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.

    28th June 2021

    Pilgrims Hospices and The Beaney collaborate on art exhibition

    What makes you unique? At Pilgrims Hospices we spend a lot of time finding out what matters to each of our patients as individuals, so that we give them the care that is right for them. With this in mind, we decided to ask children across east Kent to think about what makes them special and to create a work of art that expresses their individuality – what makes them unique.

    ‘Self Portrait’ by Alice Zhang

    In 2020, Pilgrims ran an art competition for primary and secondary schools in east Kent that asked ‘What makes you unique?’ to coincide with Dying Matters Awareness Week. The exhibition was postponed due to COVID-19, so shortlisted entries will now be on display in the Front Room at The Beaney, Canterbury from 3 July-1 August 2021.

    This is an amazing opportunity for children to have their artwork shown in an exhibition that will be seen by over 10,000 visitors.

    Susan Hambidge, Senior Education and Training Administrator at Pilgrims Hospices, said:

    “I have been overwhelmed at the response to What makes you unique? It has been a joy looking through the thoughtful and thought-provoking artworks entered by a wide variety of schools across the region. I hope everyone who visits the exhibition is moved to reflect on what matters to them and why it’s important to talk about it.”

    A judging panel chose the shortlisted entries and will choose the winners. All prize winners will receive a framed certificate, and their school will win a selection of art materials generously sponsored by The Pelegrin Trust.

    Paul Russell, Programming Officer at The Beaney, added:

    “As an organisation that puts children and health and wellbeing at the forefront of what we do, we are delighted to host an exhibition of artwork by east Kent schoolchildren organised by Pilgrims Hospices. Valuing one’s (and others’) individuality and encouraging conversations about relevant issues such as end of life care is vital, and we are very much looking forward to a thought-provoking, lively, and unique exhibition from these talented young people.”

    Judging panel

    • Casey Brett is a practising artist in photography and film and an award-winning lecturer, currently working at Ashford College.
    • Pauline Davis has a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art and is currently Chairman of The Arts Society Canterbury.
    • Christopher Jones has a BA in Fine Art specialising in site-specific temporary installations and community art engagement, and he is the Wellbeing Practitioner Team Leader at Pilgrims Hospices.
    • Sue Sharp, Director of Income Generation and Marketing, Pilgrims Hospices.
    • Emma Thomson studied Graphic Design before going on to write and illustrate 159 children’s books, including the much-loved Felicity Wishes titles.
    • Mandy Williams, former Head of Education and Training at Pilgrims Hospices.

    Please contact Pilgrims Education Department on 01227 821 616 or email education@pilgrimshospices.org if you have any questions or would like further information.

    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 support patients to live life as well as possible until the very end, free from pain and distress.

    22nd October 2018

    Gold Standards Award for local care homes

    Pilgrims Hospices, Education and Training department has supported its first group of residential care homes to achieve the Gold Standards Framework accreditation in quality of care.  Linda Rendle, Nicola Le Prevost, and Lorna Pollock, who provide the training at Pilgrims Hospices, Ann Robertson Centre in Canterbury joined those receiving the awards at the National Conference and Awards Ceremony, in the Ambassadors Hotel, London last month. Linda and Lorna celebrated with Bradfield Residential Home in Deal and Grenham Bay Court Residential Home in Birchington, both of whom were presented with a Commended Award.

    Linda Rendle, Clinical Lecturer for Pilgrims Hospices Education and Training Team said: “We were delighted to share such a special event with our Gold Standard achievers, sadly Maurice House, the British Legion Care Home in Broadstairs were unable to attend the evening, however we are delighted that all three homes have achieved this well-respected accreditation which aims to improve supportive care for all residents as they near the end of their lives.”

    Grenham Bay Care Home Team from left to right – Chloe Noble (Kitchen Assistant) Lauren Lloyd (Team Leader and GSF Co-ordinator) Natalie Ivanova (Chef), Luke Rothwell (Registered Manager) Rubyrose Yarwood (Deputy Manager) Maria Cabidoy (Care Assistant) with most importantly resident Peggy Johnson who is front and centre.


    The three homes are the first to achieve the accreditation with Pilgrims Hospices as part of the Gold Standards Framework programme.

    We were delighted to share such a special event with our Gold Standard achievers.

    Linda Rendle – Pilgrims Hospices

    The Gold Standards Framework quality improvement training programme is the largest and most comprehensive end of life programme for care homes in the UK. The programme focuses on improving quality of care, collaboration with GPs and others to reduce hospitalisation. It is widely acclaimed and endorsed by all leading care homes, the Department of Health and thousands of care home staff, as a key means of improving care for residents nearing the end of their life.

    Dr. Andrew Thorns of Pilgrims Hospices said: “Enabling all people to live well until the end of their lives is important; this includes all residents in care homes with a focus on their specific care needs at different times of their lives, including the dying phase. This programme promotes a structured approach to ensuring that all residents receive optimal care which is of a gold standard.”

    Linda added: “We have been training care homes since 2015 with 38 care homes taking part over four cohorts. Our fifth cohort starts on the 12th of October with 12 homes taking part.

    Enabling all people to live well until the end of their lives is important.

    Dr. Andrew Thorns – Pilgrims Hospices

    “We send our congratulations to all the those who have undertaken the training in all three homes.  Pilgrims Hospices hope to encourage even more residential homes to apply for the training programme and equip their staff with this important accreditation.”

    If you would like to find out more about the courses and accreditation training programmes on offer through Pilgrims Hospices education.department@pilgrimshospices.org or call 01227 812616.

    The Education and Training Department offers courses and training for local health and social care professionals to facilitate education around end-of-life care.  Alongside training at the Canterbury centre, courses are run at the Ashford and Thanet hospices.




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