Fundraise & Get Involved

We need to raise over £8 million every year to provide outstanding Hospice care to the local community. To get involved with our fundraising activities, design your own, or make a donation, use the information on this page.

Katherine's Story: What Hospice in the Weald meant to her

Katherine was cared for at Hospice in the Weald, Pembury in the latter months of 2023. During her time on the ward, she kindly spoke with us about what the Hospice meant to her. Here, Katherine talks about the reality of life at a hospice, how the team embraced her and her family, and why the little things make the biggest of differences.

My initial hospice impressions

The Hospice staff take such good care of my children, Samantha, Sophie and Jemma. They don’t just care about the patient, I’m very well looked after, but they care about my family, so I don’t have to worry as much. Even when we first arrived, within a couple of hours they came and asked me what I’d like to eat. 

Katherine with her family in front of a house

To our surprise, they then looked at my husband Jim and they asked him, and he was like, ‘No, I’m fine.’ Then they asked again, and he asked for their recommendation – they then said they had some fresh sausage rolls in the oven and could do some along with chips in the hour.

That’s the difference compared to a hospital, because they’re obviously only going to be offering me, as the patient, food. So that came as a real culture shock. The staff and nurses will be awake at their station all night, we’ll go out for a bit of a walk and they’ll stop and chat with us. It’s not like that in a hospital. 

Here, straightaway, it’s ‘Hi, is there anything you need?’ It’s great, considering this is here largely due to fundraising. The support is incredible. I felt like they knew us well despite not having stayed here long.

 A warm and welcoming environment 

The Hospice helped initially by getting me in here very quickly. I’d spent two bouts of time in hospital. But our palliative care nurse managed to find me a spot. Getting me in here was amazing and helped so much. It’s been a Godsend, even though I didn’t really know what we were coming into. 

Katherine with husband

I guess I envisaged a room, with a comfy chair in the corner. But when we arrived, there was so much more. There’s a stack of chairs, indicating they’re not limiting the number of people we can have visit; everyone is welcome whenever they like, pretty much. 

It has just been fantastic. When we arrived on Saturday, the room just had the basics. And the nurses came along, and I think Jim asked them about what we’re allowed to bring into this room from home. They said it’s my room to do with it exactly as I want, which was amazing. So, we did, we made it our new home. 

“Everybody’s been fantastic, but you get certain people that really do whatever they can to make sure you have the best time possible while you’re here.”

My final Christmas wish 

Within a couple of hours of being here, messages went out to the girls – my daughters – and friends, to gather some Christmas bits and pieces. Everyone close to me knows how much I love Christmas and the fact I could make the room mine was so special… More and more people started bringing festive bits and pieces. Sometimes I’d leave this room and I’d come back in and go, ‘that wasn’t there when I left!’ 

But I’m also not going to see it through to Christmas, which is why they decided to bring Christmas forward for me. So yes, it’s been beautiful. Really, really lovely. 

Katherine with family at War of the Worlds

The staff have made us feel so comfortable, and that’s why we’ve done these things. They’re not here because of the money, but they’re here because that’s what they want to do, and they want to make a difference to other people’s lives and it’s been such a warming experience. 

One of the nurses was in here one day, and they asked me what I wanted. She somehow knew I’d want soup, she said ‘I’ve done you a soup.’ Nothing that I’d had the day before, and she added her own ingredients and made it into something else. She didn’t need to do that!   

I would say certain people have gone above what they are there for. It’s brilliant. It just stands out. The lovely Laura likes to sing to us… She’s a real character.

Making special and lasting memories 

For my daughter, Sophie, I’ve recorded a message for her baby saying I’m sorry that I won’t get to meet him, but to know he’ll be very much loved… I’ve also recorded one, which is a personal note, to Sophie. I have done the same thing for my daughters Samantha and Jemma. It’s amazing, really… 

Katherine with her family at Race for Life

There is a special one for the wedding day where I say, ‘This is what I might have said to you; I wish you all the best and have a long and happy life together.’ I really hope that when they’re feeling a bit down, they can hear my voice and take some comfort from that. It’s been a really good process. 

The Hospice also helped me to create some beautiful fingerprint jewellery. They’ve taken my print on clay, and they’ve melted silver into the clay to leave a mould of the print, which is incredible. The girls want to now wear that on a pendant. 

It’s been great. I’ve been able to give my family more keepsakes, which I wouldn’t have necessarily had the strength to do, or we wouldn’t have had the know-how to do. 

The personal touches mean so much   

We were able to use a room here for my daughter’s baby shower, which was really special. The staff put a screen up and I think we had 38 people in there. Sophie and her partner Paul already had friends invited, and they were kind enough to change the venue for me… 

It gave us the opportunity also to invite friends who had been in to visit as well. It ended up being a really, really good day because it was a wonderful baby shower, which they thoroughly enjoyed. It was brilliant, really good. I mean, it was something that Sophie and Paul had arranged to be at their home. But obviously, I wouldn’t be able to go that far, and I think it was the girls who had a chat with the receptionist about the idea. 

“We can’t thank the Hospice enough, and I’ve said that to the nurses. There are no words to describe what they’ve done for us. As a family it’s given us quality time with each other, and you can’t buy that.”

We got a chance to see the offerings here, in a way. It was just so nice of the Hospice to let us do it. Kim, the nurse, said they will all do anything within their power to give us whatever we wanted to do. 

Katherine with her husband

Don’t fear hospice care 

All I can say is, do it. In my mind, there’s no way that you would think that hospice care is not going to be great. There’s no way that you think you’ll go there and you’ll be stuck there and they won’t let you go home. We’re going to the cinema this afternoon, which says a lot. The staff will ensure everything is ready for me to make that trip happen. 

You still have control here. You can do exactly what you want, as soon as they feel that it’s right for you. 

Nurse explaining things to a man

Do you want to find out more about Hospice Care?

Learn more here