The sun shone, people came, Snowdogs played and a staggering £20,491 was raised at the Pilgrims Hospices Summer Garden Party on Saturday 3 August.
Cream teas were a delight, coconuts, bottles of wine and toys created smiles for the winners. There were magicians, entertainers and all sorts of games and activities to take part in. Families sat on picnic blankets in the sun and soaked up the fun atmosphere.
The successful winner of the dolls house auction, Wendy Bishop, said: “The day was a wonderful occasion and lovely to support. Everyone was smiling, especially my granddaughter Livvie when we won the dolls house.
“My husband died at the hospice last year. The care they offered was everything I hoped it would be both for my husband, my family and friends.”
The day was a huge success thanks to more than 1,200 visitors and 100 volunteers who worked tirelessly for weeks if not months preparing things to sell, donating goods or giving their time for free. A special thanks go to:
Stagecoach, Coty, Aldi, magician Geoff Partner, Once Upon a Dream Princess Party, Lloyds Bank, Metro Bank, Southern Gas Network, Brett, Denne’s Marquees, Mersham-Le-Hatch Business Village, Alan Maker Electrical Services, Crosskeys, Ashford Picturehouse, Romney Marsh Brewery, Lions Club of Ashford, Wyvern School, HGV Relief Driver Services, Faversham Ices and Vinci. We would also like to say thank you to Geoffrey Osborne Ltd, A-one+ and Highways England for adjusting their programme so the M20 was kept open during our event. And finally thanks to absolutely everyone who came and gave so generously.
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 Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.
13th May 2019
Pilgrims therapy sessions are making a huge difference for Edgar
Edgar Evans is 91-years-old, he regularly attends Pilgrims Hospices Therapy Centre in Ashford not only to help him maintain his fitness and independence but to join with others and try activities that interest him and keep his mind and body active. Every visit is an opportunity to engage in a friendly and welcoming environment with people who are also managing life-limiting symptoms and conditions.
My first experience of Pilgrims Hospices came in 2017 when my wife Edna was cared for by Pilgrims community care team. After Edna passed away, Pilgrims visited me on several occasions to check on my wellbeing. I can only describe the care we both received as exceptional.
In 2018 I was diagnosed with cardiac and kidney problems myself. Upon my return home from the hospital, Pilgrims made contact to discuss the support they could offer and shared a number of options available within their Therapy Centres.
At first, I admit I felt dubious and a little anxious about attending the hospice, however, I agreed to ‘give it a go’.
The whole experience was wonderful. I was collected from my home in Hythe by a Pilgrims volunteer driver and greeted by nurses at the Ashford hospice. I was escorted to a lovely comfortable day room, which I can only describe as being like a top-class hotel. After introductions to the warm and friendly staff and others attending the therapy sessions, we were offered refreshments and a chance to get to know one another. I felt welcome and comfortable straight away.
I’ve been able to try a number of activities that I really never thought would be of interest to me. It’s given me new skills and helps me keep my mind and body active. I’ve tried sugar icing on cakes, painting, Christmas decorations, crafts and flower arranging to name but a few.
The massage, gym sessions and sit down and get fit classes have helped with aches and pains and given me the confidence to exercise and maintain my fitness.
It’s been nice to share some of Pilgrims’ kindness with my family, Pilgrims invited them to enjoy a pamper day with me, which helped them to understand the benefit of my time spent at the hospice.
It’s definitely the highlight of my week, being with the care team who really understand my needs and talking to people who are also dealing with similar conditions and symptoms helps me to speak with confidence about my needs in a relaxed atmosphere.
I’m always treated to a tasty lunch and the staff provide therapy, care, and kindness in abundance.
If you are offered an opportunity to take advantage of a Pilgrims Therapy Centre, please do say yes, you will definitely find benefits within the warmth of the hospice team and develop new friendships along the way.
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 click here for information on the Wellbeing and Social Programme.
