On Thursday 6 June 2019, Matt Seward will join 200 other cyclists as he attempts to ride the TransAtlantic Way; a solo self-supported 2,500km route along the western coast of Ireland. Starting in Dublin, riders head to Derry and follow the coast all the way to Kinsale near Cork.
Matt from Broadstairs, who works at his local family printing business, Seaward Copy Shop, is keen to support Pilgrims Hospices. He told us: “I am doing this ride in memory of my dad Roger who passed away last September after his year-long battle with cancer. Dad was 75 years old; he’d always been a fighter, overcoming many illnesses during his life and before he lost his sight he was a keen cyclist himself, raising money for charity.
This is my biggest challenge yet!
“Pilgrims Hospices were so supportive, they really helped to comfort my dad and the whole family. They respected his wishes and maintained his dignity right to the end so that he could be at home where he passed away with his family by his side. Their support was invaluable.
“You don’t truly realise the positive impact and the great work that they do until you need them.”
On the ride, Matt is aiming to cycle around 325km each day, sleeping under the stars on some nights and staying at bed and breakfasts on others to catch up with a good night’s sleep.
“I have wild camped around the Lake District and Snowdonia, therefore have some experiences to draw down upon. I find that when I am tired every bench, bus shelter or bush looks appealing.”
Matt began seriously training for his challenge in January this year, increasing his cycling hours by using an indoor trainer during the winter months. He has completed some overnight rides of around 300km and has been to Ireland to do a training ride around the Ring of Kerry.
Matt told us: “I am a member of Thanet Road Club and I’ve been doing long distance cycling challenges for the past few years. This is my biggest challenge yet!
“I am cycling around the entire route on my own and unsupported; carrying all of my clothes, sleeping bag and tools with me. I must find places to buy food on the route. In this wild part of Ireland, it can sometimes be 80km between shops!
“Although there is no official cut off time for finishing, there is a finishers party on Saturday 15 June; I hope to make it to the finish by then in time for a Guinness!”
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.
29th November 2018
Afternoon high tea at Pilgrims
Students from Broadstairs College treated hospice patients, Therapy Centre users, staff and guests to a scrumptious afternoon high tea last week.
The students aged 16 – 18 years who are studying level 2 and 3 Catering and Hospitality arrived in chefs whites for cooking and black and whites for the front of house team.
Roger Phillips, Head of Catering for East Kent College, said: “The students take part in events within the community as part of their curriculum. Many of the group have only recently started their course in September and are progressing really well.
“The college is keen to expose trainees to a diverse range of opportunities to broaden their skills and offer them opportunities to enhance their progress into employment. Training at Pilgrims’ hospice in Margate, is just one of the many ways we are helping our young people to engage with their community.”
Training at Pilgrims’ hospice in Margate, is just one of the many ways we are helping our young people to engage with the community.
Roger Phillips, East Kent College
The students prepared and cooked cakes, pastries, and sandwiches; all beautifully presented and served.
Georgina Braithwaite, Head Chef for Pilgrims Hospice Thanet, said: “It’s lovely to have the support from our local community and not just with financial donations. The students had the opportunity to find out more about what happens here and discover we are much more than a hospice ward.
“I would like to thank Roger, his colleague Rob Allsworth and the students for offering us such a lovely treat.”
Ian Ashton, Head of Catering for Pilgrims Hospices, is working with Broadstairs College to identify opportunities to offer some work experience placements for students next year.
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 visit How we Help for more information.
4th September 2018
Angling charity cheque really is ‘the catch of the day’ for Pilgrims
The Charity Shield fishing match in support of chosen charity Pilgrims Hospices took place in July at Stonar Lake, Sandwich raising an amazing £4,219.42 for vital hospice care.
The pairs match, which was made possible by the hard work of organisers Brian Allen, Jon Weir and John Sturge, proved a great success again this year. Through generous sponsorship, the event and the fishermen have raised an amazing £7,366 over two years for Pilgrims’ care.
We are very pleased to have presented the cheque to Pilgrims Hospices; the charity is a much-loved and important part of our community.
John Sturge, Competition Organiser
John Sturge presented the cheque to Karen Kenward, Pilgrims Hospices Community Fundraising Manager, at the Thanet hospice last week.
John said: “We had an excellent turnout of 24 angling pairs for the match that took place in July. The winners with the largest fish were Skip Knight and his partner Noddy, with a fine 26lb Mirror Carp. Henry Weir was the top junior with three Carp, the heaviest weighing in at 10lb 8oz.”
The superb weather lasted throughout the weekend with all those involved having a great time at the barbeque on Saturday and prize draw on Sunday. All prizes for the draw were donated by local business and supporters.
“We are very pleased to have presented the cheque to Pilgrims Hospices; the charity is a much-loved and important part of our community”, John added.
Karen said: “This really is a wonderful event that brings much enthusiasm from many anglers. We really cannot thank everyone enough for their time and effort in making this possible. This donation will help provide care for patients, their families and friends who need us the most. Every penny will help support our work here at Pilgrims. Thank you.”
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 Wellbeing and Social Programme to read more.
23rd May 2018
Sixth annual Pilgrims It’s a Knockout is a great success
Hundreds of supporters enjoyed Pilgrims Hospices It’s a Knockout event at Government Acre, Ramsgate on Sunday 20 May. The Thanet hospice has now run this important fundraising event for six years, generating vital funds for hospice care and an opportunity for friends, families and local businesses to take on some crazy antics and compete for the winner’s trophy.
This year 16 teams entered, including last year’s winners the Stormloopers, with everyone taking on bouncy obstacle courses and slippery slides. Each team could play their joker cards to win extra points. The laughter was infectious as teams competed to win while supporting the much-loved local charity.
