Former nurse’s £346,000 gift for Rowans Hospice

LAST GIFT Audrey Smith, right, with her mum Kitty
LAST GIFT Audrey Smith, right, with her mum Kitty

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SHE was a dedicated nurse throughout her life.

And generous Audrey Smith made sure that even after her death, she would go on helping others.

The 87-year-old left a huge £346,000 legacy in her will for The Rowans Hospice.

The retired nurse, who lived in Hayling Island, died in February last year.

But her amazing donation only came to light earlier this year.

Ann Cooper, head of communications at the hospice, said: ‘Although I never met Audrey, I think she must have been a very special person.

‘Audrey spent her whole life passionately dedicated to the caring profession.

‘But she also found other ways to continue this, such as her regular donations, and finally this amazing gift in her will is quite extraordinary.

‘Audrey was a single lady with no heirs, but I imagine many people loved her and were grateful for the care she gave. I suspect when she wrote her will she totally understood the impact of the legacy she was leaving.

‘This is a remarkable gift, for which we are very grateful.’

Audrey, the only child of Sidney and Kitty Smith, who lived in Langstone Road, Copnor, dedicated her life to caring for others.

She attended the former Portsmouth Southern Secondary School for Girls from 1942.

Two years later, she was accepted for training at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, where she qualified as a sick children’s nurse.

During her career, Audrey worked at the Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, and abroad to Germany, and worked as a midwife in Kenya.

She retired in the 1990s and settled in Hayling Island, where she became a devoted supporter of the Purbrook hospice. She wrote her will, which included the legacy to the hospice, six years ago.

Two of Audrey’s large scrapbooks containing hundreds of original newspaper clippings, dating from 1934 and documenting news of the royal family, have also been given to the hospice.

Audrey’s cousin – Sheila White’s husband Neville, of Berkshire – was nominated as the executor.

They decided the books should be sold to raise money for the hospice.

To enquire call Ann on (023) 9223 7144.