Leave a life-changing gift
Throughout our lives, we work hard to ensure the children in our lives are safe and without fear. We strive to protect them, help them learn and provide a childhood full of love, safety and hope. And in writing a will, we make sure that the protection we offered in life can remain in the years to come.
However, there are millions of children across the world for whom fear is an everyday fact of life: fear of hunger, disease, conflict, exploitation...the list is sadly long. Yet, by remembering World Vision, you can bring hope to the lives of these children – a real and lasting hope for children in the world’s hardest places.
Watch our video below to see the impact leaving a Legacy gift can make...
Help us reach even more people to make a life-changing gift in their will by sharing this video using the icons below:
Maureen's Journey from Meadway, Berkhamsted to Mwemba, Zimbabwe
Maureen Margaret Lamb was born in Kew, London on 1st May 1938, the second daughter of Thomas and Millicent Bamford. Her father had served in the army in World War1 and on demobilisation became a ship’s engineer with the Royal Mail line before establishingRead more
Maureen Margaret Lamb was born in Kew, London on 1st May 1938, the second daughter of Thomas and Millicent Bamford. Her father had served in the army in World War 1 and on demobilisation became a ship’s engineer with the Royal Mail line before establishing his own greengrocers business in Brentford, London.
Maureen’s schooling followed a conventional pattern – primary school initially and ending at Spring Grove Grammar School. On leaving school, her first job was with a London fashion house whose clientele included many ladies of distinction and which, in turn, taught her valuable lessons in clothing materials, their colours, style and design. This experience stood her in good stead later in life when furnishing her own homes and selecting her personal adornment.
Soon, more exciting avenues opened up. She applied for and was selected as an air stewardess by BOAC flying predominately on the North Atlantic route in the select “Monarch” class. She escaped unharmed when an aircraft in which she was flying overshot the runway at Heathrow ending up in a nearby ploughed field. Whilst with BOAC, she made many friends, several of whom were to prove invaluable when misfortune struck her later. During her flying career she met and later, married one John Mepham – a decision which was to result in her being grounded as the airline did not permit married ladies to fly as crew in those days; and so she was transferred to ground duties at Heathrow.
A new start in South Africa
On 13th December, 1963 she gave birth to a daughter – Jane Caroline. Her marriage turned out to be short-lived and ended in divorce in 1971. To avoid further distress, Maureen accepted an invitation from a former BOAC colleague to join her in South Africa where she and Jane were welcome guests in East London. Here she got a job as a hotel receptionist where the owners treated her with a compassion and kindness she never ever forgot.
This was the start of a love affair with the Rainbow Nation still in the grip of apartheid. Nothing daunted, Maureen treated all those she met the same irrespective of the colour of their skin. This approach was often reciprocated if occasionally criticised by some white South Africans. After succumbing to the lure of Cape Town for a brief period, Maureen and Jane returned to England in 1973 settling in a flat in Wokingham, Berkshire whist Maureen worked as a Business Travel Manager for a leading London travel company and Jane attended a local school.
In 1979, a chance meeting with a recently retired RAF Officer was to change both Maureen and Jane’s lives beyond recognition. Air Vice-Marshal ‘Larry’ Lamb had become a leading figure in British Sports Administration and two years later, in 1981 he and Maureen were married and made their home in Meadway, Berkhamsted. They both continued to work – Maureen still in travel and Larry in sports administration. Idyllically happy, a remote family connection enabled them to send Jane to school in Vancouver, Canada, an experience she enjoyed and which stood her in good stead in later life. The newly-weds life continued apace with its mixture of Larry’s sporting and military interests leavened by Maureen’s equally wide social and business contacts.
South Africa always loomed large in their lives and rarely did they miss a chance to make an annual visit there. Again, Maureen’s interest in and support for the local people was always apparent. Her friendly attitude, her generosity combined with her interest in their affairs, never failed to elicit a favourable response and in justification she would quote Field Marshal Smuts who once addressed a meeting of the combined Houses of Parliament in London when he said "South Africa will need a coloured and educated elite if it is ever to become a great country."
After retirement Maureen entered local life in Berkhamsted with an energy belying her years – particularly with the local Sunnyside Church and the Meadway Residents Association. She was a welcome and popular guest at both public and private occasions. Her attentiveness during a visit by The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to the Royal Albert Hall for the World’s Badminton Championships, brought a personal letter of thanks from the Queen’s Private Secretary. A keen artist with both paint and pencil, her prolific output is testimony to her enthusiasm for this particular hobby.
