21st June 2024

    Stepping in Style: Hundreds hike the Pilgrims Way Challenge, raising thousands for Pilgrims Hospices!

    On Saturday, 15 June 2024, Pilgrims Hospices hosted the annual Pilgrims Way Challenge, an event that gathered enthusiastic participation and support. Despite the weather misbehaving, spirits weren’t dampened as supporters bravely tackled the rain, wind and mud to put their best foot forward for local hospice care.

    The turnout was remarkable, with over 700 supporters, one dinosaur and one teddy bear in a wheelbarrow stepping up to take on the mighty Pilgrims Way Challenge, and this year in reverse! We’re thrilled to announce that from early estimations, their collective effort has raised an impressive £95,000, with the figure still rising!

    Participants had the option to choose from three scenic routes, each offering a unique challenge and breathtaking views. The event covered three distance options, including 55 kilometres from Dover to Wye via Canterbury. For those seeking a shorter journey, alternative routes included Canterbury to Wye at 25 kilometres and Dover to Canterbury at 35 kilometres. Every step taken by the participants helped raise vital funds for end-of-life care at Pilgrims Hospices.

    The overwhelming positive feedback from participants highlighted the event’s success. Supporters praised the meticulous organisation and the dedication of the volunteers, “The marshals were incredible, guiding us every step of the way,” one participant noted. Another shared, “The volunteers’ enthusiasm and support made the challenge even more enjoyable.”

    The heroes of the day were undoubtedly the volunteers, from crossing marshals, registration volunteers, refreshment teams and our signage volunteers, who also gave warming encouragement and thanks to everyone who took part in this important Pilgrims Hospices fundraising event. Their commitment ensured a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Billy Williams, Pilgrims Events  Manager, expressed his gratitude, emphasising the importance of such events, “Events like these are a vital part of our fundraising activity,” he commented. “They offer a variety of ways for people to get involved and support Pilgrims in providing essential end-of-life care to the community of east Kent.”

    The Pilgrims Way Challenge hike was not just a testament to the community’s generosity but also a celebration of the spirit and dedication of everyone who supports Pilgrims Hospices. Thank you to all who participated and contributed to making this event a resounding success.

    If you’re looking to put your best foot forward for local hospice care, you can sign up for our next challenge event – the Folkestone Downs Challenge – on Saturday 31 August 2024.

    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.

    20th May 2024

    Pilgrims Hospices care team steps up for Pilgrims Way Challenge fundraiser

    The compassionate nurses and caregivers of Pilgrims Hospices are lacing up their trainers and gearing up for a remarkable endeavour — the Pilgrims Way Challenge. On Saturday, June 15, 2024, they will embark on a journey across east Kent, joining hundreds of supporters in a fundraising effort that promises not only to be physically demanding yet also incredibly rewarding.

    A team comprising 9 nurses and carers is taking on the 25-kilometer route that will traverse the picturesque route from Canterbury to Wye. Their presence among the throngs of supporters is a testament to their deep appreciation for hospice care and their recognition of the vital role fundraising plays in sustaining these crucial services.

    Lorna Moss, Pilgrims Health Care Assistant (HCA), said: “We are so pleased to be taking part in the fundraising event to support hospice care. We are looking forward to spending some time together, not just as nurses but as friends in a social environment. It’s sometimes a challenge to find time off as a group, although some of our colleagues will be unable to take part due to being on shift, we will be taking the time to enjoy some fresh air and wonderful countryside together, and it’s a chance to keep up with our fitness and raise some important funds for Pilgrims all at the same time.”

    The Pilgrims Way Challenge is a monumental fundraising event, and the participation of the Pilgrims Hospices nursing team underscores their unwavering dedication to their patients’ well-being, both inside and outside the hospice walls. By swapping their ward shoes for trainers, these dedicated professionals are not only supporting the patients under their care, but also embracing the opportunity for Saturday afternoon exercise and fun.

    We are so pleased to be taking part in the fundraising event to support hospice care.

    Lorna – Pilgrims

    Throughout the course of the Pilgrims Way Challenge, the Pilgrims Hospices nursing team aims to cover around 275-kilometres collectively, or about 420,000 steps, as they stride through the stunning Kent countryside. Their dedication is matched only by their determination to make every step count, knowing that each stride brings them closer to their fundraising goal and, more importantly, closer to enhancing the quality of life for hospice patients.

    London Marathon runner, nurse Simone Royer

    Reflecting on their preparations for the challenge, the team shares, “We are a mix of abilities, some regular sporty types, with marathon runners within our midst, others less energetic, but we know by pacing ourselves, we will achieve our goal of raising funds for hospice care for the people of east Kent and having a jolly good time! Every kilometre we walk is a testament to our commitment to our patients and our community.”

