Gavin’s sporting challenges raise awareness and funds for Pilgrims
Gavin Dixon from Chartham is raising funds this summer for a local charity that is close to his heart. He’s attempting to raise more than £2,500 for Pilgrims Hospices, the charity that cared for his much-loved grandad, William Dixon, who passed away this year.
Gavin is already well on the way to achieving his goal with more than £1,600 raised so far.
The next challenge on his list is the popular Canterbury Half Marathon on Bank Holiday Monday 27 August. This well recognised and much-loved event is organised by Nice Work to support Pilgrims Hospices and attracts a large number of runners from across Kent and further afield; it’s one of the county’s favourite half marathons.
The Bank Holiday event attracts a huge crowd each year and the beautiful backdrop of the Kent Downs is inspiring for the novice and veteran alike.
Gavin said: “My grandad passed away suddenly from renal (kidney) failure at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury, at the age of 87. He was originally from Luddenham, just outside of Faversham, and settled in Rough Common, where he spent most of his later years.
“I remember him as an incredibly proud and independent man with an infectious smile, living comfortably and happily. His passing came as a massive shock to us; until recently he had shown no signs of any health problems.
To celebrate my grandad’s memory and to support Pilgrims Hospices to care of others, I’ve taken on a series of events and challenges to raise important funds.
“To celebrate his memory and to support Pilgrims Hospices to care for others, I’ve taken on a series of events and challenges in order to raise important funds. I’m signed up for the Canterbury Half Marathon and will follow that with a skydive in September. I will also be looking to compete in some other organised events and have already competed in a triathlon. I’m potentially looking to add another event or two in the coming months, along with organising fundraising events with the support of my friends and family.”
Gavin, who is a project manager working for Openreach, added: “I do my best to stay fit and find that exercise is a great way to unwind after busy days under pressure. I’m often at the gym or running and also do other activities including cricket. I find doing the things I love while generating funds for such a special charity is really inspiring; I believe my grandad would be incredibly proud.
“My training is going well and even though the heat has been incredible, I’ve maintained a training programme. The Canterbury Half Marathon will be a challenge, however, I’m looking forward to it and intend to achieve my best possible time regardless of the weather conditions.
I experienced first-hand what an incredible job the nurses and staff do at Pilgrims; making patients and families feel as comfortable as possible.
“I experienced first-hand what an incredible job the nurses and staff do at Pilgrims; making patients and families feel as comfortable as possible. I found everyone to be so caring and considerate during a very emotional and exhausting time for my family. I cannot thank them enough for making Grandad’s last few days as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
“I wish to thank everyone who has been supporting me with the challenges. If I can raise over £2,500 by the end of September then I will put myself forward to run the 2019 London Marathon as my final challenge for this incredible cause.”
Robert Grew, Pilgrims Events Fundraiser, said: “We are delighted to have the support of Gavin; he’s taken on some really amazing challenges in order to support even more people in east Kent who need our care. The Canterbury Half Marathon course is challenging and covers the quiet country lanes on the outskirts of the city. The route is quite wonderful and the event is so well supported.”
If you’d like to find out more about the Canterbury Half Marathon or register to take part, contact email@example.com. Right now, you can sign up for the Canterbury Half Marathon as a Pilgrims Hospices runner for free with a commitment to raise at least £100 in sponsorship.
Pilgrims Hospices is an independent charity that provides its services free of charge. To do this they heavily rely on the support and generosity of the local community in east Kent. It currently costs £14m a year to run their full range of services.
20th July 2018
Local brewery team complete marathon challenge to support hospice care
Chief executive Jonathan Neame was among the fundraising group that walked and ran 52.4 miles, the equivalent to two marathons, from Whiteshill in Gloucestershire to Broadway Tower in Worcestershire.
The challenge is particularly demanding as Broadway Tower is the Cotswold’s highest castle, and the route involved more than 2,500m of ascent.
Other members of Team Extreme, which has been running for nine years and sees Shepherd Neame staff tackle tough endurance challenges for charity, included Head of Property Services Martin Godden, Export Controller Olly Scott, Business Development Manager Dougie Dick, National Account Manager Lee Whitehead, Commercial Estate Manager John Barnes and Development Surveyor Nick Farrant.
