Monday, 26 October 2015

Legacies are vital in helping to fund the work that we do and the projects that we support - Ellen Hingley

Ellen Hingley - Legacy and Research Manager

Ellen Hingley
As legacy and research manager for The Christie charity, I have the pleasure of dealing with some of the most interesting and unexpected gifts that come into the charity every day.

Legacy gifts, those which are left in wills, have been an important part of the history of The Christie providing half of the original £10,000 needed to set the hospital up, and today they are vital in helping to fund the work that we do and the projects that we support.

Most recently our team has been working with an auction house based in Surrey, organising the auction of a collection of more than 20,000 prints and negatives left to us by renowned photographer Harry Goodwin who passed away following a short illness in 2013.

Harry was the official photographer for Top of the Pops from 1964 to 1973. Throughout his career Harry photographed the likes of The Beatles, Michael Jackson, David Beckham and many more pop, sporting and acting heroes. Alongside a monetary gift of £54,000, Harry generously decided to leave the majority of his photographic collection to The Christie.

This Friday, 30th October, at midday, anyone worldwide will be able to bid on pieces from the collection, the entire proceeds of which will come to The Christie. We're hoping to raise around £20,000 from the sale, so I'd encourage anyone interested in the collection to take a look.
The Beatles.jpg

One of the photos up for auction
Legacy gifts have long been an important source of funding for many charities, but it's only in recent years that charities have really started talking to people about them and letting people know how important they are. Research suggests that of those people who have written a will, around 17% have included a gift to a charity. Here at The Christie, we rely on gifts in wills for around one third of our charitable income each year, that's about £5 million a year.

My job is to talk to people about legacy gifts, and to promote them as a simple and empowering way to support a cause that you care about, well into the future. Understandably, when people think about wills and legacies, they often think about death, but in my job it's important to remember that wills are really about planning for the future. A will is the safest way to ensure that your money and property are left to those that you care about, whether that's family, friends, charities, or all three! When we talk to people about wills, it's important for us to let them know how grateful we are for any size of gift they might decide to leave to us, and that we really hope we won't receive it for many years to come.

In 2014, over 140 people took part in Make a Will Week, and helped us raise over £13,000. Nineteen people also took the opportunity to leave us a gift in their will, and were kind enough to let us know. This year's Will Week, which took place from 14th to 18th September was supported by 50 solicitors across the North West, and people making wills have already donated very generously in lieu of paying solicitors fees, so I'm hoping this campaign will be at least as successful, if not more so than last year.

It's a wonderful opportunity to make or update your will, whilst supporting The Christie, so you'll be pleased to hear we've already set the date for next year.

To see the full Harry Goodwin auction collection and register to bid on the items, visit . If you would like to learn more about gifts left in wills to The Christie or next year's Make a Will Week, you can contact me on 0161 446 3178 or email .

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