    As the Pilgrims Hospices nursing team embarks on this inspiring journey, they invite the community to join them in support of their noble cause. Together, they are proving that with every step, they are making a difference in the lives of those in need.

    I can’t wait to share some time with my colleagues on the Pilgrims Way Challenge, fundraising with friends and having a great time, what more could I ask!

    Simone – Pilgrims

    We invite you to support our care team on their journey while supporting their JustGiving page, Pilgrims Hospices Care Team.

    With three distances to choose from, the Pilgrims Way Challenge is perfect for people of varying fitness levels.

    Stroll through a charming village of oast houses and period cottages, and soak in an immense sky while surrounded by endless green fields. Rolling hillside views, quiet country lanes, historic buildings and ancient woodland all await you. Walking, or running, the Pilgrims Way between Dover and Wye really has it all.

    • 25 km Hike: Canterbury to Wye
    • 35 km Hike: Dover to Canterbury
    • 55 km Hike: Dover to Wye via Canterbury

    Call the fundraising team on 01227 782 062 or visit pilgrimswaychallenge.org.

    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.

    15th May 2024

    Spring was in the air for the Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge on Bank Holiday Sunday!

    More than 1,000 cyclists enjoyed a beautiful sunny Bank Holiday Sunday exploring the stunning Kent countryside at the 14th annual Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge. Riders of all abilities took part, collectively cycling more than 73,360 miles, the equivalent of cycling around the equator three times, to support the skilled and compassionate end-of-life care the charity provides across east Kent.

    So far, this year’s event has raised £116,000; with indications that the total could reach as much as £120,000 for Pilgrims, once all donations and Gift Aid are finalised.

    Individuals, families, friends, cycling clubs, local businesses, and services throughout Kent, took on the 30, 50, 75, 100, or 125-mile challenge. Bright skies and dry roads were the perfect conditions for Pilgrims’ flagship fundraising event. Ever since the event first took place in 2010, supporters have raised an astonishing £1.3 million to help people who need Pilgrims’ care within our community.


    We congratulate all the riders for achieving their goals and for their incredible support for the end-of-life care Pilgrims provides.

    Kate – Pilgrims

    All routes started and finished at Pilgrims Event Village at the University of Kent, near Canterbury. Returning cyclists could enjoy a celebratory atmosphere, a sports massage, and well-earned refreshments after collecting their commemorative medal.

    Kate Duddell, Pilgrims event organiser, said, “It was brilliant to see such a strong show of support for Pilgrims! We congratulate all the riders for achieving their goals and for their incredible support for the end-of-life care Pilgrims provides.

    “It’s a privilege to organise the event, and seeing it year after year, I’m always reminded how much of a team effort it is. Our army of volunteers is just outstanding, and they gave up their bank holiday weekend to help make the whole experience safe and enjoyable for our riders. I can’t thank them enough! Nor the waves of cyclists who puff their way around the course in support each year.”

    “I must also thank Barretts, Biketart, and Kent Sport for their wonderful support for the event, which enables us to maximise the amount of funds we can raise for hospice care.”


    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.

    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.

    22nd April 2024

    Cycling for a cause: Honouring memories, creating legacies

    Join us on Sunday, May 5 2024, for the Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge, where we’ll come together not just as cyclists, but as a community united in the spirit of love, remembrance, and supporters for those in need.

    Team Cynthia and Steven consists of Katie Li, the daughter of Cynthia and Steven, along with Raymond, Nick, Tim and Mark, who are taking part in loving memory of Cynthia (1961-2017), Steven (1952-2023) and loved ones.

    Katie with her friend, Ellen, and her siblings Amy, Ray and Cindy, cycling 50-miles in 2019

    In 2019, Team Cynthia embarked on their first fundraising cycling journey, raising over £2,800 for Pilgrims Hospices. Now, Katie with her family and friends, will once again pedal forth with purpose, raising vital funds for Pilgrims Hospices’ end-of-life care and continuing to raise awareness around local hospice care and services.

    Between them, the team will participate in the 30-mile, and others will participate in the 50-mile; in memory of Cynthia and Steven, two beloved souls who touched the lives of many, and in honour of countless others who have embarked on their final journey.

    For Katie and her siblings, this cause is deeply personal. Losing her parents, Cynthia and Steven, to the relentless battle of cancer was a heart-wrenching journey. Yet, amidst the pain, there was solace in the compassionate care provided by Pilgrims Hospices. Their expertise not only ensured comfort for Cynthia and Steven but also brought peace and dignity to their final moments.

