Rowcroft brings Gidleigh Park’s afternoon tea to Inpatient Unit

Rowcroft Hospice recreated an afternoon tea at the luxury Gidleigh Park hotel on its Inpatient Unit last week, enabling a group of friends to share a special celebration together.

Jo Urch and Rachel Hosking asked the hospice if they would help host the tea on the Inpatient Unit when they realised their friend, Sam Crossman-Emms, who is currently being supported by Rowcroft, would be too unwell to travel to the Chagford hotel.

The hospice found table cloths, cake stands and china cups while Gidleigh Park packaged up its afternoon tea for collection by the pair.

Rachel explained: “Over a year ago Sam was given a champagne afternoon tea at Gidleigh Park as a gift, but unfortunately her ill health meant it was difficult to arrange a time to visit. Gidleigh had been brilliant but when we realised it wouldn’t be possible for Sam to travel we thought…let’s bring Gidleigh to Rowcroft for the day!

“From the moment I mentioned it to Rowcroft they said ‘let’s make it happen,’ the whole team has been so dedicated and it was fantastic to be able to get the three musketeers (as we’re known) together.”

Rachel added: “I’ve heard so many people say how wonderful the staff and volunteers at Rowcroft are but now I’m here and seeing it I can truly say they are an amazing team.”

Sheridan McKenner, Rowcroft’s Senior Ward Administrator, who helped co-ordinate the afternoon tea – and kept the whole thing a surprise from Sam – said: “I felt really excited to be able to help this group of friends plan this special celebration.”

Sue Harvey, Rowcroft’s Inpatient Unit Manager, added: “Rowcroft’s aim is to make every the day the best day possible for patients staying on our Inpatient Unit, or being supported by staff and volunteers in their own homes.

“We were absolutely delighted to be able to create a memorable and special day for this particular group of friends, and loved seeing the wonderful array of cakes and scones so perfectly packaged by the staff at Gidleigh Park.”

Paul Shanahan, General Manager at Gidleigh Park, added: “When Rachel asked us if it would be possible to organise an afternoon tea at Rowcroft Hospice, as their friend was not able to travel to the hotel, we embraced the challenge and were all determined to make it as memorable as possible.

“Being part of our guests’ special celebrations and ensuring that we deliver an exclusive experience is what makes the hospitality industry so special. The thought of being able to raise a smile to this friend reunion was a real pleasure and an honour.”

Rowcroft is now inviting other businesses in a position to provide experiences for the hospice’s patients and their families to get in touch.

Sue explained: “Where possible and appropriate, we would be delighted to enable more of our patients and their families to make precious memories together during some of the most challenging and difficult days of their lives.

“If any local businesses are interested in discussing whether they might be able to provide some unique experiences for our patients and families, we invite them to please contact our Community Fundraising Manager, by emailing or calling 01803 210835.”

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