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.

    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.

    15th June 2022

    Walkers put their best foot forward for Pilgrims

    More than 600 walkers took part in the award-winning Pilgrims Way Challenge charity walk on Saturday 11 June 2022. The event has raised £74,000 this year, with early estimations being that the event will exceed £90,000 for Pilgrims once all fundraising is counted.


    With three distances to choose from, 25km35km or 55km, walkers of all fitness levels were able to enjoy the rural beauty of one of England’s oldest and least-trodden national trails.  Starting from the picturesque village of Wye within the Kent Downs AONB, those taking part walked through the scenic Stour Valley, to historic Canterbury, and onwards to finish inside the inner bailey of Dover Castle, journeying through some of the most charming villages in Kent, whilst being surrounded by endless green fields, rolling hillside views, quiet country lanes, historic buildings and ancient woodlands.

    This popular annual charity fundraising event goes from strength to strength, with hikers and runners joining from across east Kent and further afield, all of them passionate about their walking, and everyone raising money to support end-of-life care at Pilgrims Hospices and within the community.

    The weather was glorious, as walkers started their mammoth challenge. New faces joined many returning supporters who know the event is well planned, with rest stops, snack stations and bundles of volunteers and staff to support and encourage them along the way.

    Robert Grew, Pilgrims Events Manager said: “It was fantastic to welcome so many Pilgrims hikers to another sun-filled Pilgrims Way Challenge at the weekend. I’m in awe of their determination, and extraordinary efforts to march so many miles in support of the compassionate, end-of-life care that Pilgrims Hospices provide. They really stepped up to the challenge and I’d certainly say they’ve earned putting their feet up for a while! I’d also like to say a big thank you to the many dedicated staff and volunteers, without whom the event couldn’t take place. Their boundless enthusiasm and friendly smiles kept participants going all the way to the finish.”

    Linda Macdonald

    One walking (if not staggering) event statistic is, those taking part jointly achieved an incredible 21,475 kilometres on the day. That’s the equivalent of walking from London to Rome 7 times!

    Linda Macdonald from Folkestone completed the 35 km route. She said:

    “The walk was so well organised and the volunteer teams cheered us on, fed and watered the participants too. All with good humour and encouragement. It was a hot day, but the various churches along the route offered tranquillity and shade. Thank you all for such a great event.”

    Check out a full set of event photos on the Pilgrims Hospices Facebook page.


    Pilgrims Hospices cares for thousands of local 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.

    25th June 2019

    Hundreds walk the Pilgrims Way for hospice care

    Wye, Canterbury and Dover were buzzing with cheerful voices on Saturday 22 June as more than 600 happy walkers gathered on the Pilgrims Way Challenge charity fundraising walk.


    Early estimations are that the event will raise more than £90,000 for Pilgrims Hospices!

    Walkers enjoyed a 25km 35km or 55km hike through the beautiful rural countryside along one of England’s oldest and least trodden national trails.   Young and old alike took to the rolling fields and picturesque villages along the Pilgrims Way to the historic city of Canterbury and onwards to a coastal finish at Dover Castle.

    The Pilgrims sponsored walkers collectively walked over 21,500km between them, the equivalent of walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats more than five times!

    In true Pilgrims style, walkers were supported throughout the journey with well-stocked rest stops where walkers could take a welcome break in the grounds of some of Kent’s amazing and historic churches. Delicious cakes, sandwiches and strawberry teas were a welcome treat at Chartham Hatch and a hot meal at the Canterbury hospice for walkers who were finishing the 25km route. For those who undertook the 35km and 55km routes, Pilgrims staff and volunteers welcomed the walkers with snacks and treats in Patrixbourne, Womenswold and Waldershare before reaching their final destination and a hot supper at Dover Castle.

    Every walker is an inspriation and it’s our pleasure to support them every step of the way.

    Robert Grew, Pilgrims Hospices

    All participants received a medal in recognition of their fantastic achievement.

    Robert Grew, Pilgrims Events Manager, said: “It was incredible to see so many people turning out to walk the Pilgrims Way Challenge in support of our end-of-life care. It was an enjoyable but tough day for all, especially with how warm it was in the sun, and with a bit of determination, the finish was finally reached.

    “Every single walker is an inspiration and it’s our pleasure to support them every step of the way on the challenge as they raise vital funds for Pilgrims Hospices. The money they raise enables Pilgrims to continue caring for more than 2,400 people and their families each year, providing comfort, alleviating pain and enabling them to live well in the time they have.

    “Our thanks go to everyone who took part in making the Pilgrims Way Challenge such a success – including our fantastic team of volunteers!”

    The Pilgrims Way Challenge will return on Saturday 20 June 2020.


    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.

    13th June 2019

    Start your summer on the right foot

    New and seasoned walkers alike will be lacing up their walking boots to join the Pilgrims Way Challenge on Saturday 22 June. With over 450 walkers already registered, the sponsored hiking event takes in the rural beauty of one of England’s oldest and least trodden national trails. With the success of the event last year, Pilgrims can now offer three distances, 25km, 35km and 55km; perfect for people of all fitness levels.


    In true Pilgrims Hospices style, walkers will be supported throughout the journey with regular, friendly rest stops for food and water, a fully signed route, and medical support.

    Hannah Sole, Pilgrims Hospices Supporter Relations Team Leader, and her family will be taking part again this year. Hannah said: “This is such a wonderful challenge. My friends and family enjoyed it so much last year, we decided to get involved again!  Everyone was so encouraging, we met some lovely people along the way and visited some perfect rest stops where we had plenty of time to relax and grab a snack or two.

    “You need to apply a little effort in some parts of the route, but the rewards are amazing. It’s a great achievement and all of the money raised from registration and sponsorship will provide care for people who need Pilgrims help.”

    The Pilgrims Way Challenge takes place on Saturday 22 June 2019.

    If you would like to join Hannah and supporters who have already registered, please visit pilgrimswaychallenge.org where you’ll find full details.

    Standard entry is £30 until 16 June 2019, or you can sign up on the day for £45.

    This fully supported event includes regular rest stops with drinks and snacks, a fully signed route, event t-shirt and a hot meal at our Canterbury hospice (the halfway point for 55km hikers) and at the Dover Castle finish.

    By taking part, you’ll be helping Pilgrims Hospices to continue with the work that is so import within the east Kent community.


    Each year Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,400 people in East Kent 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. Click here to find out how we help.

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