Teams from around the area took part including SPH Charity Team (Spencer Private Hospitals) from Margate; each team member has known someone who has been supported by Pilgrims.
Toni Topping from the It Is What It Is team from Deal said: “We took part in It’s a Knockout in 2017; today we’re doing it in memory of our friend Sean Hammond who was our team mascot last year. He was supported by Pilgrims at home.”
Kieran Wynne from team Gone with the Winded (Ivor Thomas Amusements) from Ramsgate said: “We do a lot of charity work as a company and It’s a Knockout is a great team builder.”
The Team That Cannot Wait
Katy's Kittens and Bunny's Honeys
Gone With the Winded (Ivor Thomas Amusements)
It Is What It Is
Stone Bay Slumber Party
Andrew & Co.
80s Stone Bay Crew
Karen Kenward, Community Fundraising Manager, said: “This really is a fun event with many supporters returning each year.
“I’d like to thank everyone who attended – those who took part, sponsored their team members, spectated on the day to cheer their teams on, volunteered to help run our fun stalls, our amazing event sponsors Stagecoach and those who made or dressed up as mascots to help their teams double points.
“Your wonderful support will enable us to continue providing care for all who need it, both in the hospice and at home. Last year It’s a Knockout raised an incredible £16,109. Early indications show that this year’s event has raised £11,326 with further sponsorship still to come in.”
Karen added; “It costs just over £6,800 a day to run each of our three hospices inpatient units, so community support from events like this makes a huge difference to our charity.
We took part in It’s a Knockout in 2017; today we’re doing it in memory of our friend Sean Hammond who was our team mascot last year. He was supported by Pilgrims at home.
Toni Topping, Team: It Is What It Is
The winning team were event sponsors Stagecoach, whose team the Stormloopers completed a hat trick by winning this event for the third year in a row. The runners up were team It Is What It Is; last place went to The Team That Cannot Wait, who received wooden spoons.
“Whatever place they came, everyone who supported the event received a medal from Pilgrims Hospices as huge thank for taking part. You are all deserving winners to us; thank you for a wonderful day.”
Chris Ray and Gary Warren from the Stormloopers team said: “Pilgrims is a charity close to our hearts. We’ve won It’s a Knockout for the past two years; today we’ve completed the hat trick!”
Teams from further afield included Chuffer Nut from Ashford and Canterbury. Team member Zoe Tyzack said: “It’s a very worthy cause that we absolutely adore.”
Team member and mascot Diane Smith from Stone Bay Slumber Party from Broadstairs said: “It was so much fun last year that we wanted to take part again and raise money for a good cause.”
It was so much fun last year that we wanted to take part again and raise money for a good cause.
Diane Smith, Team: Stone Bay Slumber Party
Pete Bishop, a regular Pilgrims supporter and team member of Gone With the Winded, said: “My wife, Tatum, was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet and support by the Hospice at Home team. We’ve already raised more than £1,300 for Pilgrims this year by holding our annual quiz for the hospice.”
Alex Chapman-King, team member of Katy’s Kittens from Thanet, said: “We’re taking part in memory of my wife, Katy, who was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet earlier this year. We’ve already raised £5,000 for Cancer Research UK and will be taking on Tough Mudder, a parachute jump and the Canterbury Half Marathon to raise even more money for Pilgrims Hospices.”
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 find out more about our Wellbeing and Social Programme.
21st February 2018
Louise makes a splash for Pilgrims
Keen swimmer Louise Carroll from Broadstairs dedicated some of her half term holiday time to swim an incredible 200 lengths of her local pool in memory of her friend and school staff member, Frank Stivarious. She is raising money for Pilgrims Hospices who cared for Frank when he battled cancer in October 2017, and hopes to raise more than £200.
Dane Court Grammar School student Louise, who is 13 years old, said: “I used to speak to Frank every morning when Mum dropped me at school. He was always such a happy and friendly face and we were all very fond of him at our school.”
Louise’s mum and dad, Claire and Neil, are so proud of Louise’s fundraising. Claire said: “She wanted to do something positive and raise awareness of the wonderful work that Pilgrims Hospices do. Her friends and teachers at school have been really supportive.”
Frank’s wife, Sarah, who is Assistant Head Teacher at Dane Court Grammar, came along to support Louise on her 5000-meter swim, along with Louise’s mum and her grandparents Pat and Ron Dinnes.
Sarah explained: “I’m so impressed with her commitment; I’m sure Frank would have approved of her efforts. She is a very caring and kind young lady.”
Louse loves swimming and began at an early age. She currently attends Broadstairs Lifeguard and Swimming Club at Ramsgate Leisure Centre. She also attends Dover Channel Training from May to September. Along with her 200 lengths of the pool, from Sunday 27 May to Friday 1 June Louise will be swimming approximately 2 hours daily around the bays of Jersey with a group of swimmers headed by Sally Minty Gravett MBE. Louise hopes to raise as much as possible from her friends and family, but urges anyone who wishes to support her to donate directly via Pilgrims Hospices website.
Indoor Leisure Manager at Ramsgate Leisure Centre, Gavid Vickers, who kindly gave Louise a free lane in order for her to complete her charity swim, said: “We’re delighted to have helped with Louise’s fundraising swim. We are always keen to support young people who want to help make a difference within our local community. We congratulate her on her amazing efforts.”
We are delighted to have the support of such a dedicated young fundraiser.
Karen Kenward, Community Fundraising Manager at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet
Karen Kenward, Community Fundraising Manager at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet, added: “We are delighted to have the support of such a dedicated young fundraiser. Louise is doing a wonderful job of raising vital funds and awareness of our services. Her 5000-meter swim is actually over 3 miles; that’s quite incredible. We wish her lots of luck with the sea swimming in Jersey later this year.”
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.