    With gratitude in their hearts and determination in their pedals, Team Cynthia and Steven, along with cherished friends and family, embark on this cycling challenge once more. They carry not only the memories of loved ones but also the mission to continue the legacy of compassion and support.

    Every mile pedalled, every hill conquered, and every donation received is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of community. Together, we pave the way for compassionate end-of-life care for those who most need it.

    Katie’s friend, Matt, and her brother-in-law, Nick, completed the 100-mile Cycle Challenge in 2019

    Join us on this journey of hope and remembrance. Whether you choose the 30-mile Circuit, the scenic 50-mile Classic, dare to conquer the 100-mile Century, or the ultimate test of strength and endurance, 125 miles, The Epic! Every pedal stroke brings us closer to our goal of supporting our patients and their families to live well in every moment.

    Together, let’s turn grief into action, memories into legacies, and pain into purpose. Thank you to Katie and Team Cynthia and Steven for their unwavering dedication, and to all supporters for their generosity and kindness.

    Let’s make Sunday, May 5 2024, a day to remember. A day where every turn of the wheel brings us closer to a future where compassionate care knows no bounds.

    For more information on how you can support Team Cynthia and Steven, please visit their JustGiving page.

    And remember, every mile matters, every donation counts, and together, we can make a difference.

    Pilgrims Hospices is a registered charity providing specialist palliative care to individuals with life-limiting illnesses across East Kent. With a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, Pilgrims Hospices is committed to delivering compassionate care and support to patients and their families, ensuring dignity, comfort, and quality of life.

    18th January 2024

    Pilgrims Hospices Tree Recycling initiative a resounding success

    Tree-mendous news! Pilgrims Hospices’ tree recycling initiative has achieved a tree-rific success! Over two weekends, from January 6th to 8th and January 13th to 15th, 2024, doorstep collections of Christmas trees took place, resulting in the collection of more than 3,270 real Christmas trees in Ashford, Canterbury, and Thanet. These trees were then recycled by dedicated volunteers and representatives of Pilgrims Hospices. The estimated funds raised from this initiative are an incredible £60,000, all of which will contribute to local hospice care.

    This environmentally friendly fundraising initiative, which has been running for 12 years in Ashford and three years in Canterbury and Thanet, has been made possible through the generous donations of the community. Supporters of Pilgrims Hospices have been actively contributing to the care of the planet and hospice patients, one tree at a time.

    Pilgrims Hospices would like to convey their heartfelt gratitude to everyone who supported this charity fundraising scheme. The collective support received enables the hospices to continue providing skilled and compassionate end-of-life care to individuals living with a life-limiting illness across east Kent.

    Kate Duddell, the Head of Fundraising at Pilgrims Hospices, expressed her appreciation for the invaluable support provided by the dedicated volunteers, who generously donate their time, vehicles, and services for local hospice care. She emphasised that without their contribution, the tree recycling service could not be provided to the local community. Kate also extended her gratitude to all those who registered their trees for collection, indicating that each donation plays a vital role in helping Pilgrims Hospices meet their annual fundraising goal of £11 million.

    Pilgrims Hospices would also like to thank their campaign partners, Kent County Council and FCC Environment, as well as the staff at the recycling centres, for their support. Additionally, a special thanks goes out to Canterbury City Council, Ashford Borough Council, and Thanet District Council for their dedicated years of support. These efforts were further bolstered by the contributions of numerous organisations, including A. Bird Trees and Gardens Ltd, Cordès Horticultural Ltd., Countrystyle Recycling Ltd, David Glew and Sons Garden Maintenance, David Parr Tree Surgeons, Givaudan, Harvey Waste Management, Jenner Contractors, Lord Mayor of Canterbury & Lady Mayoress, Macknade, Martin Fagg Garden Maintenance, MW Cave Ltd, Menzies, Practical Van Hire, Old Dairy Brewery, Pneuma Church, PSR Lighting & Signs Ltd, RE Tanner And Sons, Royal Mail, Select Plant Hire, Shadoxhurst Village Hall, Silent Gliss UK, Streetspace Group, Tree and Grounds Maintenance Ltd, Waitrose & Partners, and WW Martin. Their significant contribution greatly assisted in the success and expansion of the campaign.

    Pilgrims Hospices remains committed to providing care and comfort to thousands of individuals in east Kent who are facing incurable illnesses. The organisation strives to enhance their quality of life, ensuring that they are free from pain and distress until the end.

    For further information or to contribute to the ongoing work of Pilgrims Hospices, please contact Fundraising@pilgrimshospices.org. 

    About Pilgrims Hospices: Each year, Pilgrims Hospices provides care and support to thousands of individuals in east Kent who are grappling with incurable illnesses. Their mission is to help patients live their lives as fully as possible, free from pain and distress.


Go back