Tag Archives: Wills

We left a gift in our will in memory of our daughter Rhona

You can make a huge difference by donating to Scope in memory of a loved one.

Gordon Halcrow is one of our valued in memory supporters. Gordon sadly lost his wife, Sheena in 2015. In this blog he tells us about Sheena, their daughter Rhona, who was born with a disability, and why they chose to support disabled people and their families.

“In my mind, as well as others, she was a very remarkable person.”

Sheena was delightful and she had a good sense of values. People, both young and old, and from all walks of life, enjoyed her company and admired her devotion. I am sure you would have too.

She was always cheerful and had a sunny disposition; always optimistic through thick and thin!

Sheena didn’t work, in the conventional sense, for many years because of the demands of caring for our daughter Rhona. However, up until Rhona was born, Sheena worked as a librarian. She was an avid reader and continued to be so until the end of her life.

After Rhona was born, Sheena attended evening classes in cookery, pottery, jewellery making, needle work and associated skills. A quick learner, she became an expert in all of these things and the articles that she made, and their quality, show her prowess.

In my mind, as well as others, she was a very remarkable person.

“She had an amazing hold on life.”

Gordon and Sheena, and elderly couple, posing for a photo on the beach
Gordon and Sheena at the beach

Rhona was brain damaged at birth and had quadriplegic cerebral palsy. When Rhona was 1 years-old, she had a brain biopsy and we were advised to put her into a home and try again. This was not a viable option for us.

She was born on New Year’s Day in 1959, and we were told that she probably would not live longer than about four years. In the event she had an amazing hold on life. It was due to Sheena’s constant and loving care that Rhona saw another forty New Year’s days.

We found, from experience, that young adults who are disabled, like Rhona, are not treated particularly well and often charities are vital to improve their welfare. I support Scope because of this and that is why I chose to honour the memory of my dear Sheena.

“Sheena’s devotion meant that Rhona lived a happy and meaningful life.”

Sheena and I thought that it is our duty to attend, properly, to the needs of those in society who are underprivileged. I think that charities have an increasingly important role. It is therefore essential for people like us, who have the means, to give to charity where we can.

In our case we have experienced disability face on and can see the impact that support can have for those who need it. It was Sheena’s devotion that meant Rhona lived a happy and meaningful life. Some people need that extra help and guidance. It is because of this that we have supported Scope where possible.

I have seen how charities can help and that is down to supporters like you.

 If you are interested in leaving a gift in memory of someone special then please visit our In Memory page. Your gift will support disabled people and their families across England and Wales.

Gordon and Sheena recorded a video for Scope a few years ago, explaining why they chose to leave us a gift in their will. Watch the video below.  If you are considering leaving a gift in your will, then we would be happy to meet with you, just as we met with Gordon and Sheena.

 

Worried about writing your will? It’s easier than you might think

Making a will can seem like a daunting prospect. But Rachel, our Gifts in Wills Officer, found out that with our free will writing service it can be easier than you think.

Why am I writing my will? I’m not getting married or divorced, I don’t have any children and at 27, I’m not planning my retirement any time soon.

I’m writing my will because I want to know what it’s really like. Unless you’ve ever written a will, chances are you probably don’t know very much about the process. It might seem intimidating, morbid or just a bit of a hassle. Even if you’ve thought about it, it’s easy to push it down the to-do list. Is having a will that important anyway? Well, the short answer is yes. Without one, you don’t have a say in what happens to your possessions, and more importantly, what you’d like to pass on to your loved ones. Having a will puts you in control. And yet more than half of British adults haven’t made one. So is it really that difficult? I wanted to find out.

Arranging to write my will was easy. Through Scope’s free will service, I was put in contact with my local will writer, and organised to meet him near my office. I guessed I’d need to do some preparation for the meeting, and I was sent a pre-appointment check-list which explained the different areas I should be thinking about.

Writing a will does involve decision making and, depending on your circumstances, some of these decisions might involve more thought than others. But some people still put off writing a will even after they’ve made these decisions, because they think it will be complicated, expensive, or they just don’t know where to start.

Actually writing my will was the easiest bit of all. At our meeting, my will writer talked me through the main sections of the will – from appointing executors, to the specific gifts I want to leave, including to charity. I already knew I wanted to leave a gift to Scope. If I hadn’t mentioned it, I’d have been asked if I wanted to consider it – although there is no obligation. I like the idea that I can help Scope to be there for disabled people and their families in the future.

And that’s all I have to do. Once he has all the information, my will writer goes away to write up my will. I’ll check it and then sign it in front of two witnesses. I’ll have a will.

Of course, I might need to change it at some point in the future – it’s always a good idea to review your will around any major life changes. But now I know what I’m doing – I know what decisions I need to make, and I know that actually putting them down on paper isn’t difficult. It’s something I’m really glad I’ve done.

Find out more about our free will offer.

Film of the week: “Leaving a gift in our will in our daughter’s name”

Scope have been promoting the importance of legacies (gifts left by generous supporters in their wills) over the past couple of weeks. The gifts left to us make up almost a third of the money we raise each year so they’re a vital source of income for us as a charity.

We went to visit two of our pledgers, Gordon and Sheena Halcrow, to find out why they thought it was such an important thing to do.

If you’d like to find out more about leaving a gift in your will to Scope, then visit the Legacy pages on our website.