14th February 2019
Parklife comes to Pilgrims Hospice Ashford
On 14 February Pilgrims Hospice Ashford was delighted to unveil their newest resident in the grounds of the hospice, the Snowdog Parklife.
After the successful Snowdog trail, which brought pleasure to the people of Ashford and beyond in autumn 2018, many residents were delighted that some of the unique pieces of art bought at the Gala Auction remained as part of the community and can be visited within the town. Joining these now is Parklife, who was one of a pair bought by Vin Donald Trinh.
Mr Donald-Trinh so enjoyed every aspect of the Snowdog trail, he wanted patients, visitors, staff and volunteers to be able to continue to share in that enjoyment. Parklife has therefore been loaned to Pilgrims Hospices and will be on display for the forthcoming year.
The family agreed without hesitation, that it was befitting for Parklife to stand where he would bring much joy and happiness to all those who visit and work at Pilgrims.
Vin Donald Trinh, who successfully bid on Parklife at the Snowdogs Gala Auction
Parklife was designed by artist Kathleen Smith who wanted to encourage people to enjoy the parks in and around Ashford with all their exciting wildlife. With a wildlife orchard, sensory garden, pond and glorious setting at the hospice, Parklife will find a friendly home.
Mr Donald Trinh said: “Like many living near and far from Ashford, we were immediately captured by the colourful Snowdogs. They brightened up Ashford and became a really fun feature for everyone to enjoy.
We took ouryoung children around the town spotting them each weekend, taking pictures. Every Snowdog visited brought great excitement and joy to both of our children, every one was a favourite as we loved them all!
We saw the Snowdogs when they gathered at the Julie Rose Stadium for the Farewell Weekend and from there the family thought that if we were lucky enough we would attempt to bid for one. We also knew that the Snowdogs were there for a very special purpose and that was to support Pilgrims Hospices in the fantastic work that they do; work which is often difficult but invaluable.
We feel extremely lucky and privileged to be part of the Snowdogs journey in Ashford. It was never our original intention to loan Parklife to the Hospice but having been so very fortunate in the auction, the family agreed without hesitation, that it was befitting for Parklife to stand where he would bring much joy and happiness to all those who visit and work at Pilgrims. This would be the biggest gratitude we could have bestowed in return for the joy the Snowdogs brought to our family and all others in Ashford.
We very much hope that Parklife fits in well at his new home and the family shall visit him regularly to make sure he’s behaving himself!”
Jenny and Freddy step out to shine for local hospice care
Pilgrims Hospice Ashford Health Care Assistant (HCA), Jenny Jackson, will be joining hundreds of supporters at the charity night time walk, A Night to Shine, on Saturday 22 September. She hopes to encourage as many of her colleagues as possible to join her and raise funds and awareness for end-of-life care in east Kent.
Jenny who is 33 from Aldington, has been a member of the Pilgrims team for nine years. Jenny said: “I joined Pilgrims Hospices after having my family; I really love my role as part of the team here at the Ashford hospice. It’s a privilege to support patients, their families and friends in such difficult times.
“During the past few years, any spare time has been taken up with supporting my family and focusing on completing my health and social care degree. I will graduate in January and now that my son is attending secondary school, I can enjoy getting involved in new things.”
I really love my role as part of the team here at the Ashford hospice. It’s a privilege to support patients, their families and friends in such difficult times.
Jenny and her 13-year-old son, Freddy, decided that A Night to Shine was a great opportunity to spend some time together, have some fun and generate important funds for Pilgrims at the same time.
Jenny added: “I do my best to look after my health and stay fit. I took up running earlier this year and regularly run around 10k. As well as walking 6 miles with my son, I will be running for Pilgrims in the Givaudan 10k race in October. I want to encourage as many people to join me as a fabulous way of having fun and getting fitter, too.
Freddy, who is attending North School in Ashford, is hoping to raise some sponsorship from friends at school and his family.
