28th June 2023

    Supporters hike the Pilgrims Way Challenge for local hospice care

    Wye Village Hall welcomed 630 excited runners and walkers on Saturday 10th June, all gathering to undertake the 5th annual Pilgrims Way Challenge. This much-loved and well-established fundraising event brought many regular ramblers, along with those who were new to the challenge, out into the brilliant sunshine to support their local hospice charity.

    Trekkers enjoyed a 25km, 35km, or 55km hike through ancient woodland, rolling fields, and picturesque villages along the North Downs Way national trail to the historic city of Canterbury; the finish line for 25km participants, the start point for 35km participants, and the mid-point for the 55km hikers, who headed onward towards a coastal finish inside Dover Castle. Some even ran the distance, with our fastest finisher completing the event in just 5 ½ hrs!

    It was such a great day!

    Robert – Pilgrims

    The event is set to raise more than £105,000; a figure that will help Pilgrims Hospices to provide more than 4,200 hours of specialist nursing care at one of their inpatient units in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet. Many people chose to walk the Pilgrims Way Challenge in memory of a loved one, in appreciation of the care they experienced from Pilgrims.

    In true Pilgrims style, participants were supported throughout the journey with well-stocked rest stops, comprehensive route signage and expert medical support. Walkers were particularly delighted upon arriving for a well-deserved seat at Chartham Hatch, where they were treated to delicious cakes, strawberries and tea.

    Robert Grew, Pilgrims Events & Digital Fundraising Manager said: “It was such a great day. We had hundreds of walkers of all abilities taking on the challenge and I’m in awe of every single one of them. Despite some challenging temperatures, our supporters really went the extra mile, and it was humbling to see how far people push themselves to achieve something not just for themselves, but for the benefit of others. It really is a deeply personal test, both physically and emotionally, and to see what it meant to them when they finally reached the finish line was inspiring. Collectively, our supporters walked over 23,400 kilometres, which is the equivalent of walking from London to Athens more than 8 times!


    “I’d like to say a huge thank you to the army of Pilgrims volunteers who gave their time and energy to support our walkers, whether it was with marshalling the route, preparing refreshments or encouraging people along the way, we couldn’t have done it without you.”

    Visit Pilgrims Hospices Facebook page to see more photos from the day.

    Fancy getting involved with a Pilgrims event? Check out our event calendar to find out what’s coming up, including:

    Folkestone Downs Challenge Saturday 2 September 2023

    Thanet 5k Colour Run, Sunday 1 October 2023

    If you or someone you know is coping with a life limiting illness, and you think you may benefit from Pilgrims free services, talk to your GP or Healthcare Professional about your options or click here to read about our Wellbeing Services.

    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.

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