We are pleased to introduce Stewart Molyneux as our new Events Manager. Stewart joins us from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), where he managed comprehensive events programmes for their South-West and Wales regions. Working within the Fundraising Team, Stewart will be responsible for delivering more of the fantastic events Rowcroft put on every year, from Over-the-Edge to Sleep Walk and Colour Rush Teignmouth, all of which help to raise much-needed funds which go towards supporting more than 2,000 people each year.
Tell us a little about your background?
I have been in the events industry for around 11 years, starting off working as a Sales Executive at Conference English Riviera, based over at the Riviera International Centre. There, I worked on some big national conferences, including the Royal British Legion, National Association of Flower Arranging Societies and a number of Rotary International conferences. My next role was as Sales and Marketing Manager at Woodbury Park Hotel and Golf Club, located just outside of Exeter. Being such a multi-faceted business, there was always something to keep me on my toes, whether it was playing host to two international teams during the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup, or being let down by a touring pantomime company who were stuck at a Spanish airport! My previous role was at the CBI, were I managed a very busy calendar of events for the South West and Wales, including a gala dinner for 450 business leaders in Cardiff, where our guest speaker was the Rt Hon David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
Why were you interested in the role of Events Manager at Rowcroft Hospice?
Having spent a little time at home following the birth of my first child, I’ve come to Rowcroft eager to continue the fantastic work the Events Team have done over the last few years. I obviously also have my own ideas of how we can keep our events interesting and keep encouraging people to donate their hard-earned time and money to us and help us to continue to support those people and families who need it the most. My mother was treated here a couple of years ago, so I have a first-hand experience of the passion, dedication, care and support that Rowcroft offers and that will live with me forever. That experience has also made me even more passionate about making sure that the Hospice not only continues to survive, but to thrive and improve our services and facilities.
What events are you looking forward to this year?
Well, the first event is ‘Over-the-Edge – The Drop’, where people will willingly throw themselves off a 150ft crane in the beautiful grounds of the Hospice! The fact that it is only a few short weeks until the event is a bit daunting having only just started, but there is an amazing team around me and I know it will be another amazing event. I may even be tempted to get harnessed up and participate myself, if there are any spaces left! As well as this, the SleepWalk has such an amazing following and is a bit of an iconic event in the area, so I’m really looking forward to being a part of that.
What is your favourite thing about events?
For me, it’s the people element. Whether it’s the warmth of people coming together to participate in SleepWalk as a group, the pure adrenaline of conquering the crane for Over-the-Edge, or the amazing energy of an event like Colour Rush Teignmouth, people continue to amaze me with their spirit and generosity. Even in previous roles, when I was arranging corporate meetings or large gala dinners, I always looked forward to meeting new people and forging new relationships, and that is no different now that I am here at Rowcroft. If anything, I am looking forward to it more as the people I will be speaking with will likely be scared stiff from their abseil or exhausted and covered in paint!
What would you like to say to anyone thinking about supporting Rowcroft’s events – if you had them altogether in one room?
I think it would firstly have to be thank you. Thank you for even considering supporting such a wonderful organisation. Secondly, I would will them to sign up for whichever event it is they are thinking about participating in. We know there are a lot and donating time and money isn’t always easy, but they should remember, like I do every day, that whatever they can do, they can rest assured that their efforts are hugely appreciated and their money is spent on supporting those who need it. It is often very sad situations for individuals and families which result in them needing our support, so it is more vital than ever that people continue to support us so that we can help as many people as possible when it really matters.
What do you hope to achieve while you’re here?
Well, I’d obviously like to carry on the great work the team has been doing for a while now, but I’d also love to introduce some new events. I think there is certainly an opportunity to develop a men’s event, similar to the Sleep Walk. We have some great sporting clubs around the region, so it would be great to engage with them and deliver a really great men’s event around a sporting event like the World Cup or Six Nations. I’d also love to develop relationships with our local education providers to really try and reach out to their students, to engage the next generation of Rowcroft supporters and see where we can get the students involved in the great events we have here.
What do you do to relax in your free time?
Well, my daughter is now 7 months old, so the majority of my free time is spent gazing lovingly at her – but not forgetting about my wonderful wife! I also play football a couple of times a week to try and keep a little bit fit, as well as having a laugh with friends whilst we run around. I also love watching films, as I really think that getting lost in a good movie is a great way to switch off and just engross yourself in an enthralling drama, or laugh your head off at a really funny comedy!