28th September 2023

    The Lord Mayor’s end-of-summer afternoon tea supports Pilgrims Hospices

    Pilgrims Hospices alongside The Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Jean Butcher, hosted a lovely end-of-summer afternoon tea event on September 21st at Tower House in Westgate Gardens, Canterbury. The event was organised in support of Pilgrims Hospices, which is the Lord Mayor’s chosen charity for the year 2023. Pilgrims Hospices provide palliative care services from three sites in, Canterbury Ashford and Thanet, in the community, and people’s homes across east Kent.

    The event was attended by members of Canterbury City Council, charitable trusts, High Sheriffs, and respected members of the community.

    During the afternoon tea, volunteers from the charity prepared a beautiful spread, which was served on traditional china tableware. These traditional touches added to the elegance and charm of the event.

    One of the highlights of the event was a presentation by Sue Sharp, Pilgrims Director of Income Generation, and Jon Sillett, Deputy Chief Executive for Pilgrims Hospices. They spoke passionately about the care provided by Pilgrims, and focused on how community and corporate stakeholders can contribute to Pilgrims Hospices’ essential fundraising efforts, and support the hospice’s mission.  Sue also explained how the support of 1300 dedicated volunteers is vital to the running of the hospice services, from catering, administration, patient support and within the retail shops across Kent.

    The Lord Mayor also spoke fondly of her years of work as a Health Care Assistant at the Canterbury hospice, and shared smiles with Senior Ward Nurse Laura Gouch, and Health Care Assistant, Lorna Moss who were guests attending on behalf of their colleagues. It was a delightful and meaningful event, that brought together community members to support a worthy cause.

    Many of the attendees said, it was indeed a heart-warming and meaningful gathering, bringing together the community to support a vital cause and a most enjoyable afternoon tea.

    If you would like to become involved  and help support end-of-life care services at Pilgrims Hospices, please contact Fundraising@pilgrimshospices.org  the charity would love to have your support.

    Each year, Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to thousands of people in east Kent 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. 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.

    26th July 2018

    Pilgrims Vintage Tea and Fair is a scorcher

    Westgate Gardens in Canterbury filled with 100s of locals and visitors from across east Kent on Saturday afternoon for the annual Pilgrims Hospices Vintage Tea and Fair. The temperature soared into the high 20s as cream teas and ice creams were purchased in aid of the charity that supports end of life care in local towns and villages. The event is set to match the £5,500 figure raised last year.

    While some enjoyed jazz music from The Ruby Sisterz and close up magic from Stuart Weller on the patio with tea and cake, others took part in the traditional games and purchased treasures from stalls that were set out across the gardens.

    Stuart said: “I support Pilgrims Hospices charity because of the free care they offer people who suffer illnesses that limit their life, along with the support they give to their families as well. It’s such a great charity.”


    Pilgrims Hospices retail team provided a wonderful array of pre-loved clothing, hats, and accessories for visitors to purchase. Tim Stewart, Pilgrims Retail Manager, said: “We brought along a variety of stock from our many shops, including lots of lovely vintage items in keeping with the day. The sales on the day generated around £750, all helping to pay for the vital care of hospice patients and their families.”

    This year the event saw many new attractions alongside the regular array of traditional jams and chutneys and homemade cakes, luxury craft stalls and fabulous raffle prizes.

    Leila Ilkhan, Pilgrims Community Fundraising Manager for Canterbury, said: “The temperatures have been record-breaking and we really thank our amazing volunteers for all the support they gave on the day with setting up the stalls, tables and chairs, servicing refreshments, running stalls and so much more.

    “We wouldn’t be able to run this lovely event without their support, and of course the support of our wonderful corporate sponsors’ whose help allow us to allocate every £1 raised on the day to hospice care on our wards, within the community and in patients’ homes.

    Staff and volunteers dressed in 30s, 40s and 50s styles and were entertained by a variety of singers, musicians and dancers at this vintage-themed event.

    You can find out more about Pilgrims events at pilgrimshospices.org/events and information on how to volunteer at pilgrimshospices.org/volunteer, or email leila.ilkhan@pilgrimshospices or call 01227 812 621; Leila will be delighted to hear from you.

    Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life-limiting illness and their families. The charity offers a range of services: from the end of life care given on its wards, to its Wellbeing and Social Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.

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