Business ‘convicts’ raise bail for the hospice

Rowcroft’s annual fundraising event ‘Jail or Bail’ will see six jail birds facing fictitious trials to raise vital funds for the hospice. In this fun and light-hearted fundraising initiative, the local ‘convicts’ – key people from local businesses – have been placed under arrest, accused by their colleagues of such workplace crimes as ‘spending too much time on the telephone’, ‘being too nice’ or ‘being a senior member of lastminute dot com’!

Representing a range of local businesses and organisations including South Devon College, Big Ant Group, Torbay Weekly, Bettesworth Property Agents and Chartered Surveyors, Torbay Council and Wollens solicitors, the convicts will stand trial at Rowcroft on Wednesday 23 February when they will receive their sentences from Judge Richard Ward (a Rowcroft ambassador and former trustee). Their punishments will include ‘yard time’ where will spend the day at the hospice helping out with odd jobs like cleaning, gardening and maintenance until their friends, family and colleagues  bail them out of jail by donating money to the hospice. The convicts have until 5pm to fundraise their way to freedom using their mobile phones and social media channels.

Rowcroft’s Corporate Fundraiser Rosie Gitsham said:

“We’re so grateful to all the local businesses who are supporting the hospice through this year’s Jail or Bail – which once again promises plenty of laughter and hilarity. Thanks too to all the ‘convicts’ for being such fantastic sports and for helping us to raise crucial income to fund our care. We’re asking members of the community to support this fun event by raising bail money for their favourite convict by making a donation to Rowcroft via our website at Our bail money channels are already open so please do get involved and support our ‘convicts’! All funds raised will be used to care for people with life-limiting illnesses and their families across South Devon.”

Andrew Barrand is a Torbay Councillor taking part in the Jail or Bail event. He is accused of the crime of ‘being a senior member of lastminute dot com’! He said:

“I’m taking part to help the much loved and admired organisation of Rowcroft, which helps so many people in their darkest hour. Rowcroft is such an amazing organisation that helps so many people, both people with the illness and their relatives, helping them cope and come to terms with the prognosis. As a supporter of Rowcroft I just want to help much needed funds so they can continue their amazing work in helping people.”

Matt Bettesworth is Managing Director of Bettesworths Property Agents and Chartered Surveyors. He is accused of the crime of ‘going on a three-week cycling trip last September when we were extremely busy at work’! Matt said:

“I am taking part to help raise funds for Rowcroft, as they are a local charity and such an important part of the local community in South Devon. Rowcroft provides a unique and essential role in Torbay and I feel a certain personal drive and responsibility to help support their brilliant work.”

Christopher Linton, a partner at Wollens solicitors, has been accused of the crime of ‘living in different time zones due to the geographical locations of clients!’ He said:

“My jail break is a personal and professional challenge. The support that is given to families by the Rowcroft team is second to none, whether that is at home (by the Hospice at Home team) or in the hospice. As my work involves assisting families following the death of a loved one, I often work closely with the Rowcroft team and together we assist patients and their families through the darkest of times, enabling comfort in those final days. The staff provide this care with ease and the utmost professionalism. The team are passionate and work without barriers. Rowcroft not only supports Wollens’ clients but also touches the lives of many individuals and families throughout the local community. On a personal note, I have seen first-hand the support that they provide as members of my own family have been cared for.”

To raise bail (make a donation) in support of your favourite convict, please go to

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