The signs of spring are always welcome, with the return of migrating birds, lambs, Magnolia’s, and in Cornwall the start of the season for a famous Cornish ship, Scillonian III. This is the vessel that sails between Penzance and the beautiful Isles of Scilly taking day trippers and longer term visitors to the islands.  The Purser, ever ready with her winning smile and sharp sense of humour, is Marcia who regularly holds charity collections onboard. Marcia has over the years, persuaded passengers to part with £8,400 to support the work of Cornwall Hospice Care and here she explains why:

I’ve been Purser on-board Scillonian III for around the last fourteen years. The role is all about running the passenger services, like the catering and all the front of house jobs. I’ve always been fond of the Isles of Scilly so that’s what keeps me going, but we’re also a great little crew, we’re like a family.

I love being in Scilly and with a few hours off in the afternoon, it means I can make the most of my time there.

I go walking, boating and enjoy seeing a lot of people I know. It’s so peaceful and beautiful and people are so friendly. There’s the sub-tropical gardens and the stunning white beaches and it’s
wonderful just to walk around on
St Mary’s. I see a lot of people and most of them know me. When we first start the season people will say ‘Happy New Year Marcia’, it doesn’t matter that’s in March!

My Step-Dad, Dudley was in St Julia’s Hospice about five years ago and it was a much nicer experience than I felt it could have been. He felt safe and secure, which gave us peace of mind. It was difficult for me to see my Mum going through the anguish of the whole situation, but she had the support from the hospice and that impacted on me because I would have had to have supported her more and I’m not sure I would have been able to do that.

I got the call when I was at work to say Dudley had been taken in and I headed over with intrepidation.

I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I walking into and what state is my Mum going to be in?’
But though there were tears, it was actually a happy place to be.  In fact it’s peaceful and not a place where you have to think, ‘this is it’ and it’s a downward spiral from there. Everybody is so friendly and it’s just not a place to be afraid of.

Now it’s nice for me to be able to give something back to the hospice.  I manage to collect a fair amount of money from passengers on charity collection days, without having to put a massive amount of effort in. I wouldn’t have the time to do anything else. They are always very generous and my family really appreciate that.                 

The Scillonian III runs from mid-March to November and the crossing takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes. To find out more visit