30th November 2023

    Pilgrims Hospices Ashford Christmas Fair delights hundreds and raises over £13,000

    Pilgrims Hospices Ashford hosted a heartwarming Christmas Fair on Saturday, November 25th, at the Grosvenor Hall in Ashford. The festive extravaganza drew in hundreds of visitors who came together to embrace the spirit of the season while supporting a noble cause.

    Attendees were treated to a delightful array of festive activities, creating a magical atmosphere for families and friends alike. Children revelled in the joyous occasion with an abundance of toys and games, while adults savoured the seasonal delights of coffee and mince pies.

    Santa Claus made a special appearance, spreading cheer and joy among the attendees and adding an extra layer of magic to the event. The Christmas Fair also provided a unique shopping experience, with an opportunity for patrons to purchase festive crafts and gifts, making it the perfect destination to kickstart the holiday season.


    Thank you to everyone who came along on the day. Our volunteers were splendid; we could not have achieved this without them.

    Louise     –      Pilgrims

    The event, held at the Grosvenor Hall in Ashford, not only brought the community together but also raised a remarkable sum of over £13,000. The funds generated during the fair will contribute to the invaluable work of Pilgrims Hospices in providing compassionate care and support to those facing life-limiting illnesses.

    Louise Newman, Pilgrims Community Fundraising Manager, expressed her gratitude, stating: “We had such a brilliant time, and everyone was so supportive. Thank you to everyone who came along on the day. Our volunteers were splendid; we could not have achieved this without them.”

    Pilgrims Hospices extends heartfelt appreciation to the community, volunteers, and sponsors who contributed to the success of the Christmas Fair, making it a memorable and impactful event. The support received will undoubtedly make a significant difference in the lives of those in need during the holiday season and beyond.

    Each year, Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,500 people in east Kent who are coming to terms with an illness that sadly cannot be cured.  The charity supports patients to live life as well as possible until the very end, free from pain and distress.


    6th December 2022

    Pilgrims festive sale exceeds expectations

    The Pilgrims Hospices Canterbury Christmas retail fair exceeded all expectations, raising an incredible £2,100 for hospice care for local people. The annual November Saturday event, took place in St Peter’s Methodist Church Hall, Canterbury where more than 150 hospice supporters, and Canterbury shoppers browsed all things Christmassy to start the festive season.

    A huge thank you to everyone who came along

    Charlotte – Pilgrims

    Charlotte Brown, Pilgrims Retail Manager said: “We had a magical day! The wonderfully generous local community supported our festive event with donations and purchases. We had the most amazing array of Christmas merchandise, including cards, fancy dress, vintage collectables, toys and so much more.

    Martin Langham, Pilgrims’ elf

    “A huge thank you to everyone who came along to browse and buy, your support is truly helping to make a difference to those who need Pilgrims’ care.”

    Pilgrims staff and volunteers entered into the spirit with Christmas jumpers and fancy dress, and Santa joined the merriment with gifts for the children.

    Mandy Hawkett, Pilgrims Retail Area Manager said: “Christmas cheer was in abundance, the generous local community managed to raise more than £2,000 with their festive shopping at our special event.

    “I really want to mention my staff and team of volunteers who made this special day happen. They’ve worked so hard to bring so many festive gifts and goodies together during the past few months.

    “The children loved the Santa visit, and our very own special elf, Martin Langham from Cliftonville and Birchington Pilgrims shops, kept everyone laughing all the way!”

    Pilgrims Hospices shops will be open throughout east Kent approaching Christmas, all containing fabulous stock of party wear, Christmas trinkets and more. Find a list of all Pilgrims shops here.

    Pilgrims wish everyone a very merry Christmas.

    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.


    24th October 2019

    Pilgrims presents Mr & Mrs Claus

    As the festive season approaches, Santa Claus’s time is precious. When Pilgrims Hospices made a request for Santa to welcome everyone to their Pre-Loved Christmas Fair, he politely declined and suggested some fine alternatives.

    Dave Hall and Trudy Dotchin from Herne Bay will be standing in for the real Santa as Mr & Mrs Claus at Pilgrims Hospices Pre-Loved Christmas Fair on Saturday 23 November, being held at Westgate Hall, Canterbury.

    Trudy with some of the fabulous volunteer team from Pilgrims Hospices Herne Bay shop


    Dave and Trudy have both retired from roles as teaching assistants in London and live in Herne Bay. Trudy is a regular volunteer at Pilgrims Herne Bay shop and her partner Dave, has been a Santa at school fairs and local events for more than 10 years.

    They both have busy lives but love volunteering and being an active part of the local community. Trudy said; “I’ve been a Pilgrims volunteer for around 8 months, I really enjoy being part of the team. I often visited the shop to browse for a bargain, but now the grandchildren are at school, I have more time to offer my help.

    I wasn’t bargaining on being nominated to be Mrs. Claus!

    Trudy, Pilgrims Hospices Volunteer

    “The hospices are such an important and worthwhile part of our community, I’ve had friends who’ve needed their care in the past and I’m very pleased to be able to offer my time to help in the shop now.

    “When Charlotte Brown, Pilgrims Area Manager asked if anyone might like to be Santa for the Pre-Loved Christmas Fair, I suggested Dave straight away, however… I wasn’t bargaining on being nominated to be Mrs. Claus! “

    Charlotte said: “I’m delighted that Dave and Trudy are helping on the day: the retail Christmas Fair was a brilliant success last year and raised over £3,000 for local hospice care.

    “We are busy gathering all things Christmassy for our event and we hope to have even more to offer our customers this year.”

    Come along between 10am – 3pm for gifts, trinkets, new toys and games, fancy-dress clothing, festive glamour, brand new with tags, jewellery, and more.

    Get into the Christmas spirit and join the Pilgrims retail team on Saturday 23 November 10am – 3pm, Westgate Hall, Canterbury CT1 2BT. Email charlotte.brown@pilgrimshospices.org for more information.

    Each year Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,500 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.  Every penny raised at the festive fair will be making a difference to people who need Pilgrims care the most.

    10th October 2018

    Paws to give presents for Pilgrims

    A cube devoted to collecting presents for Pilgrims Hospices opened in the County Square, Ashford this week on route of the magical Snowdogs Discover Ashford arts trail.

    The collection point located outside Costa Coffee in the shopping centre is being used to collect donations of new items such as toys, games, stocking fillers, beauty products, ladies’ and men’s gifts and chocolates to help the local charity with their fundraising.

    The present cube in the County Square shopping centre Ashford


    Fans of the very popular art trail can drop a present into the cube whilst visiting the Snowdogs such as Sparky, Zeus, Socks or the County Paws pack who are positioned nearby.

    We always welcome new donated items throughout the year

    Victoria – Pilgrims Hospices Fundraising

    The donated goods will then be used on stalls in the hospice’s upcoming Christmas Fair being held at The Towers School, Faversham Road, Ashford on 10th November from 10am-3pm.

    Ashford Fundraising Manager Victoria Friar said: “We always welcome new donated items throughout the year to use in our fundraising, especially new children’s toys and games. So if yourself or a child you know have enjoyed the trail and would like to make a contribution we would really appreciate a present dropped into the cube.”

    Each year Pilgrims Hospices charity 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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