Saluting inspirational people who created our wonderful hospice

Torbay Weekly

I was Rowcroft's first administrator, a post I held for 12 years. I was also heavily involved in fundraising so I am very pleased to learn that Rowcroft is to be your nominated charity.

There is no doubt that Rowcroft is recognised and appreciated by the people of South Devon and since it opened in 1982 it has also helped thousands of patients and their relatives to cope.

As Rowcroft was conceived nearly 40 years ago many people will not be aware of those who had the inspiration and ability to achieve such a huge undertaking. Richard Brinsley , the then President of Torquay Lions Club, was introduced to Dr Margaret McKerrow, who had worked at St Christopher’s hospice in London.

This was the first real hospice in the UK. Richard and “Doc” were a great team, he a successful businessman and she a dedicated doctor.

Both were strong characters with firm views which did not always coincide, but their mutual respect and liking for each other worked well. Dr McKerrow was awarded an MBE for her work.

Many of us involved with Rowcroft could not understand why no such recognition was given to Richard Brinsley.

Another Rowcroft pioneer is  Bridget Trethewy, as she then was. Bridget organised the Friends of Rowcroft who have and still do make a significant contribution to Rowcrofts funding. Bridget is a formidable lady, who is difficult to say “no” to.

There are many, many people who have been wonderful in their support of Rowcroft. The way Rowcroft has been taken into the hearts of the people of South Devon would thrill Richard and Margaret.