Huge turn out for Pilgrims Hospices’ Trees of Love services raises £55,000

Trees of Love service

Pilgrims Hospices Trees of Love remembrance services have so far raised over £55,000 to support people living with an incurable illness in east Kent.

Despite the exceptionally chilly weather, more than 1,800 people attended Pilgrims Hospices Trees of Love gatherings on Saturday, December 8 where huge donated festive trees lit up in the gardens in the charity’s Margate, Canterbury and Ashford hospice grounds.

All the trees were adorned with little white paper doves bearing personal messages. Some 500 people shared their special memories in the Margate hospice gardens.

Sara Scriven, Pilgrims Hospices Individual Giving Manger, said: “We would like to thank 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.

“This is such an amazing amount of money to raise for hospice care. It could pay for many hours of nursing care on our wards, within the Wellbeing and Therapy Centres or in patients’ homes. It will truly help to make a real difference to our patients and their families who need support and care in such difficult times.

“We very much hope to reach £70,000 across the three hospice sites once all of the donations are collected.”

The Revd. Ken Cox, welcomed visitors followed by readings from staff and volunteers from Pilgrims Hospices.  Music was played by the Salvation Army Band with carols sung by choirs from churches led by Choir Master Tim Attride.

At the end of the service visitors shared minced pies, hot chocolate and mulled wine.

Sara said: “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.”

The Trees of Love and their doves will remain in the grounds of the Pilgrims Hospice until the New Year.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a life limiting illness, visit to find out more about Pilgrims full range of services.

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.