11th October 2023

    Pilgrims Hospices share workforce stories throughout Hospice Care Week

    Hello – I’m Shirley, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Pilgrims Hospices.

    I’m passionate about Pilgrims care, and have worked with the marketing team for more than eight years.

    Communications and marketing play a crucial role in not only raising awareness about the services and support Pilgrims provide, but also in fostering connections with our community, donors, and volunteers.  Our small team is undoubtedly important to the organisation’s overall mission and success.

    I love the sense of being part of the bigger picture

    Shirley     –     Pilgrims

    Here’s why my role helps people to live well in every moment:

    • Raising Awareness: being involved with creative marketing campaigns that inform the community about the services and care offered by Pilgrims Hospices. This awareness can lead to more people accessing our services when they or their loved ones are in need.
    • Fundraising: effective communications and marketing are instrumental in attracting donors and sponsors. My work contributes to securing the necessary funds to support the charity’s operations and expansion.
    • Volunteer Engagement: volunteers are often the backbone of hospice care organisations. My role often involves engaging with volunteers, which is essential for providing personalised care and support.  Without our volunteers we would not be able to provide the dedicated services to so many people.
    • Community Engagement: hospices are deeply rooted in the community. When I write articles and stories to support our services, I’m fostering relationships with community members and organisations. These relationships can lead to partnerships, donations, and additional support.
    • Patient and Family Support: effective communications can help patients and their families better understand the hospice care process, services available, and what to expect. This can reduce stress during a challenging time.

    In my eight years with the charity, I’ve seen my role evolve and grow. With experience and expertise, I make a valuable contribution to the marketing team and the charity as a whole.

    I love the sense of being part of the bigger picture, it’s crucial that all team members understand the charity’s mission, and their role in fulfilling it. When everyone feels connected to the overarching goal of delivering the best care possible, it fosters a sense of purpose and unity. This alignment of purpose can lead to increased job satisfaction, higher morale, and ultimately better patient care.

    My role is integral to Pilgrims Hospices, and truly believe that my dedication and commitment over the past years, demonstrates a valuable contribution to providing the best care to those who need it.

    If you think you have the qualities to support a local charity, who provide a vital service within the community, you should consider Pilgrims Hospices.  Whether your skills lie in care, support and maintenance, fundraising or any number of roles for Pilgrims, please look at our current vacancies, click here.  

    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.

    Celebrating Compassionate Care during Hospice Care Week 2023

    Pilgrims Hospices is excited to announce its participation in Hospice Care Week, taking place from 9th to 15th October 2023. This annual event serves as a platform to recognise and celebrate the vital role hospice care plays in our communities, offering comfort, support, and dignity to individuals and their families during life-limiting illnesses.

    Hospice Care Week is an opportunity to shed light on the incredible work done by hospice organisations across the country, and Pilgrims is proud to be at the forefront of providing exceptional end-of-life care to patients and their loved ones. This year’s theme, “Compassion in Action,” perfectly encapsulates Pilgrims dedication to delivering compassionate care, ensuring every individual receives the support they need to live their final moments with comfort and dignity.

    Hospices throughout the UK support more than 300,000 people every year. But the need for hospice care is growing. There aren’t enough people to fill the roles we need to look after dying patients and their families. Without people to fill these empty roles, hospices will struggle to keep providing the gold-standard end-of-life care everyone deserves.


    From clinical staff to bereavement counsellors, kitchen staff to volunteer gardeners, the staff and volunteers who support over 300,000 people every year are what makes hospice care so special. This Hospice Care Week, we want to celebrate them. 

    Hospices are exciting, rewarding places to work, and with the need for hospice care growing, we need more people to take up the opportunity to work in this incredible profession. If you’re interested, reach out to your local hospice.”

    Toby Porter, CEO, Hospice UK

    Throughout Hospice Care Week, Pilgrims Hospices aims to create awareness, foster understanding, and celebrate the dedicated professionals and volunteers who make a difference in the lives of patients and their families.

