Trees of Love services raise more than £60k for Pilgrims

A special remembrance event paying tribute to lost loved ones has so far raised over £60,000 to support people living with an incurable illness in east Kent.

More than 1,500 people attended Pilgrims Hospices Trees of Love gatherings on Saturday 10 December which saw huge donated festive trees lit up in the gardens in the charity’s Canterbury, Ashford and Margate hospice grounds, all adorned with little white paper doves bearing personal messages.

A huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to our campaign and dedicated a dove in memory of loved ones.

Sara Scriven, Pilgrims Hospices Individual Giving Manger, said: “We would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to our campaign and dedicated a dove in memory of their loved ones. Sharing thoughts and being part of our hospice family keeps our loved ones firmly in our hearts.

She added: “This is such an incredible amount of money to raise for hospice care.Every £500 could pay for a patient bed for a day, so as you can see it will help to make a real difference to our patients and their families this Christmas.”

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 end of life care given on its wards, to its new wellbeing and social programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.

Added Sara: “Trees of Love wouldn’t be possible without the amazing support of our communities, including the help of so many volunteers who give their time and skills every year to make the events run smoothly.

This year, for the first time, there were two earlier Trees of Love services held in Dover and Cheriton, to allow more people to attend.

The Trees of Love and their doves will remain in the grounds of the three Pilgrims Hospices in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet until the new year for people to visit.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a life limiting illness, find out about the support Pilgrims can offer through our Wellbeing and Social Programme.