Comfort food

How Rowcroft’s caterers make a difference every day

From soup to salads, salmon to sausages, over the years Rowcroft’s amazing catering team has lovingly prepared thousands upon thousands of delicious meals, snacks and refreshments that have provided much-needed comfort and nourishment for people in our Inpatient Unit. As we celebrate the hospice’s 40th anniversary, we’d like to give thanks to this fabulous team who deliver such an important service at the heart of Rowcroft’s care. Here Catering Manager Dave Whiting reflects on his remarkable 37 years with the hospice.

A small but mighty team

“The kitchen is at the heart of Rowcroft, and we feel really integrated with the whole hospice because of this,” says Dave. “It’s always been a great place to work, and the fact that our small team of six has clocked up a whopping 138 years’ service with Rowcroft between us is testament to just how happy we are! It’s really rewarding getting positive feedback from the families about the high quality of our meals and snacks.”

Going that extra mile

“We always try to make sure that patients get what they want in terms of food. It’s not unusual for us to be cooking different meals for each patient, as they all have individual requirements. If a patient’s needs are really unusual and we don’t have the ingredients here, then the families sometimes bring in a meal for a patient, and we’ll cook it for them.

“All of my team really go that extra mile in preparing food for those staying in our Inpatient Unit. While we’re not able to provide full meals for the relatives, we often find that we’re able to rustle up something simple for them such as a sandwich or a bowl of soup – this little bit of kindness and comfort goes a long way. Even just a piece of toast and a cup of tea can make such a difference.

“Alongside this, we cater for as many employees as possible each day and we also cater for our volunteers if they need this too. We are a very busy team with lots to do, but we love it!”


Proud and privileged

“I feel so privileged to be part of the entire Rowcroft team, and equally proud and honoured to be part of the catering team – as one of the many cogs that keeps the hospice running smoothly. The whole team have worked so tirelessly throughout the pandemic and I am forever grateful for this. Their skills and hard work amaze me every day.”

Changes over time

“We’ve seen so many changes over the years. There are more complex dietary requirements now, for example, we cater for people who are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, or who have allergies that we need to be aware of. There’s also lots more choice in the types of ingredients available, for example, there are 20 or so different types of milk, such as oat milk, soya milk, almond milk, lactose-free milk etc, whereas when I first started there was just full-fat and skimmed!”

Rowcroft’s amazing hospitality volunteers

“I take my hat off to all the hospitality volunteers who have supported us over the years. There are so many people who have helped us – by serving teas and coffees, taking meals and snacks to the patients and families, topping up the water jugs, and clearing away the trays afterwards. I just don’t know what we’d do without our volunteers and we’re so grateful to them all!”

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