10th August 2023

    Kev Rob and Eddie are making the most of Pilgrims therapy groups

    Pilgrims Hospices Wellbeing groups offer a holistic approach to improving the quality of life for their patients. The groups provide a variety of activities and sessions that aim to enhance both mental and emotional wellbeing.


    Therapy Group users Kev, Rob and Eddie share their thoughts on the benefits of Pilgrims Wellbeing.

    Kev – when I initially came along to the Wellbeing Groups at Pilgrims, I went home and said to my wife Gwenn, this isn’t for me.  She persuaded me to give it a little time; I’m so pleased that I did, I have met friendly and interesting people in the groups and enjoyed some of the variety of entertainment and talks that have been provided by the Wellbeing teams.

    I discovered that talking and listening to people who are experiencing similar symptoms, and things that I’m experiencing, is really good therapy.  I’ve had a chance to express my feelings in a relaxed and friendly environment.

    I was a plumber in my working career, and have met people from all walks of life; here at the Therapy Centre, I’ve found lots in common with so many people here, and laugh a great deal when we’re all together.

    We’ve made great friendships, and will exchange telephone numbers in order to stay in touch; we hope to continue to meet even after our therapy sessions have finished.

    Rob – I’ve been very lucky and blessed with an interesting life.  I had my own taxi cab firm in central London, then noticed there was a greater need for ambulance services.  I introduced a private ambulance service, which supports the London hospitals including the NHS. I’ve had an interesting and varied career, and have been fortunate to learn to fly a plane amongst many other interesting things.

    I’ve been managing my brain cancer diagnosis since May 2022.  I had been very fit and healthy until then. I woke up one morning to find myself shuffling, and not really able to pick my feet up.  After scans and consultations with the neurological doctor, it was a shock, as there really hadn’t been any warning that I was becoming unwell.

    Rob who is 67 years of age, said, “We take our health for granted, I’m doing as much as possible to remain active, and enjoying life as best I can.  I have my wife, children and grandchildren for support which is really special for me.  My visits to the Pilgrims Therapy Centre keep me feeling very positive, and I enjoy the company of others using the Wellbeing services, and the Pilgrims teams are always there full of positive messages, and useful information about support services, and how to look after myself.”

    Eddie – I was a plumber and have worked in a huge variety of properties for a wide variety of companies and people.  We often laugh a lot while we’re here at the Therapy Centre, when we’re chatting about our life’s experiences.  I can’t express enough how important the groups are, to keep everyone focused on looking after themselves and making the very most of our own skills.

    Although I have to keep my meals to quite simple foods, I’m always so well catered for at the group lunches.  It’s a pleasure to sit and catch up with the group, we talk about our families, what’s happening locally, how we’re all feeling, what happens next and so much more.  But perhaps more than any other thing, we laugh and relax with the Pilgrims care team.

    The gentlemen are soon to move on from Pilgrims Hospices Wellbeing Groups, having had support to give them skills and confidence to live life to the full in every moment.  With new friendships forged, they hope to continue to meet socially and share their experiences moving forward.

    Pilgrims team of nurses, doctors and therapists work together to offer a range of Wellbeing programmes to support patients, their families and friends.

    Offering services to help people live better at home; these are available through the Wellbeing and Social Programmes held at our Therapy Centres.  By helping to manage symptoms, the care teams can support people to cope with the changes in their lives, giving practical advice, and helping people to think about the future.

    Pilgrims’ Wellbeing Programme is free if you live in east Kent and you have been diagnosed with an incurable illness. It aims to enhance your wellbeing – in mind and body. To find out more click here.

    Each year Pilgrims supports thousands 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 Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.


    28th July 2023

    Hundreds join together to celebrate treasured memories with sunflowers

    Pilgrims Hospices were visited by more than 600 people in their gardens at Canterbury, Thanet and Ashford to find their loved one’s dedicated sunflower memory markers. Despite predictions of a slightly damp weekend ahead, the rain stayed away and there was a lovely atmosphere at each event with the opportunity for friends and family to remember and celebrate their loved ones’ lives.

    Visitors were welcomed with tea, cake and strawberries with cream served by Pilgrims volunteers in the charity’s Therapy Centres. These spaces, most often used by the Wellbeing Teams for their Living Well and creative art sessions, hosted beautiful displays of sunflower-themed artworks made by patients and carers.

    Members of the Wellbeing Team were present on the day, to speak to visitors about their work, and hear their memories of lost loved ones. Jane, Wellbeing Practitioner at the Thanet Hospice, said: “Families talked about the calm and peaceful feelings they had about being back at the hospice, that it is a safe space for them to talk in, how they felt cared for and that carers too were treated with such dignity both before and after their loved one had died. Some had found it hard to return but then were able to cry, laugh and feel they had made a positive step forward by attending the event. It was a day that was right for both those whose feelings were still incredibly raw, and for those who were returning after 10 years of attending.”


    In the lead up to the events, the team at Pilgrims reached out to the local community to help support the event. Ellie Cane, who runs the events at the Hospice, extended her thanks saying:

    “Thank you to everyone who kindly donated which helped make the events such a success. To all the keen crafters and knitters who produced beautiful items to sell for donations on the day; Meadow Grange Nursery and our volunteer gardeners who grew over 200 sunflowers plants; and to the Tesco Community Champions and S & A Farms who provided the strawberries for us to serve to our visitors. I’m delighted to say this year’s Sunflower Memories Appeal has so far raised in excess of £36,000, with donations still coming in. This just would not have been possible without the collective effort of our staff, volunteers and our amazing local community.”

    There is still time to donate to have a dedicated sunflower memory marker sent to you in memory of your loved one. For more information contact the Pilgrims Hospices Supporter Relations Team on 01227 782062, or at supporter.relations@pilgrimshospices.org.

    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.

    27th July 2023

    Wellbeing team get well deserved recognition

    Congratulations to Pilgrims Hospices Wellbeing team, on being selected as a finalist for the prestigious NAPA Member Awards! This recognition is a testament to the dedication, expertise, and exceptional contributions the team has made, in the field of patient wellbeing. Being among the top contenders for this esteemed award is a true honour and a reflection of the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in patient care at Pilgrims Hospices.

    It’s wonderful to see that the National Activity Providers Association has extended their warmest congratulations on your outstanding achievements. Being nominated for The Activity Team Award is a significant accomplishment and highlights the positive impact the team has made in the activity provider industry.

    The awards ceremony at the Museum of Brands in London, which is set to take place in October, promises to be a memorable event. It will be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of all the finalists and to network with others in the industry. Pilgrims Wellbeing team have earned this recognition, and it’s a well-deserved moment to be acknowledged for their hard work and contributions.

    Best of luck to the Wellbeing team at the awards ceremony! Regardless of the outcome, the recognition itself is a testament to the collective effort and commitment of your team in providing excellent patient care and promoting wellbeing. Enjoy the celebration and congratulations once again on this fantastic achievement!


Go back