Gill Horne: 40th anniversary reflections

“It’s the community’s hospice and we are privileged to serve in it,” says Dr Gill Horne, our Director of Care and Strategy, as she celebrates Rowcroft’s 40th anniversary, reflecting on all the thousands of people who over four decades have supported the hospice. Here Gill summarises what makes Rowcroft special to her, and she extends her gratitude to everyone who has helped Rowcroft through its 40-year journey to make it the amazing hospice that it is today.

“Rowcroft is such a special place. Everyone who comes to work at Rowcroft – either as a volunteer or member of staff – joins because they care, because they want to make a difference to the lives of those we are privileged to care for. Providing palliative care when we only have one chance to get it right means that everyone is giving their best. We do this by respecting each other, and each other’s contributions, and most importantly focussing on the person we are caring for.

“I feel so privileged to work with this wonderful hospice team. It’s a great honour to work with so many compassionate professionals who have so much expertise and drive in their pursuit to do their best by the patient and family. And it’s not just the clinical teams who are amazing – it’s the wider team too: those who maintain our gardens, the retail team, our tireless fundraising team, the housekeeping and catering teams and all the other teams who support the hospice. Everyone has an important part to play in enabling the best possible care for our patients and we value that at Rowcroft. I love working with my colleagues and together we are always looking at how we can improve the care we offer. We do this by inviting feedback from those who use our services, working in partnership with other providers and commissioners, and taking on board national and regional guidance as well as getting involved in research.

I’d like to say a huge thankyou to all the thousands of staff and volunteers who have helped make Rowcroft what it is today. Thank you for your tireless commitment to caring for patients and families over the years. Thank you for giving yourself as well as your expertise, for all the hours worked above and beyond what was expected, and most of all for going the extra mile for each patient, treating each one as special.

“I’d also like to thank our local community for supporting us over the last 40 years. Without you by our side, we simply would not be here. It was members of the local community who had a vision for a hospice in the early 1980s and who birthed it into being. It’s your hospice and we are privileged to serve in it. I’m cognizant that when we called for help in 2016 during our financial crisis, it was our local community who responded, thank you. It’s because of your donations, fundraising initiatives, purchases in our shops, playing the lottery or leaving a gift in your Will that enables us to pay our staff and provide the facilities that serve the community. We’re grateful for all the many non-monetary ways you support us too, through gifts in kind, support and well wishes to staff, cheering our volunteers on and the giving of your time. Words cannot really express our thanks to our community – you have enabled us to keep on caring and we want to be here for all your loved ones now and in another 40 years’ time.”

For further information about Rowcroft’s 40th anniversary celebrations, and our timeline, please click here.

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