The hidden stars of the hospice: Dee Smith

We’re so grateful for our volunteers who selflessly donate their time to ensure that patients and families are tended to in as many ways as possible. Alongside all Rowcroft volunteers, our hospitality volunteers play such a huge role in delivering high quality care to patients and families living with life limiting illnesses across South Devon.

Dee is one of our many amazing volunteers who donate their time to help with hospitality around our Inpatient Unit in Torquay. Rowcroft’s fabulous hospitality volunteers work with our Catering Team by serving breakfast, lunch or dinner and drinks to patients; and together they ensure that everyone is left feeling content. Alongside offering home cooked meals and warming drinks, we are able to offer an array of alcoholic beverages from our drinks trolley to those who may enjoy a relaxing tipple! In this blog, Dee Smith, Rowcroft Hospitality Volunteer, shares with us an insight into her role as a drinks trolley volunteer and how donating her time in this way makes such a difference to her and the people she is catering for.

“It’s great to help patients feel as relaxed as possible, it is not always easy and it can be very challenging at times and covid has made it very difficult to help patients with small acts of care.” says Dee. “But being able to offer patients their favourite tipple when times are feeling difficult, it can lighten everyone’s spirits and can help  make them feel that little bit more comfortable.”

“When I am on the ward volunteering my day can vary. But I can be sure that my day will consist of a few things; taking the drinks trolley around to patients, serving patients their lunch and after that taking our hot drinks trolley around for patients and their visitors if they would like one. I find that most patients are really surprised that we have an alcoholic drinks trolley and also very pleased that it comes with no cost to them. When patients share this with their loved ones, they find it hard to believe until they’ve seen it.”

Our amazing volunteers who deliver these roles on our Inpatient Unit really do help to create a comforting and welcoming atmosphere for patients and their families.

Dee shared with us what it takes to fulfil a role like hers. “To be able to take on a volunteer role such as mine, you simply need to be a patient, caring person. I like to treat the people that I meet, how I know I would like to be treated if the shoe was on the other foot. I think that helps me along the way.”

“I have seen so many wonderful things happen whilst I have been volunteering here. Like when the staff managed to create a beautiful wedding day for a patient and their partner. It was really lovely to witness. But even day-to-day, you see such a lovely atmosphere, everybody is so kind. Everyone at Rowcroft works so hard to make sure that every patient receives the best care possible and I am so pleased to be able to say I am part of the team.”

Why not join our team of amazing volunteers? To find out more about the volunteer roles that Rowcroft Hospice has to offer, please visit:

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