents to lots of excited children.

    Special guest appearances from Superman, Wonder Woman and Elsa from Frozen also added to the entertainment, along with the cast of Cinderella from Ashford Theatre Society.

    Many local companies and organisations showed their support and donated towards the weekend, including Supercups Vending Ltd, Bigjigs Toys, Wye Butchers, Bradleys, Tesco Crooksfoot, Ashford South Active Retirement Association and Korkers Sausages.

    Community Fundraising Manager, Louise Newman, said: “We are so grateful to everyone who donated items or joined us on the day. Many thanks to all of our 100 strong team of volunteers who helped to make this success possible.

    A big thank you to Roby and her team at Kennington Hall who supported the weekend from start to finish and went the extra mile to make the fayre possible.”

    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.

    16th November 2018

    Pilgrims Hospices Christmas Fair hailed as a success

    Pilgrims Hospices Christmas Fair was a fabulous success on Saturday 10 November with almost £18,000 raised towards the work of the hospice.

    This year saw the introduction of a food market, with delights to tempt including vegan Christmas roasts, mulled cider, delicious fudge, delightful cheeses, jams and chutneys, and mince pie flavoured ice cream.

    There were a variety of new crafts for sale from the external traders including stunning pottery, beautiful glass, cute baby goods, jewellery made from Nespresso pods, eco food wraps and much more.

    There were many beautifully created crafts that hospice volunteers made and donated for the fair. Whether it was the table decorations which were made from old Christmas trees, unwanted baubles and ribbons or the lovely hand knitted goods, there was something for everyone.

    Open the Box, a new game introduced at the fair this year, was full of special surprises for everyone and proved to be very popular, as did the chocolate tombola that was close to being addictive!

    Father Christmas made a special visit too, much to the delight of children who had eagerly awaited his visit. There were some other special guests too; Elsa from Frozen, a unicorn and members of the Ashford Panto entertained visitors throughout the day.

    Cynthia Cleverdon, one of the external stall holders, said: “The atmosphere at the fair is always very friendly and supportive. I love to support Pilgrims Hospices because we all know at least one person who has benefitted from the care and kindness the hospices provide at a difficult stage of life.”

    The atmosphere at the fair is always very friendly and supportive.

    Cynthia Cleverdon, stall holder

    This year, the Pilgrims Hospices Education team was delighted to be present at the fair to promote the Time to Talk programme they run. These include film nights, poetry readings and Death Cafes, which give the opportunity to talk about the issues surrounding death and dying.

    Victoria Friar, Pilgrims Hospices Community Fundraising Manager, said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to the Ashford Fundraising team and all the volunteers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes in the months before the fair. Over 100 volunteers turned up on the day to make the fair the great success that it was.

    “I would also like to say a thank you to Penfold Panels for sponsoring the event and helping us to make it such a success.

    “Pilgrims Hospices needs to raise £11 million per year to offer care free of charge to the people of east Kent. We couldn’t do this without the support of the local community, so a huge thank you goes to everyone who came and contributed to this fantastic total.”

    Kate Duddell from Pilgrims Hospices with Ebony Hills, Sam Hills and Tom Easby


    Over the next couple of weeks, Pilgrims will see the exciting end of the Snowdogs trail with the Farewell Weekend at the Julie Rose Stadium and Gala Auction on 3 December at Ashford International Hotel.

    If you want to support Pilgrims fundraising further and are an Ashford Borough Council resident, you can register your Christmas tree to be collected for a donation after Christmas.

    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.

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