A group of six people who’ve collectively supported Cornwall Hospice Care for nearly 270 years have been honoured at a special tea today (Wednesday 6th October 2021). The event was held at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in St Austell, Cornwall’s first hospice that last year reached its 40th anniversary.

Hosting the gathering was Paul Brinsley, Chief Executive of Cornwall Hospice Care, who welcomed the volunteers, all of whom started supporting the hospice before it was built; “It’s an honour to welcome you and I’m simply amazed at your dedicated service. The pandemic put paid to all our 40th anniversary events so it’s lovely to be able to welcome you at last to say a heartfelt thank you. You’ve been part of our story throughout and there just aren’t words to express how extraordinary you’ve all been.”

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A group shot of Cornwall Hospice Care’s longest serving volunteers, from left to right Mike Bowen, Tess Bowen, Margaret Geake, Liz Elford, Barbara Rogers, Tina Jefferis, Janet Barnie and Paul Brinsley.

First to accept a special certificate and Exemplary Service badge were Tess and Mike Bowen from the charity’s Roseland Fundraising Group (pictured below). They’ve been volunteers for 45 and 40 years respectively and Tess explained why; “I was on the fundraising committee and then they needed a Treasurer so Mike took the role on. He’s counted £300,000 worth of change over the years!”

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Next to receive an honour was Barbara Rogers from Liskeard who got involved when the project to build Mount Edgcumbe Hospice first evolved; “I was a District Nurse and was sent to Polruan to treat Mrs Enid Dalton-White who was the founder of our wonderful hospice. She was a formidable lady and on my third visit she told me Lady Mount Edgcumbe had had a vision to build a hospice and that she and I were going to help. She had me selling bricks and then asked me to set up a Liskeard Fundraising Committee.” Barbara now volunteers in the Cornwall Hospice Care charity shop in Liskeard.

Liz Elford from Newquay was approached by Enid Dalton-White 46 years ago. Liz says; “Enid asked if I could arrange a coffee morning so she could come along and talk to people about starting a fundraising committee in the town. I’ve been part of that group ever since.”

Margaret Geake from St Austell was another founding fundraiser who, with her late husband Tony, also gifted the ground on which Mount Edgcumbe Hospice is built. “It’s lovely to see you all and I’m so pleased we and the charity have made it through this terrible pandemic.” Both were also Trustees at Cornwall Hospice Care and Paul Brinsley reflected on their “magnificent contribution.”

Longest serving of all the volunteers present was Tina Jefferis from the charity’s Downderry Fundraising Group who’s been involved for 50 years. “We always said the hospice should have good caretakers and that has continued which is why this charity is here 40 years on.” She added with a chuckle, “I’m also here because I’ve lived longer than many of the other original supporters.”

Joining the tea was Janet Barnie, Ward Clerk at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice who was an original fundraiser for the charity and is now the longest serving staff member. Presenting her with a bouquet of flowers, Paul Brinsley said; “Janet runs the ward like clockwork, she’s an amazing member of staff.”

The following pictures are of …

Barbara Rogers from Liskeard with Paul Brinsley

Liz Elford from the Newquay Fundraising Group with Paul Brinsley

Margaret Geake from St Austell with Paul Brinsley

Tina Jefferis from the Downderry Fundraising Group with Paul Brinsley

Janet Barnie, Ward Clerk at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice, with Paul Brinsley

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