One in four people in the Canterbury district are thought to have been touched by the work of the Pilgrims Hospices.
Its tireless devotion to providing palliative care to the terminally ill and supporting their loved ones has made it one of the most-valued causes in east Kent.
And now the hospice is set to get extra support from the Kentish Gazette after being named its Charity of the Year for 2016.
With a challenge to raise £11 million pounds annually to run its centres in Canterbury, Thanet and Ashford, as well as providing outreach care, the charity’s trustees, staff and volunteers face a huge task.
But with the backing of the Gazette, it hopes to encourage even more donations.
Hospices chief executive Cate Russell said: “We’re thrilled to be recognised as the Gazette’s Charity of the Year 2016 and we’re looking forward to working together to share the news of the many ways Pilgrims can help local people.
“This is also a unique opportunity to inspire people across the county to get behind Pilgrims fundraising so that we can be there to support and empower people with a terminal illness, their family and friends to live well in mind and body until the very last moment of their life.
“At the moment there is a big conversation across the country about a growing need for hospice care, but the government is not planning to increase funding for these services.
“Going forward we know we will rely more than ever on the goodwill of local people to ensure we’re here for the next family who need us.
“Having the help of the Gazette will be a major boost as we look ahead to what we hope will be a fantastic new year.”
Gazette and Faversham News editor Leo Whitlock said: “We have a long tradition of supporting the hospice, its staff and the hundreds of people who dedicate their time to raise money to keep it going year in, year out.
“Its work touches so many lives and it is a real pleasure to be able to do our bit to raise its profile and keep the money coming in to fund its vital services.
"I know our choice will be enormously popular with our readers, who are always so wonderfully generous.”
Fundraising organisers at the hospice are heading hotfoot into the new year with a charity challenge to test the toes.
While most sponsored walks involve covering many miles, participants will only have to manage a few yards – but it will be barefoot over red hot coals.
Called the Firewalk 2016, it is being billed as the hottest, shortest sponsored walk in the world.
The event is being held at the University of Kent on February 29, with similar ones planned at Dreamland in Margate on March 2 and Holiday Extras in Hythe on March 4.
With the embers burning at 800 degrees, it will challenge participants’ nerve as well as resilience.
But they will get training and a motivational speech from firewalking expert Cliff Mann before the daring dash.
It costs £20 to enter and participants will be expected to raise at least £100 in sponsorship.
But the number of entrants is limited at each venue, so early registration to secure a place is advised.
Register online here or by calling the fundraising team on 01227 812609.