Here in the world of Pilgrims Hospices Lottery we pride ourselves on the strong connections and amazing relationships we have with our local communities in the Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet areas.
We have been meeting up with many of our wonderful members for an amazing 27 years, in fact since Pilgrims Hospices Lottery began in the April of 1996.
We have seen our members’ families grow up to have families of their own. When they have moved we have too, moving their collection onto the relevant Collector in their new area. Winning cheques have been hand delivered to many with messages of thanks, perfect timing, happy purchases, travel arrangements made and kind donations given.
Lottery Collectors and members have been sadly lost along the way but those strong ties remain, family and friends picking up the reigns and taking over membership entries and collections.
New relationships and connections continue to be made with over 2800 new or additional entries into our weekly draw plus hundreds of you buying superdraw tickets, scratch cards, wedding favours and gift vouchers. This last year alone; we have raised over £1.2 million, have sent out more than 5,500 winners cheques and made over 50 thousandaires!
When you see the difference the compassionate care makes to Pilgrims Hospices patients and their families it’s easy to see what drives us.
We are and will remain truly grateful and humbled by the tremendous generosity shown in support of the incredible compassionate care provided by our teams both in the community, in people’s homes and in our hospices. Thank you, we really couldn’t do it without you. Together we really do make a difference.
£25 pays for one full hour of compassionate care by specialist nurse so you really do and can make a difference; help us continue to provide care and comfort to those that need us the most.
If you would like to join and make a difference today please call 01227 379741, or click here to go directly to our website page. Still only £1 per entry per week and you could win up to £20,000!
P.S Our Christmas Gift Vouchers are available now and our Christmas Superdraw tickets will be landing on doormats soon.
With Warmest Wishes from
Shiralee and your Lottery team.
Each year Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to thousands of people in east Kent who are 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.
8th August 2023
We’re back to colour the coast!
Pilgrims Hospices, Thanet Colour Run, returns on Sunday 1st October to Palm Bay Green, Margate. This family-friendly 5k event is an explosion of colourful fun. Take in amazing coastal views as you run and walk through clouds of brightly coloured powder around the route. So far, some £200,000 has been raised through the event since it launched in 2016.
Gather friends and family to join the energetic atmosphere of people running, jogging and walking along Thanet’s spectacular seafront. We anticipate more than 1,000 participants including runners, joggers and walkers joining us on the day. All are welcome to support Pilgrims.
Entry – before 25th September 2023
Ages 12 and over – £24 – Ages 11 and under £15
On the day entry (if still available)
Ages 12 and over – £28 – Ages 11 and under – £15
What happens on the day?
9am – 11am: Registration will be open
11.30am – 1.30pm: Thanet 5k Colour Run takes place
Entry includes a white t-shirt, paint sachet, funky sunglasses and finisher’s medal. We encourage you to consider the environment and bring your own plain white t-shirt to wear on the day. We provide the white t-shirts for event safety and colour protection, but if you can recycle an old one, then that is appreciated.
This year, our participant wristbands are also environmentally friendly! Each wristband is bio-degradable and contains wild flower seeds within the band, meaning you can take it home and plant it in your garden!
Catering will be available for purchase on site.
Location – Thanet, Palm Bay Green, Palm Bay Avenue, Cliftonville, Margate, CT9 3NR.
By taking part in the Thanet 5k Colour Run, you’ll be helping Pilgrim Hospices to continue caring for people right across east Kent who are facing a life-limiting illness.
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.
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.”
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.
24th April 2023
Pilgrims Hospices doctors help patients to live well in every moment
At Pilgrims Hospices, specialist palliative care doctors and consultants play a vital role in supporting patients and their families. They focus on managing and improving the physical symptoms that accompany a variety of life-limiting illnesses, with the broader aim of helping people to live well – in both mind and body – in the time that they have left.
Ahsan Ashfaq and Tarek Boumrah, trainee doctors who both volunteered at Pilgrims when they were at school and spent time in the hospices during their medical training, share their experiences of hospice care in east Kent.
What inspired you to volunteer and do your training at Pilgrims Hospices?
Ahsan: When I was at sixth form, I was looking for opportunities to gain experience in healthcare to better inform my career choice. We’d raised money for Pilgrims when I was at school, so I was familiar with the charity. Some friends in older years had volunteered and they only had good things to say. I spent time on weekends and some afternoons volunteering on reception at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet, where I learned a great deal.
