Happy 40th Birthday Rowcroft Hospice!

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(Last Updated On: May 4, 2022)

With 4 May marking the 40th anniversary of Rowcroft Hospice, the charity is celebrating the specialist care that it has provided to tens of thousands of people over four decades, and you are invited to join the party! A range of exciting events are planned for May and the coming months to celebrate the work of the much-loved hospice that since 1982 has been caring so compassionately for the communities of South Devon.

“It has been a real privilege to care for our South Devon community over these last 40 years and we’re celebrating Rowcroft’s momentous 40th anniversary through a programme of fantastic events, including wonderful open gardens across the local area and a magnificent photo exhibition at Rainbow House in the grounds of the hospice,” said Rowcroft Hospice CEO Mark Hawkins. “We invite everyone to come along and join in the celebrations.”

Rowcroft’s Open Gardens events are taking place throughout spring and summer with people across South Devon raising funds for Rowcroft by generously opening their own beautiful gardens for you to explore and enjoy. With around 30 local gardens warmly welcoming you through their gates, there’s something for everyone.

“Our extensive programme of Open Garden events offers a fascinating insight into some of the most beautiful and inspiring gardens in South Devon, with people opening up their gardens in Teignmouth, Shaldon, Galmpton, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, Torquay and other places – all to raise funds to care for our community,” said Debbi Shotton, Rowcroft’s Community Fundraiser. “Whether you want to learn more about herbaceous borders, smell roses or sit and relax with a cream tea and a lovely view, there is something for everyone, so please do come along.”

You can also enjoy an amazing guided tour of Rowcroft’s stunning grounds in Avenue Road, Torquay, taking in the glorious meadow, tranquil gardens, woodland and even the beehives! You can listen to fascinating guest speakers and live music, visit the plant stall, and treat yourself to delicious refreshments in the marquee café. Tours are available 11am till 4pm on 30 April, 1 May, 2, May, 7 May and 8 May, and must be booked in advance. Tours cost £4 per adult; free for children. For further information about any of the Open Gardens events, please see rowcrofthospice.org.uk/opengardens or call 01803 217450.

While you’re at the hospice, you can marvel at Rowcroft’s stunning 40 Years of Care photo exhibition that celebrates the lives of all the wonderful people who have been cared for by the hospice over the last 40 years. Situated in Rainbow House in the grounds of the hospice, the exhibition will also include photo displays about Rowcroft’s history. Open 30 April to 8 May 2022, 9am to 5pm, with free admission for all. For further information, please see: www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/40yearsofcare

And look out for celebratory events taking place in Rowcroft Hospice shops and cafes across the region. Please enquire at your local Rowcroft shop for details.

Rowcroft Hospice’s 40 years

From small beginnings in 1982, Rowcroft Hospice now provides expert care to more than 2000 people with life-limiting illnesses across South Devon each year.

As Rowcroft celebrates its 40th birthday, the charity is saying a massive thankyou to everyone in the South Devon community for supporting the hospice through its journey. And it’s looking to the future with renewed determination, hope and passion to expand and enhance its care to continue to meet the diverse needs of the community for years to come.

“As a charity, we are forever grateful to all the amazing individuals, groups, organisations and businesses who have supported us on our 40-year journey,” said Rowcroft’s CEO Mark Hawkins. “We’d also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our inspiring care teams who have cared so professionally and compassionately for our community through these years.”

The hospice’s 40-year track record of providing expert care has only been possible because of the extraordinary support of the South Devon community who have funded the majority of Rowcroft’s care. Support has come from countless individuals, organisations, businesses and groups such as the Friends of Rowcroft fundraising groups, with people supporting the hospice in so many different ways, for example, by taking part in fundraising events and activities, shopping online and in Rowcroft’s 15 high shops and cafes, playing the Rowcroft lottery, donating to the charity and leaving a legacy.

Volunteers continue to play a crucial role in the smooth running of the hospice’s services – they are key in raising essential income through the charity’s shops and cafes; supporting the hospice’s much-loved fundraising events such as The Sleep Walk and The Male Trail; and helping out at the hospice itself.

Rowcroft’s achievements over four decades include: providing expert care to thousands of patients in its Inpatient Unit; setting up and delivering the revered Hospice at Home service that each year provides specialist care to around 500 people in their last two weeks of life at home; the development of Rowcroft’s exceptional community services that include specialist nursing, complementary therapy, music therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, bereavement support and spiritual care; and the launch of Rowcroft’s award-winning education programme that offers online and face-to-face specialist training to health and social care professionals across South Devon and beyond.

Rowcroft Hospice takes its name from Ella Rowcroft who died in 1941 but not
before generously creating a trust – to ensure that the main house on her 22-acre Pilmuir estate in Torquay could continue to be used for the healthcare of the local South Devon community. From 1937, the house was used as a convalescent home for women and children suffering from tuberculosis or recovering from surgery, and it became a maternity unit during the Second World War. In later years, the house was a nursing home. Then in the early 1980s, the Torquay Lions Club was instrumental in the formation of Rowcroft Hospice when Richard Brinsley became chairman and took it upon himself to set up the hospice during his year in office.

To find out more about Rowcroft’s anniversary celebrations, please visit: www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/40years

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