A ruby year of celebration

Rowcroft’s Chair of Trustees reflects on our 40th anniversary year

As we approach the end of Rowcroft’s 40th anniversary year, we look back on a 12-month whirlwind of celebrations, with people rejoicing across the region for our ruby birthday. We’ve had festivities of all kinds raising vital funds for the hospice – including a magical Ruby Ball, fashion show, 80s-themed shop party day, an opera, high teas, open gardens, a giant heart painted in the sky at the Torbay Air Show, and we were even honoured to meet the now King Charles III and Queen Consort on the royal couple’s visit to Torquay in July. All in all it’s been a remarkable year of celebration and we have so many people to thank, as Rowcroft’s Chair of Trustees Sally Scott-Bryant highlights in this heartfelt blog.

The significance of our 40th anniversary

“Our 40th anniversary year has given us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our four decades of care, to recognise the remarkable dedication, hard work and achievements of Rowcroft’s people, and to thank every single supporter who has helped to make all of this possible. In my role as Chair of the Trustees of Rowcroft, I’ve been delighted to share in the celebrations of our 40th year. And what a year it’s been!”

A royal visit

“For me, a particular highlight was the once-in-a-lifetime honour of meeting the now King Charles and Queen Consort on their visit to Torquay. I was privileged to be among the hospice delegation to greet the royal couple. Their generous invitation was a wonderful acknowledgement of the crucial role that the hospice has played in the South Devon community since 1982, and it was fabulous that the visit coincided with the celebrations of our special anniversary year. We shared Rowcroft’s plans for the future with Their Royal Highnesses and we treated them to a beautiful display of scented country garden flowers.”

Truly humbled

“Looking at how far we’ve come as a hospice since our inception forty years ago, we know we wouldn’t be where we are today without our wonderful staff, volunteers and supporters – past and present. I am truly humbled by the numbers of people who have gone above and beyond in supporting our patients and their loved ones, and I continue to be awestruck by everything we continue to achieve as a hospice, particularly given the unprecedented pressures and challenges of the pandemic in recent years.”

Reaching those who need us

“While we can be proud of our success in helping patients to make every day the best day possible, we know that there is still more to do. At present we care for one in three people with a life-limiting illness in South Devon and we want to be able to reach more people who need us during the hardest time of their lives. In the coming years, we will need to lean into our community for their continued kindness and generosity to help us to do this. This support is more important than ever as we respond to a rising need for care among our local population.”

Innovation at its best

“Over the next 40 years we will strive to continue to meet our community’s ever-increasing needs, and we have some bright and exciting initiatives already flourishing. Through career development programmes, we are investing in ‘growing our own nurses’ and we are also supporting the training of doctors in palliative care. We have pioneered some important new income streams, including our innovative fundraising venture Devon Farm Kitchen which is racing full-steam ahead in delivering ‘deliciously satisfying’ frozen meals to customers across the region and building long term income for the hospice.”

A massive thank you

“As a hospice, we are indebted to thousands upon thousands of people who over the past 40 years have contributed in a myriad of different ways to deliver the highest level of care to our patients and loved ones and to help them make the most of every moment. Whatever part you have played in this – large or small –  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

“Wishing you a healthy and happy festive season.”

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