Naturally, I was absolutely delighted when the opportunity presented itself to work at Pilgrims as a doctor. It felt like a ‘full-circle’ moment. It has been one of the greatest honours of my career so far to have served the local community with Pilgrims.
Tarek:I was interested in healthcare whilst studying for my A-Levels and wanted to do something that would help others. I heard about Pilgrims through a friend, and felt that the care they provided was so unique that I wanted to learn more.
It has been one of the greatest honours of my career so far to have served the local community with Pilgrims.
What did your roles involve and what did you learn?
Ahsan:As a volunteer, I worked on the reception desk. I would direct visitors to the appropriate areas and help make teas and coffees for them. At the time, the reception volunteers used to do a tea/coffee trolley round for the patients and also deliver food from the kitchen where necessary.
As a doctor, I worked as a senior house officer at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet. I worked in conjunction with other members of the multi-disciplinary team to provide care for patients on our inpatient unit. My day-to-day role included meetings about patients, board rounds, ward rounds and ensuring that our patients were well looked after. There was also a comprehensive teaching programme, from which I learned a great deal and was also able to contribute to. I visited people in their homes and the hospital to help plan their care. As such, I had the opportunity to learn about palliative medicine and develop my medical practice in this specialty. Through working at Pilgrims, I have learned to always put compassion at the heart of my approach to patients.
In both roles, I was lucky to work together with a wide range of professionals, all of whom I consider heroes without capes.
Tarek:As a volunteer, I welcomed visitors in reception and made teas and coffees for them. I’d often pass the ward and speak to patients and families, too. I’d never seen a dying person before, so it was a really eye-opening experience.
As a doctor, I supported patients and helped to improve their quality of life, ensuring they had a comfortable and dignified death. The main thing I’ve learned is to listen; patients and their families often feel they haven’t been listened to, and this leads to a relationship breakdown between them and healthcare professionals. Often, simply listening can make a huge difference to a patient, even if I’m not able to solve their medical issue.
Decisions about resuscitation and preferred place of care and death are often overlooked, which doesn’t give patients and loved ones the time they need to process what is happening. My time at Pilgrims helped me develop my communication skills, and also recognise the importance of planning for the future with patients.
In today’s society, people don’t often see the dying process, so it can be frightening for patients and families who have no idea what to expect. Pilgrims helps to normalise this journey that we will all take.
Why is hospice care important?
Ahsan: Hospice care provides an opportunity for people with terminal illnesses to live with dignity despite their disease. From symptom control to psychological support and spiritual care, Pilgrims provides a vital service for patients and their families when they are at their most vulnerable. It is so important to be able to provide this service to the local community.
Tarek:Hospices prioritise patients’ dignity and wishes, caring for them in a truly holistic way that supports all of their needs: medical, emotional, social, psychological and spiritual. This care also extends to their loved ones, continuing into bereavement after a patient has died.
Why do we need to talk about death and dying and how does Pilgrims help people to do this?
Ahsan: Death and dying can be a scary thought for many people. There can be a lot of fears around symptoms, social issues and the concept of going through the dying process itself. It’s important to talk about these things so that we can be clear about what patients’ wishes are and provide patient-centred care.
Pilgrims helps people talk about dying in various ways; patients are able to speak to the medical and nursing team about their fears and wishes, and there are also activities run by the Wellbeing team for patients and their carers. Hospice counsellors and the spiritual care team can speak to both patients and their families so that they are able to get the support they need.
Tarek:In today’s society, people don’t often see the dying process, so it can be frightening for patients and families who have no idea what to expect. Pilgrims helps to normalise this journey that we will all take. Talking about death and dying encourages people to focus on what’s most important to them.
If you’re interested in a career at Pilgrims, please check out our current vacancies at www.pilgrimshospices.org/jobs, which are updated regularly.
Death Cafes provide a safe space to discuss death and dying without objectives or an agenda.
Each year, Pilgrims Hospices provide care and comfort to thousands of people in east Kent who are coming to terms with an illness that sadly cannot be cured. The charity support patients to live life as well as possible until the end of life, free from pain and distress.
12th April 2023
The Blackbird Project continues to soar at Pilgrims Hospices
Sheena and Nick Jackaman lost their son Ben in 2017, when he was only 34 years old. He was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury. As with many bereaved families, they realised how much they missed the sound of Ben’s voice of which they had no recent recordings.
