St Ann’s Hospice's Jayne signed up for Will Week

Messenger Newspapers: Jayne Bessant Jayne Bessant

MAKING a will is something Jayne Bessant has been putting off for some time.

But the chief executive of St Ann’s Hospice has decided now is the time to act, especially as she is getting married in June.

“I feel a little embarrassed working for a hospice that relies so much on donations from legacies to admit that I’ve never had a will,” said 51-year-old Jayne.

“It was something I knew I had to do but for a variety of reasons it always slipped off the list.”

Chorlton resident Jayne, who joined the hospice as a staff nurse in 1997 and rose through the ranks to become chief executive three years ago, signed up to Will Week which ran from March 11-15.

St Ann’s has teamed up with solicitors who gave their time free to write a standard Will in exchange for a donation to the hospice. Last year the scheme raised more than £24,000 with an average donation of £100.

“I’ve got a daughter Sophie who’s 26 and my partner has three children and we have a granddaughter, so I want to make it easier for our children. A will is as much for the people we leave behind as ourselves and without a will it’d create an extra burden for our family they don’t need.

“I’ll be making a provision for St Ann’s Hospice in my will because the charity has done so much for me and it’s a small way to help it in the future.”

The amount given to the charity in wills has almost halved, presenting a financial headache for one of the oldest hospices in the country which provides free care for more than 3,000 adults with life-limiting illnesses each year in Greater Manchester.

“Income from this source has gone into decline for the second year in a row and legacies are an area we’re trying to promote,” added Jayne. “We rely on legacies to give St Ann’s hope for the future and we’re not sure why they’ve declined so much.

“It might be that people are putting money to one side because they think they may need to pay for long-term care, or because we’ve been around for a long time, having opened more than 40 years ago.

“Any help we can get – whether donations are large or small – is so vital to us as we face one of the most challenging periods in our history.”

Jayne is not in the minority - it is estimated that two thirds of adults in the country have not made a will.

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