To mark Free Wills Month, Kingston Hospital Charity has teamed up with will-writing service Guardian Angel and local solicitors Lodge Brothers Legal Services, to offer an opportunity to write or update a simple will for free.
A gift left by local resident, Karen Hindle, in her will, recently helped to fund a new garden and meeting space for staff at Kingston Hospital.
Karen’s husband, Pete Wylie, said: “Karen drew up her first will when she turned 60, in 2016. There were no surprises. As a long-time volunteer dog walker and a donor to animal welfare charities, the will reflected her interests. We didn’t expect to have to change it at all. But four years later the pandemic hit, and legions of health workers fought for our lives.
“In September 2021, Karen got an unexpected cancer diagnosis. It was incurable but treatable, so the oncology teams at Kingston Hospital and the Royal Marsden went to work. Unfortunately, the melanoma had already swept through her body. The treatment weakened her so much she contracted a serious pneumonia which landed her in Kingston Hospital for two weeks. Though she recovered, the oncologists told us her body couldn’t take any more treatment. The respiratory team worked with the palliative care team who liaised with the discharge team and Karen was home for Christmas.
“Karen realised that knowing you’re dying changes everything. Those pension plans? That will? They can become a potent force for good. In the three months left to her Karen reviewed it all and with her recent experiences still fresh, she wanted to find a way to help improve the working lives of the hospital staff, even by a little bit.
“We had both heard about the work of Kingston Hospital Charity. She didn’t want her money to go on a clinical building or machinery. She wanted to invest in the wellbeing of those people who worked to save her. Karen exhumed the old will and re-directed money to Kingston Hospital Charity. I am sure she would be pleased knowing that her gift has helped to provide a new garden and meeting area for staff.”
Rob Aldous, Director of Kingston Hospital Charity, said: “Those that leave gifts in their wills are very often grateful patients, like Karen, who want to show their gratitude for the care they receive. My thanks go to Karen and her family, and to all who leave a gift in their will in support of our hospital. Gifts in wills are a significant source of support for Kingston Hospital Charity and help us to enhance care in many different ways for the benefit of patients now and in the future.
“There is no obligation to leave a gift to Kingston Hospital Charity when using our free will services, but, after taking care of loved ones, any gift you do decide to make will be greatly appreciated.”
For more information, please visit www.khc.org.uk