    Chief Executive Officer of Pilgrims Hospices, Helen Bennett, shared their enthusiasm, saying, “Hospice Care Week is a time for us to reflect on the compassion and dedication of our team, who work tirelessly to provide comfort and support to individuals during their most vulnerable moments. We invite our community to join us in celebrating the profound impact of hospice care and to learn more about how we can all be part of this compassionate mission.”

    Pilgrims Hospices invites everyone to participate in Hospice Care Week 2023, and discover how compassion in action, can transform the lives of individuals and families facing end-of-life challenges.

    We know that hospice staff find it to be the most rewarding and satisfying job of their career.

    That’s why, this Hospice Care Week, we’ll be celebrating everyone that makes hospice care what it is.

    For more information about Pilgrims Hospices, please visit www.pilgrimshospices.org or contact eastkent@pilgrimshospices.org.

    This year’s theme, “Celebrating Compassion”, emphasises the unwavering dedication and compassion of Pilgrims Hospices’ staff, volunteers, and supporters. Hospice care is about ensuring that individuals with life-limiting illnesses receive the highest quality of care that focuses on their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

    Hospice Care Week is a time for us to reflect on the compassion and dedication of our team

    Helen    –    Pilgrims

    Working for Pilgrims Hospices:

    Whether you support patients and families within our care teams, help to raise vital funds or work in our support services, Pilgrims can offer a very rewarding career.

    Working alongside passionate, like-minded and knowledgeable people, a career with Pilgrims provides you with the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of families within east Kent.

    Through providing care, working in our shops or attending events, there are always opportunities to network with other professionals and establish strong relationships within our community.

    Alternatively, you might like to volunteer for Pilgrims?

    Please explore our opportunities when you click here.

    About Pilgrims Hospices:

    Pilgrims Hospices is a leading provider of hospice care in east Kent. Committed to delivering compassionate, person-centred care, Pilgrims Hospices serves individuals facing life-limiting illnesses and their families. With a team of dedicated professionals and volunteers, the charity strives to ensure patients receive comfort, dignity, and support during their end-of-life journey. Learn more at www.pilgrimshospices.org.


    15th September 2020

    Pilgrims’ catering team celebrates college award

    Pilgrims Hospice has won Canterbury College’s Outstanding Employer Award 2020. The award is the first of its kind and was given to Pilgrims’ catering department for its quality of student work placements.

    Pilgrims’ Catering Services Manager, Ian Ashton, commented: “We’re delighted to receive this award from Canterbury College and have the department’s work recognised.

    “I believe the work experience students gain at Pilgrims are an essential part of their education. It is a privilege to help them learn new skills and develop their future careers.”

    Pilgrims has partnered with colleges in east Kent for more than a decade and the catering team has welcomed dozens of students through its doors in recent years.

    What started as students making afternoon tea for volunteers, staff and patients rapidly developed into work placements in the hospice kitchens.

    We’re delighted to receive this award from Canterbury College.

    Ian Ashton – Pilgrims Hospices Catering Services Manager

    Many former Pilgrims’ students have gone on to enjoy successful careers in catering and some enjoyed their work experience so much they stayed on!

    Abbie Kay, East Kent College’s Industry Liaison Officer, says: “The placements and opportunities that Pilgrims have assisted us with allow our students to learn in the industry that they are studying. 

    “They also give students a sense of helping out and many of our students have some sort of personal connection with Pilgrims Hospices.”

    Ian adds: “Without my team, these opportunities couldn’t be offered to students, so I would like to thank them for all they do. I’d also like thank Canterbury College for this award – it’s nice for the department’s work to be recognised outside the organisation.”

    Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 Employer Awards ceremony could not go ahead as planned. Instead, the college created a digital experience for this year’s eight winners, which included a video message from the college’s Principal and an Employer Awards webpage.

    Congratulations to Ian and the catering team for winning this prestigious award!

    If you would like to find out more about working with Pilgrims Hospices click here. Our volunteering opportunities can be found here.

    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. 

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