Sadly, although we were not to know it, Maureen began to suffer from osteoporosis and despite one spinal operation and months of a variety of treatments, her quality of life began to deteriorate markedly. But she maintained a degree of cheerfulness that was marvellous to behold. She got enormous pleasure from Jane’s marriage in 1996 and the subsequent arrival of three grandchildren. It came as a great shock when she suffered a series of heart attacks in 2013 and despite a heart by-pass operation and some splendid and devoted care at Harefield and Stoke Mandeville Hospitals she died at 8am on 2nd January, 2015. Her passing was marked by an avalanche of messages of sympathy (over 320) whilst Jane and Larry held a ‘Thanksgiving lunch for her Life’ to mark her 76th birthday. Unprompted, she left a legacy in her will to World Vision on the understanding that it would be used to expand children’s education in Southern Africa, with particular reference to the country’s ecology and the need for the conservation of its wildlife. To Jane and Larry, World Vision’s proposal for the Mwemba School, appeared to fulfil Maureen’s hopes and would be a fitting memorial to a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother, who not only loved Southern Africa and its people, but who was ‘a true giver and not a taker’ throughout her life.Read less
Leaving hope to the world
Legacy pledger Mary Martin, explains why she is leaving a gift
Mary Martin has sponsored with World Vision for 32 years. We met her at a celebration event we were organising for many of our most committed supporters at St Paul's Cathedral.Read more
Mary Martin has sponsored with World Vision for 32 years. We met her at a celebration event we were organising for many of our most committed supporters at St Paul's Cathedral. After the event she sent us her story, which she agreed for us to share with you.
"I hadn’t realised that I have been a sponsor for 32 years. When I stepped into your offices in Queen Victoria Street all those years ago, I had no idea what a wonderful charity I was signing up with. My first sponsored child lived in Brazil and Justin (Justin Byworth our former CEO) worked out he must be about 37 now. I have kept all the photos and letters from all the children I’ve sponsored and I often wonder how each child has got on in the world. As I never married and haven’t had children of my own, it’s been a blessing knowing that I have helped in some way to improve the lives of children a long way away and I have great admiration for those who work with the children and their communities, and for all those connected with the running of the charity. We must all continue to do our bit to ease the suffering of children in whichever part of the world they live and that is why I will always be a sponsor and support World Vision - even when I’m gone."Read less
Leaving Hope to the World - Nina and Steve Roberts' gift
When legacies are left to World Vision something very special happens. They change the lives of those they touch forever.Read more
When legacies are left to World Vision something very special happens. They change the lives of those they touch forever. They fund vital projects and support vulnerable children living in some of the most difficult places in the world, filling their futures with love, hope and opportunity. Gifts left in Wills transform children’s worlds, enabling them to enjoy their childhoods to the full and reach their God-given potential.
All kinds of wonderful people leave legacies to World Vision. People like Steve and Nina Roberts, a kind and caring couple loved by all that met them. Steve and Nina had been happily married for three years when they learned that Nina had ovarian cancer.
The news was devastating but after surgery, which left Nina unable to carry children, it looked like Nina would recover. Looking to the future, the couple arranged to adopt a little girl from China. They underwent the two-year adoption process and were finally given the all-clear to fly to Beijing to collect their daughter.
Tragically, Nina and Steve never got to Beijing. Nina’s cancer returned and this time it was incurable. Nina died in November 2012. During that time, Steve developed serious health problems that led to his death just months later, the following June.
In 2010 though, Steve and Nina had drafted a mirror Will, leaving most of their estate to three charities that were dear to their hearts. One of these was World Vision. Nina had sponsored a little girl called Mphatso from Africa, and was keen that the couple’s legacy be used to help us transform more vulnerable children’s lives, bringing hope to more children living in the world’s hardest places.
Steve and Nina’s family continue to sponsor Mphatso, so she remains cared for and enjoys good health, protection and an education. It’s hoped that one day the sponsorship that Nina started may benefit Mphatso’s own children – a gift of hope and love that will never be forgotten, just like Steve and Nina’s legacy to World Vision.Read less
We must all continue to do our bit to ease the suffering of children in whichever part of the world they live, and that is why I will always be a sponsor and support World Vision - even when I'm gone.