More than 500 competitors took part, and Olly and John finished the route in less than 11 hours 30 minutes, placing them both in the top 70. Jonathan, Martin, and Lee all finished in under 17 hours, while Dougie finished in just over 19 hours.
They raised almost £4,000, and Martin and Olly presented a cheque for £3,381 to Pilgrims Hospices on Wednesday 4 July. The remainder of the money went to Prostate Cancer UK.
During the past nine years Team Extreme has raised over £50,000 for charity, and we would like to thank everyone who has supported us.
Olly Scott, Shepherd Neame Export Controller
Martin said: “It’s the second year that we have completed the Race to the Tower, and although it is physically tough, it is a fantastic experience. It’s a great team-building activity, from the training beforehand to the actual event, and we have been delighted by the amount of money we raised for two fantastic causes.”
Olly added: “During the past nine years Team Extreme has raised over £50,000 for charity, and we would like to thank everyone who has supported us.
“The challenge was brutally hot and the course was hilly, it took all of our physical and mental strength to complete.
“We are now starting to plan a very special challenge to mark our 10th anniversary next year, so watch this space!”
Pilgrims Hospices Community Fundraising Manager Leila Ilkhan said: “Pilgrims would like to thank Shepherd Neame’s Team Extreme for their generous donation. The money raised will help us to provide care for patients and their families who need our help the most. Each year we care for around 2,500 people across east Kent, and this fundraising will make a huge difference to the care of so many.”
If you or someone you know is coping with a life-limiting illness and you think you may benefit from Pilgrims support, talk to your GP or Healthcare Professional about the options or Wellbeing and Social Programme for more information.
21st February 2018
Towers School steps up to the challenge for Pilgrims
Last year Pilgrims Hospices challenged people to face the flames at their inspirational Fire Walk. Hundreds of supporters took part raising an incredible £61,000; enough to cover more than 3,000 of nursing care. This year, the ‘hottest, shortest sponsored walk in the world’ is back with an extra twist!
Not only can you conquer your fears by walking barefoot over 800 degrees of red-hot wood embers, they’re offering the chance to test your nerves by facing the new Icewalk. By putting mind over matter, you could achieve what would be seen to be impossible by walking barefoot across a bed of sterile broken glass.
Robert Grew, met with staff and youngsters at Towers School, Faversham Road, Ashford who will be hosting the Fire and Ice Walk on Friday 9 March. Robert said: “I’d like to thank Towers School for hosting Pilgrims Fire and Ice Walk, it’s the first time we’ve held this event in Ashford, and we’re already having some great response.
“The venue is just brilliant with plenty of room for family and friends to come along and support loved ones when they take the daring dash. It’s a great test of inner strength and a really exciting challenge to take part in or spectate!”
I’ve experienced Pilgrims care first hand and can confidently say how important it is to be there for even more families in the future.
Regular Pilgrims supporter and volunteer Sue Barrett-Austen will take part this year, testing her inner strength and determination. Sue is Welfare Manager at Towers School and looks after year 11 and sixth form students. She told us: “I’m very excited to be taking part; I’ve experienced Pilgrims care first hand and can confidently say how important it is to be there for even more families in the future who need their special services and support.
“I know that my registration and sponsorship money will really make a difference to those who need help the most, it’s going to be my biggest challenge so far.”
So why not face the flames this March?
No tricks, no special effects, just you and your nerve. Conquer the most primal of fears in aid of Pilgrims Hospices. Robert added: “Our brave firewalkers tell us how they are still buzzing from the experience weeks later. It’s something anyone can do with no previous training. More of a psychological challenge that physical, by facing the flames you’ll be raising vital funds for our hospices. With every single step, you’ll be making a difference to the lives of local people and their families who are in need of end-of-life care.”
Friends and family can come too. With a breath-taking display from fire performer Paul Incredible just before the main event, they’ll be sure to be amazed as they cheer you across the coals and see what can be achieved.
Take on a Firewalk, an Icewalk, OR BOTH. With interactive training seminars with renowned motivational speaker and fire and glass walking expert Cliff Mann before the daring dash, we know you’ll feel fantastic once you’ve completed the challenge. After all, if you can achieve this, you can find the confidence to do anything.
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.