Fundraiser leaves Weston hospice £250,000 in will
A WOMAN who devoted quarter of a century to supporting Weston Hospicecare has left the charity £250,000 in her will.
Ruth Burgess, 87, spent a large proportion of her life helping the cause before she died in March last year.
She was one of the first people to offer support to the charity when it launched in 1989 and over the years has organised a number of events for the Friends of Weston Hospicecare, including cooking up chutney and other goodies to sell.
She also took part in door to door collections and represented the hospice at many events.
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It was only in 2006 that Ruth had to step down from volunteering due to ill health.
Her friend and former chief executive officer of Weston Hospicecare, Colin Sills, said: “As she approached her eighties, she could be seen sitting under a storm-blown canvas, literally being the last one standing.”
Ruth was also friends with Sybil Jackston-Barstow, the woman the hospice is named after.
It was their friendship and Ruth’s counsel which is believed to be the motivation behind Sybil's vast legacy, which enabled the charity to build its current premises in Uphill.
Ruth was always part of the community and when younger was a leader for the local guides, later becoming captain.
She was also the secretary of the parochial church council at Weston’s Christ Church for 40 years.
Her Christian faith manifested itself in her involvement with Christian Mission amongst Jews (CMJ), a charity which seeks to develop good relations between Christians and Jews and to be supportive of Jews who embrace the Christian faith. Ruth also left a donation to CMJ in her Will.
People from Christ Church, including Ruth, played a significant part in establishing Weston Hospicecare in the late 1980’s.
Colin added: “Ruth's numerous contributions to local charities and community groups have left a lasting impression on everyone that was lucky enough to have met and worked with her.
“Above all, Ruth was simply generous of spirit.
“The very generous legacies to Weston Hospicecare and CMJ have partly arisen from the very frugal way she lived and always put others before herself.”
Weston Hospicecare chief executive officer, Gill Auden, said: “It is a very special person who works hard all their lives to make things easier and better for other people.
“That is what Ruth has done with a lifetime of devotion to charity and the community that she loved.
“Now with this wonderful donation in her will she continues to make a difference to local people who rely on, or will rely on the hospice to get them through what is a very difficult time.”