Pilgrims Hospices win national award

Wiiners: Pilgrims Hospices Sue Sharp – Director of Income Generation and Marketing, Robert Grew - Challenge Events Manager, Hannah Sole - Team Leader supporter Relations and Kate Duddell - Fundraising Manager

Pilgrims Hospices has received a national award for its fundraising work.

Pilgrims were announced winners of the Fundraising Innovation catergory at the CharityTimes Awards in London.

The awards showcase the exceptional work and achievements of charities right across the sector and representatives of the Pilgrims Hospices fundraising team were in attendance alongside hundreds of others from the shortlisted organisations.

The charity has been providing skilled and compassionate end-of-life care, free of charge, to people living with a life-limiting illness in east Kent for more than 35 years, making them comfortable, alleviating pain and enabling them to make the most of the time they have.

The award recognizes innovations made by Pilgrims Hospices to their annual Cycle Challenge event, which celebrated it’s 10th anniversary in 2019, the development of their newest event, the Pilgrims Way Challenge, and the use of technology to enhance the enjoyment and safety of both via a bespoke Pilgrims Hospices Events app for iOS and Android users.

The events raised more than £180,000 for local hospice care this year; enough to keep a bed open on one of the inpatient units in Ashford, Canterbury or Thanet for more than 360 days.

Sue Sharp, Director of Income Generation for the charity, said: “The success of these two events is due to the dedication of our incredible community of volunteers and supporters, alongside our hardworking fundraising staff. We can’t thank everyone enough for their continuing generosity and support which enables Pilgrims to be there for thousands of families across east Kent each year.

“We were so shocked when they announced Pilgrims as the winners. We were all absolutely delighted. It’s the culmination of a lot of time and effort, so to have been recognised on a national stage for our work is truly special.”

The Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge involves some 1,200 cyclists of all abilities exploring the beautiful Kent countryside over one of five route distances, ranging from 30 miles to 125 miles. Since the very first Cycle Challenge in 2010, the event has raised more than £900,000 and the charity hopes to reach the £1 million milestone in 2020.

The Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge will take place on Sunday, May 3, 2020. To find out more and enter, visit www.pilgrimscyclechallenge.org.

The Pilgrims Way Challenge is a 25k, 35k or 55k hiking event, which takes in sections of one of England’s oldest and least-trodden national trails, right here in Kent. More than 600 keen hikers lace up their walking boots to enjoy the fully signed route through some of the most picturesque areas of the Garden of England, before finishing inside the impressive Dover Castle.

Save the date: The Pilgrims Way Challenge will return on Saturday, June 20, 2020. Keep an eye on www.pilgrimshospices.org for the latest news and events.