Rowcroft volunteer, Diane Deakins, is celebrating 15 years of service to the hospice’s Brixham shop.
A retired teacher from Paignton, Diane began volunteering at the shop in 2002 having previously helped out at its popular sales in the town’s Scala Hall.
Diane explained: “When I retired I started working regularly at Rowcroft’s Brixham shop and found there was something about it, I loved working there; raising money for something so so important, meeting interesting people and working well as a team.
“All of us volunteers know how important the hospice care is and how much funding it needs, the little we can do to help has to be good. Every £50 or £100 we raise in the shops we think of as patient care and that’s what’s foremost in our mind; that’s never changed.”
She added: “We are able to see how much Rowcroft’s care benefits patients and as volunteers in the shops are able to pass some of that on to the local community.”
During her time as a volunteer, Diane has witnessed many changes in the shop, including its 2015 move from Union Lane to its new location in Fore Street.
She said: “The new shop has given us scope for a greater variety of stock. While we still have lots of Brixham folk coming in to shop with us, we have also attracted a broader section of the community.
“The locals have been very loyal to the hospice shop throughout the years, and as a group of volunteers we have always been a group of friends, almost family – we are the Brixham volunteers!”
Manager of Rowcroft’s Brixham shop, Trish Cossey, added: “What’s lovely about Diane having been a volunteer for 15 years is that our customers like to see a friendly face, she and the other volunteers have all helped me with the new shop. They are a crucial part of the team – we couldn’t run the shop without them.”
Staff and volunteers from the hospice celebrated with Diane on Monday 27 March, as she received a long service pin from the hospice and a glass of bubbly.
Gilli Woodage, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Rowcroft Hospice, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Diane for her continued support and dedication to the hospice.
“Rowcroft is currently supported by more than 460 volunteers who save the hospice around £310,000 every year – each and every one is appreciated by all of us for their contribution to the hospice’s work, without our volunteers the hospice simply would not be able to function.”
Rowcroft is currently recruiting volunteers to help out at its central Distribution Centre in Brunel Industrial Estate, Newton Abbot. For more information contact Gilli Woodage by emailing Gillian.Woodage@rowcroft-hospice.org.uk.