They, his sister Anna, family and their friends raised funds in his memory, in order to create a legacy project that would allow grieving families to listen to the voice of their loved one, and feel comforted at any time.
From this idea, the Blackbird Project was born and co-founded with Pilgrims Hospices. The project name came from the family’s love of The Beatles track ‘Blackbird’ which Ben played for them on his guitar before he was diagnosed with cancer.
From Spring 2019, Blackbird facilitators at the hospice have been trained to work with patients to record messages, poems, thoughts, recipes, details of their favourite music or anything that the patient would like to say.
After recording, the memory messages are downloaded onto a little blackbird-shaped USB stick, and given to the person who the patient has nominated.
Sheena and Nick continue to support Pilgrims, and more recently have donated beautiful Blackbird paintings to our three hospices, and printed cards that are for sale to raise important funds for patient care and services.
They said: “Our friend Caroline Brett is a talented artist who lives in Spain. She painted the wonderful blackbirds for us as a surprise gift. Greetings cards have also been printed from the original paintings, to sell and raise funds for The Blackbird Project. We are delighted to have her support with the beautifully detailed prints; we still feel surrounded by Ben’s love. Ben was highly creative, working in graphic design, and had a gift for music. I’m sure he would be very proud of our blackbird choice, and our way of recognising the compassion and care provided by Pilgrims Hospices who took us all under their wings at the most difficult of times. We will continue to raise funds in Ben’s memory, especially to support people who are facing similar challenges in their bereavement.”
In folklore, the blackbird is the first bird to sing in the dawn chorus, and the last bird singing as night falls. Its call is distinctive and is instantly recognisable, making it a very appropriate name for the project.
Pilgrims Hospices cares for thousands of 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.
5th April 2023
Broadstairs Beavers get creative with Pilgrims Hospices
The generous 11th Broadstairs Beavers, visited Pilgrims Hospice Thanet with Tracey Garnier, to present their donation of £200. The Beavers had been saving money each week, to help support people who need important Pilgrims’ care.
They were interested to find out more about activities that take place in the Therapy Centre, and enjoyed a craft session during their visit.
Jane Stanley, Wellbeing Practitioner said:
“It was such a great evening! We had prepared packs of 3D desktop beavers to make, and coiling dreamcatcher snakes to decorate. After a brief overview of some of the Wellbeing groups here at Pilgrims, the Beavers ‘beavered’ on with the crafts. They enjoyed the cheque handover and having their photograph taken. We also had a new Beaver invested into the group, and they all marched out happily holding their beavers and snakes.
“They loved hearing about the groups we run for patients, and seeing the warm safe space of our Therapy Centre, while enjoying the cutting and sticking crafts. They thought about a message to put in their desktop beaver; one wrote a message for someone who had been unkind to them at school, and was going to give the beaver to them as a gift.
“The evening showed the kindness of this community group, donating a fantastic sum to the good work done at Pilgrims.”
Tracey Garnier, Unit Clerk continued:
“I am Tracey (Tic Tac) my Beaver name, and I work as the Unit Clerk in Pilgrims Hospice Thanet. I joined the hospice team a year ago, after a career change, having previously worked in education for 26 years as a learning support assistant. My other assistant leader also works at the hospice – Caroline (Tu Tu) is part of the fundraising team, and joined our group 5 years ago, after coming on a Beavers District Hike which was donating money to Pilgrims Hospices.
“Each week, we encourage the Beavers to bring in small change which is collected and then donated to a charity. Over the COVID period, we were not allowed to meet so this all stopped.
Tracey added: “I approached Billy Williams, Pilgrims Wellbeing Lead, to see if it would be possible for the Beavers to visit the therapy area, and undertake an art activity. I wanted the Beavers to see how their donation would help to support local people who need care; helping them to understand having seen the physical place.
“Jane has been amazing and came up with some ideas and beavered away to make sure everything was ready for the evening. We asked the Beavers some general questions, then asked Jane to tell us what it is that happens in that area. They were very interested and surprised by the variety of things. We then started the art activity which they really enjoyed.
“I hope to incorporate some other activities in our coming sessions, and hope to visit the hospice again. Watch this space.”
Caroline Dixon, from Pilgrims said:“We had a fabulous time with our Broadstairs Beavers, they were really keen to learn, and by visiting the hospice, it’s given them an opportunity to find out first-hand about the special care we offer here.”
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 support patients to live life as well as possible until the very end, free from pain and distress.