- Mary Martin
How legacy gifts have changed lives
Without funds from gifts made in wills by generous World Vision supporters, we would not be able to help fund projects like these:
Jeevan Asha - Hope for Life in the Rajnut community in India
When World Vision first came to work with the Rajnut community in India, the women traditionally worked commercially as prostitutes. Most entered the trade as young as 16, often forced by their own family.Read more
When World Vision first came to work with the Rajnut community in India, the women traditionally worked commercially as prostitutes. Most entered the trade as young as 16, often forced by their own family. Many of them contracted serious sexually transmitted diseases and faced regular abuse. Even younger girls were groomed to take up this profession, leaving them with no chance or motivation to attend school and have a different career.
World Vision set up the Jeevan Ash project to provide income generation programmes for women who had given up commercial sex work. Through clubs and awareness programmes, children learn about the importance of education and are encouraged to take up a different career when they grow up.
Peer educators teach women the importance of practising safe sex, how to protect themselves against HIV and encourage them to educate their children, especially the daughters.
S. Francis, head of the project, says, "Through sustained effort and dedication, the team has been instrumental in changing people’s attitudes, encouraging them to educate children and training them for a secure and happy way of life."
Nisha explains what is happening in the photo "We first started this class for the children in our village who did not go to school regularly. But soon we began to teach the women in our community too."
Six young people, take turns conducting the classes every afternoon. Most of the women work for daily wages during the morning. Although tired with work and household chores, they are very excited to attend the classes regularly.
"We are happy and we can write our signature, count the numbers, read the name boards…thanks to our children and World Vision," says Mala, 38, one of the students.
In a community where education had small importance, women and children have worked towards setting an example and building their community on their own.
In the words of one of the women, "With education, our world will definitely change."Read less
No Water in Bubbles: the alarming water crisis in Jenin
Jenin; a town in the West Bank, used to be water-rich prior to the Israeli occupation. One of its villages is called “Faqqua”, which means “bubbles” in Arabic, because water was so plentiful there.Read more
Jenin; a town in the West Bank, used to be water-rich prior to the Israeli occupation. One of its villages is called “Faqqua”, which means “bubbles” in Arabic, because water was so plentiful there. Now, they barely have a water supply, and many pay four to six times more for water that is ten times more polluted than the public supply, according to independent reports by the World Health Organization.
The separation wall surrounding Jenin is the main cause of this ‘drought’ because it has confiscated thousands of acres of land and with it much of the city’s water. The main shared water source for Israelis and Palestinians is the West Bank’s Mountain Aquifer, which is the largest and highest quality water source in the area. Yet Israel holds almost complete control of the aquifer, and uses 80% percent of the production for its needs, leaving the remaining 20% for the people of the Palestinian territories.
The only option was to purchase tankers of water at six times the price. The quality of water from private dealers, however, was not monitored and when it ran out families like that of Ahmad Abu Al Rab's would often have to wait five to ten days for more water. "The smell would fill the house." he remembers.
Jalboun, a community in Jenin, however has renewed hope, World Vision built a water ground water well there.
Ahmad's daughter says "It is good. We now have water, and I can both help my mother with the dishes and have water to drink!"
Ahmad’s eyes fill with tenderness as he says, "I thank World Vision. Without its support, this wouldn’t have happened…this may be a small project for World Vision, but for us, this is a source of life."Read less
Precious gifts in wills enabled Chan to live life to the full
"Without some help I wouldn’t have had a chance to attend the training or to work like other people. I didn’t think I would be good at dealing with people. I would have remained inside the house, not going out in public."Read more
"Without some help I wouldn’t have had a chance to attend the training or to work like other people. I didn’t think I would be good at dealing with people. I would have remained inside the house, not going out in public."
Chan was born in Myanmar with a severe hearing impairment. Being unable to hear meant he was unable to learn in the same way as other children. He soon fell behind at school and stopped going altogether, living a reclusive existence at home on his own, isolated and cut off, fearful of the wider world.
Thanks to the World Vision disability programme and self-help groups, hundreds of children like Chan, have been able to live their lives to the full. Today Chan, now 18, makes a good living painting bikes at a local repair shop. "My boss has learned sign language, so we can communicate," he says proudly.Read less
Drop in centre provides food, tutoring and health care
Nhlakodise drop in centre was set up in an area of high levels of unemployment and escalating HIV and AIDS where many children are left with no-one to look after them and nothing to eat.Read more
Nhlakodise drop in centre was set up in an area of high levels of unemployment and escalating HIV and AIDS where many children are left with no-one to look after them and nothing to eat.
When we first met the boys, Tebogo Letsoalo, 15, (pictured above) was severely asthmatic, caused by sleeping rough through the bitterly cold winters of this part of South Africa. He was also tortured by the thought that although his parents were alive they had deserted them. He talked of going to sleep hungry every day, collapsing at school and each day getting thinner until there were some days when he considered suicide.
