'We are in awe of our wonderful volunteers'

Volunteer having a cup of tea

Hospitality volunteer June Secker - Credit: Rowcroft

Rowcroft Hospice is shouting loud and proud about the amazing contribution that volunteers make to the hospice and local community.

Rowcroft wants to use Volunteer's Week, which runs until June 8, to recognise the vital roles that volunteers play in enabling the hospice’s dedicated nurses and care teams to provide expert care for local people with life-limiting illnesses and their families, and in supporting the hospice’s income generating teams to raise essential funds.

The charity is saying a huge thank you to its fabulous volunteers, including those who have continued to make such an incredible impact through the pandemic. 

“I’d like to extend a massive thank you to our wonderful volunteers who selflessly give their time, expertise and commitment to Rowcroft, helping to raise money for the hospice and ensuring that all our services run as smoothly as possible,” said Gilli Pattie, Rowcroft’s Volunteering Coordinator.

“I am in awe of our incredible volunteers for their amazing dedication and support through this pandemic, and I find it difficult to express my gratitude. While some volunteers have been able to continue with their roles through the COVID crisis, others have been waiting patiently in the wings until they are able to return. We are truly grateful to all our volunteers for standing by us through such challenging times.”

Rowcroft’s volunteers donate their time in so many different ways – from working in Rowcroft’s shops and cafes across the region, to offering support to patients and their families.

Roles include helping out on the Inpatient Unit reception, assisting the hospice’s catering team, and looking after the beautiful hospice gardens.

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Nick Coffey is a trained Bereavement Volunteer who works in Rowcroft’s Listening and Support Services Team. He provides advice and support by telephone to the bereaved relatives of those who were cared for by Rowcroft.

Hospice volunteer

Bereavement volunteer Nick Coffey - Credit: Rowcroft

Nick said: “My role involves listening to and supporting bereaved relatives and end-of-life patients in the Torbay and South Devon area. The training at Rowcroft really does prepare you as much as possible for the work you’re about to undertake. It’s very rewarding to work with the recently bereaved and to watch them make progress by starting to talk about their future and being more positive, and I’m pleased to help them on that journey.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to volunteer for such a wonderful organisation. I’ve never experienced so much warmth and love, and it comes from all parts of the hospice - from all the volunteers right through to the Chief Executive. My decision to become a bereavement volunteer at Rowcroft was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Heather, who has been volunteering for Rowcroft for 15 years in the Rowcroft shop in Totnes, has recently received her gold long-service pin. She said: "Volunteering for Rowcroft means giving something back to this incredible organisation.

"I would like Rowcroft to be here for my generation and for generations to come. It’s where your family can be taken care of and die with the dignity they deserve. I love Rowcroft, and in many ways for me, having come from Africa and left my family, Rowcroft has replaced that.”

Anyone over the age of 13 can volunteer in Rowcroft’s shops and cafes (or over the age of 16 to volunteer in the Inpatient Unit), and the charity warmly welcomes volunteers with skills and experience in a whole range of areas. If you would like to find out more please contact Gilli Pattie on 01803 210852 or go to Rowcroft’s website at www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk for volunteer vacancies. Rowcroft is currently looking for volunteers to help in various locations including: its Totnes shop, Paignton furniture outlet; Paignton Victoria Street shop; St Marychurch shop; Torquay furniture outlet; shop and café in Chelston, Torquay; and Ella’s Mobile Café – Rowcroft’s vintage café van based at Torquay Harbour.