28th July 2023

    Could you be a bereavement support volunteer?

    Pilgrims Stepping Stones Bereavement Support services started in 2019 to offer support to bereaved adults in east Kent.

    The aim of these services are to help people following the death of a loved one, understand the feelings they have are normal and that being able to share their stories with others in a similar situation can be therapeutic. It also provides an opportunity to gain awareness of other services that might prove helpful, all in welcoming environments. New friendships are often created in such groups and a sense of belonging can overcome natural feelings of isolation.

    The Stepping Stones services currently consist of the following:

    Monthly Bereavement Support Groups held at each of our three Hospice sites:

    Ashford – The first Friday of every month 5:00pm – 6:30pm

    Canterbury – The first Saturday of every month 3:00pm – 4:30pm

    Thanet – The last Friday of every month 4:00pm – 5:30pm

    Weekly Bereavement Support Groups Walking Groups in tranquil settings take place:

    Ashford  – Tuesday morning 10:30am – 12:00pm

    Canterbury – Tuesday afternoons 2:00pm – 3:30pm

    Thanet – Thursday mornings 10:30am – 12:00pm

    These important services are facilitated by trained volunteers and supported by the team at Pilgrims.

    Stepping Stones volunteers come to us from a variety of backgrounds to use their existing skills and develop new ones, following the training we provide.

    If you would like to find out more about these volunteer roles, and how you could become involved in these worthwhile services, please get in touch with our Bereavement Services Coordinator via email Steppingstones@pilgrimshospices.org

    Enquiries and expressions of interested by 31st August 2023

    Click here for details on Stepping Stones volunteer roles along with other volunteer roles for Pilgrims Hospices.

    We very much look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

    Grief is a very natural, normal and necessary reaction to a bereavement  Grief is not a single event. It is a process which takes time to work through, during which we find out how to adapt to our loss. There is no right way or wrong way to grieve.  Our feelings of grief are as personal and individual as any other feelings.

    1st February 2023

    Pilgrims Hospices mark National Grief Awareness Week 2022

    In October 2019, The Good Grief Trust launched National Grief Awareness Week at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact of grief, normalise conversations about it, and create a unified voice for all bereavement support services in the UK. Pilgrims Hospices was delighted to attend and help to spread the word about its Stepping Stones bereavement support programme, which is available to any adult in east Kent.

    Three years on, in December 2022, Pilgrims hosted its own awareness event at the Ann Robertson Centre in Canterbury. It provided an opportunity for bereavement services from across east Kent to come together, network and share ideas about how they can support local people who are grieving.

    “We were really keen to create an opportunity for fellow bereavement support providers to come together during National Grief Awareness Week, to explore and understand how the services we all offer can best support anyone in east Kent who is grieving. The event proved both enlightening and positive. It allowed us all to gather new information, network with others providing specialist support and, importantly, signpost bereaved people effectively in a timely manner.

    “We hope to build on this event to engage with local stakeholders and the community, to ensure supporting bereaved people effectively is everyones business.”

    The feedback from attendees was positive, too:

    “Thank you so much for inviting me to the event. It was very interesting.”

    “I just wanted to thank you again for putting on such a great event and inviting us to come along; we took a huge amount from it, and hopefully we were able to provide some helpful information to the charities present.”

    We hope to build on this event to engage with local stakeholders and the community, to ensure supporting bereaved people effectively is everyones business.

    Annie Hogben, Expert Volunteer Project Lead

    The event was attended by seven local bereavement support organisations, plus an independent celebrant and an independent funeral director:

    For more information about Stepping Stones and the support it offers, please visit:


    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.

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