Victoria Friar, Pilgrims Hospice Community Fundraising Manager at the Ashford hospice, said: “We can’t wait for this event; many of our walkers will dress up and there will plenty of opportunities to purchase glow sticks and lights to brighten up the walking. Local DJ, Webbo, will be helping my team to create a special party atmosphere at the Julie Rose Stadium before we all start our adventure. We are hoping to see as many of the Pilgrims staff as possible joining Jenny for a fun-packed evening!
“Please help us celebrate the lives and memories of loved ones while raising funds to help our charity to continue with its good work.”
The event will take place in Ashford, Broadstairs and Canterbury simultaneously. Choose a 3 or 6-mile sponsored walk; entry is £15 for adults and £12 for under 18s if you register by 16 September, and under 3s go free whenever you sign up.
Entry includes a t-shirt, torch, medal and memory lantern for you to personalise with your own message or design.
What do a bear, a penguin, a cockerel and a medieval man at arms have in common? These are just some of the participants Pilgrims Hospices’ A Night to Shine sponsored walk in Ashford on Saturday 22 September.
A team has been entered from Nando’s Ashford branch along with the company’s mascot Barci, a red and black cockerel. Kayleigh Ben Saada, Second Assistant Manager at the restaurant, said: “We were inspired to take part in support of a loyal customer who’s faced the biggest challenge life has thrown at him. Due to the love and support he’s received from Pilgrims Hospices, Nando’s Ashford want to raise as much money as possible to give back to an amazing charity in our community.”
William Butterfield will be polishing his armour, supporting the walk by standing guard as a marshal to ensure walkers can safely navigate the route. He said: “This is very much a family affair for my girlfriend, Ellie, whose father was cared for by the hospice 17 years ago. Everybody offers their help in some way to ensure the night is a great success.”
Finally, Raffles the Pilgrims Hospices bear will be joined by his friend, Awesome the penguin, as they walk the route to encourage people as they take part.
Whether you’re in fancy dress, bright colours or decorating your outfit in memory of a loved one, everyone is welcome at A Night to Shine.
A Night to Shine takes place in Ashford, Broadstairs or Canterbury. Sign up on the night and choose a 3 or 6-mile sponsored walk; under 3s go free. Entry includes a t-shirt, torch, medal and memory lantern for you to personalise with your own message or design.
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.
7th August 2018
Sun shines brightly on Pilgrims’ Summer Garden Party
With many visitors to the Summer Garden Party held in the grounds of Pilgrims Hospice Ashford on Saturday 4 August, the day proved to be a roaring success and is set to raise more than £18,000 in vital funds for the charity.
This year saw more sumptuous afternoon teas than ever being enjoyed by visitors, along with the wonderful teddy bear’s picnic, a new addition to the hospice’s wildflower garden. Whether you were encouraged to fish for a bottle, enjoy a reflexology treatment or try your luck on a tombola, there was something for everyone.
This is such a fantastic event. So many of our staff and volunteers all come together as a team to make the Garden Party a success. It’s wonderful to walk around our gardens and see everyone smiling and having fun. Thank you to everyone who helped make a difference for our charity.
Wendy Kelk, Hospice Services Manager
During the afternoon Pilgrims Hospices Healthcare Assistant, Sarah Smith, braved the clippers and had her head shaved to raise even more funds for hospice patients. Local companies also showed their support, including KDC Power Utilities who donated an iPad, helping to raise nearly £4,000 through the Summer Grand Draw.
Hospice Services Manager, Wendy Kelk, was one of more than 150 volunteers on the day and said, “This is such a fantastic event. So many of our staff and volunteers all come together as a team to make the Garden Party a success. It’s wonderful to walk around our gardens and see everyone smiling and having fun. Thank you to everyone who helped make a difference for our charity.”
Maria Martin, who attended with her young son, Oscar, said: “The afternoon’s excitement began the moment Oscar realised he could go on the free park and ride bus to get to the hospice – he would have stayed and gone round and round all afternoon! He loved the children’s games too, especially fishing for ducks.”