Matthew Munson: A 14 bridge challenge for Pilgrims Hospices

Taking action for Pilgrims Hospices

Hospices are comforting, generous places that are desperately – and sadly – needed everywhere. In east Kent, the Pilgrim’s Hospice group provide this wonderful service. They’ve been open for over 30 years, formed by Ann Robertson and her initial band of nurses.

Before the hospices in east Kent were created, people with terminal illnesses were often left to rely on family and friends to care for them; I applaud anyone who is able to care for a loved one, but it’s not always possible – and very painful for those around them.

Where it began

Since 1987, Pilgrim’s Hospices have provided so much specialist care and support – free-of-charge – to people with families, their families, and carers. In just one year, they care for around 2,000 patients, and need over £11 million each year in order to run the hospice services.

Whilst the NHS contributes about 25% of the hospices’ running costs, the rest is raised by donations from residents. You’ve undoubtedly seen the events they run every year; the Colour Run, the Moonlight Strolls, the “Light Up a City” walks, and a lot more; every year, they seem to be coming up with new ideas. I wish I was that creative.

Doing our bit

But maybe I can be creative; which is the point, I suppose, of this column in the first place. I’m passionate about the hospices in Kent; I’ve known people who have seen out the remainder of their lives in these homes, and I’ve been incredibly touched by the kindness, generosity, and professionalism of the staff.

They deserve as much funding from local people as they can get, and that’s why I want to do as much as I can to help them; it’s the least I think I can do. So, my pal Diana and I have planned a walk around London to do just that.

The challenge

But it’s not just any walk, of course; it’s a full-length marathon, covering the London Bridges from Tower to Albert (14 bridges in total) and back again. It’s not part of an organised event, but something that Di and I will be doing just ourselves in full fancy dress.

Why fancy dress? Well, because we want to be seen – we will be carrying a couple of collection tins to gather loose change together, and how else could we be seen if we weren’t wearing clothes that made us … stand out from the crowd. I don’t intend to tell you what we’re wearing just yet, but I warn you – we’ll look rather striking. We’ll even be getting the train from Ramsgate all the way up to London in costume as well, just to complete the look. My mother would be so proud.

Your support

So now that I’ve told you all of this, let me now give you one last piece of information; the link to our sponsorship page. You can find it here;

I hope you’ll agree that the Pilgrim’s Hospices do brilliant work; they deserve extra support and generosity to keep them going, and we should all help them – as we’ll be sadly touched through our lives by people needing their support.