Rowcroft thanks community for new beds

“We’d like to thank every single person, company, trust and group who have helped us to buy these vital new beds,” said Alison Upton, Rowcroft’s Community Fundraising Manager.

Rowcroft is eternally grateful to the generous local people who have funded new beds for our Inpatient Unit in Torquay. We launched our Bed Appeal last November because our specialist beds were reaching the end of their lives after 20 years in constant use. The appeal touched the hearts and minds of local people, generating over £40,000 in donations and enabling us to purchase 14 brand new replacement beds – which have been delivered to the hospice in a phased roll-out.

“We are so excited and thrilled to have received our new beds,” said Bev Stevenson, Rowcroft’s Inpatient Unit Modern Matron. “This is all thanks to the incredible generosity of the local community who have really got behind us in supporting our Bed Appeal. Though a bed may sound relatively simple, it is one of the main sources of physical support and comfort for our patients because many of our patients spend most of their time in bed. These much-needed new beds are enabling us to continue to provide the very best level of comfort and care to our patients.”

In response to our Bed Appeal, generous donations poured in from individuals, trusts, groups and businesses across South Devon, and we received significant support from: Strategic Solutions – a local firm of chartered independent financial advisors, St Austell Brewery, the John Casson Foundation, Interline, Memento Vita, Hampton by Hilton, Expedite, the Lawes Trust and the Rotary clubs of Teignmouth, Dawlish Water, Ashburton & Buckfastleigh, and Preston (Torbay). With our fundraising target reached, we purchased a total of 14 new beds from the medical supplier Arjo. The total package included: 12 specialist beds (each costing £2000) and two larger ‘cuddle’ beds (each costing £10,705) that enable patients to share their bed with a loved one. For someone with a partner in their final days, or for a child who is saying goodbye to a parent, the chance to lie next to each other one last time can create precious memories to cherish forever.

“Due to the age of the hospice’s previous beds, the replacement parts for the beds were no longer manufactured and were becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to source,” said Bev. “The substantial cost of replacing the beds came at a time when Rowcroft was already facing significant financial challenges due to the pandemic. Lack of income, coupled with an escalating demand for end-of-life care in South Devon, have been exacerbating pressures on us as a hospice.”

The old beds were taken to Arjo’s warehouse – where they may be offered to Nightingale hospitals or dismantled into parts to keep other medical beds going across the country.

“We’d like to thank every single person, company, trust and group who have helped us to buy these vital new beds,” said Alison Upton, Rowcroft’s Community Fundraising Manager.  “The pandemic has prevented us from fundraising in our usual way through our mass participation events, and yet we are still committed to providing the very best compassionate care to our patients. As a charity which provides expert care, advice and emotional support to people with life-limiting illnesses and their families across South Devon, we have been totally blown away by the incredible outpouring of support from our amazing local community – thanks so much to everyone for your donations.”

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