Tebogo and his brother are just two of more than seventy orphans who have found parents at the centre. They now have school uniforms, nutritious food and groceries on a monthly basis. The school teachers are satisfied they are improving academically and the school nurse reports a significant improvement in Tebogo's health.
In a partnership between World Vision, the South African government and a charitable trust, 32 women and eighteen men have now been employed at the drop in centre to take care of the 72 lorphans and vulnerable children who come to the centre who are taught appropriate skills for their age. The centre's garden provides three nutritious meals daily and the surplus is sold at the market.
The centre is also used by a group of people living with HIV and AIDS who have been trained to sew clothes for the whole community. This project has not only restored their dignity as providers for their families and provided emotional support, but it has contributed to the reduction of unemployment in the area.
This year the work with the community in this part of South Africa is coming to an end so we asked how Tebogo was doing. Let Tebogo (see below) speak for himself as you proudly see him hold up his high school certificate, "I did not think I’d live to see this day. My life has been full of pain and suffering. I know for many perhaps a matric certificate is not a big deal, but for me it means so much”.
Funds from generous gifts made in wills from the UK have not only provided the start up capital for this community venture but have provided things like a water tank for the garden and training for those running the community.
PhilippaLegacy and In Remembrance Manager
Philippa Fairhall recently joined the World Vision UK team after 3 years at home looking after her young children, Sophie and Sam. Previously, she has worked at Save the Children, connecting donors with projects around the world, and before that, at Tearfund.
Philippa is passionate about bringing positive change to children's lives and working alongside communities in order to help children reach their potential. Philippa works on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.Read less
Our dedicated legacy team is here to help you. They are not legal or financial advisers, but they can:
- Explain how a gift in your will can help our vital work with children
- Explain the various types of gifts that you can include in your will and their benefits
- Help you find a solicitor in your area
- Talk through the practical steps involved in making or changing a will
- Advise if you are eligible for a free simple/mirror Will under the National Free Will Network scheme
Call us on 01908 84 10 60
The team will be as helpful and supportive as they can and everything you tell them is in the strictest confidence.
If you are interested in leaving a gift in your will, please complete the form below
Resources & FAQs
Leave a gift in your will
To request our free legacy brochure, A Precious Gift, A Treasured Legacy which features lots of helpful and practical information about leaving a gift that can help transform the lives of children in the world’s hardest places, please call 01908 84 10 60 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave a gift FAQs:
The inheritance tax threshold is currently £325,000 and set at 40%. The only people who can benefit without your estate being liable to inheritance tax are legal spouses and charities. Our legacy brochure features an information sheet on this topic. To obtain your brochure, just call 01908 84 10 60.
The legacies we receive are usually unrestricted gifts, allowing us to use the funds wherever the need is greatest at that particular time. However, we also gladly accept gifts for an area of our work that is close to your heart. If you would like to discuss any specific intentions you have, please call one of our trained legacy advisers on 01908 84 10 60 – we will do our utmost to honour your wishes.
Call our dedicated legacies team 01908 84 10 60 for help and advice. They are not legal or financial advisers, but they can:
- Explain how a gift in your will can help our vital work with children
- Explain the various types of gifts that you can include in your will and their benefits
- Help you find a solicitor in your area
- Talk through the practical steps involved in making or changing a will.
We understand that family and friends come first. All we ask is that you consider leaving us a share of whatever is left in your estate once all your specific wishes have been carried out.
Yes, simply click to view our annual reports and accounts »
Yes. Your will is a very private document and you’re not under any obligation to tell us anything. Of course, if you do want to let us know your intentions, we would love to hear from you so that we can thank you for your generosity. Please call us on 01908 84 10 60 to request our new legacy brochure.
World Vision Child Sponsorship works by changing a child’s life through changing the world in which they live. Sponsorship brings change to more than just one child — the benefits you help provide extend to each child’s family, their community, and other children in need. Naming your sponsored child in your will is not recommended as children and their families may leave the area and no longer be participating in the programme. Please call us on 01908 84 10 60, so that we can advise you further.
We strongly advise that you use a qualified solicitor to amend an existing will or to include a gift in a new will. Our legacy brochure, For Children. For Change. Forever, contains some suggested wording you could take to your solicitor. Call 01908 84 10 60 to request your pack or download the legacy brochure »
Making a will means you can control what happens to your money and property after you die and appoint an executor to deal with your affairs in the event of your death. If you die without a valid will your estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, which would mean that only your nearest family would benefit. However, the division between your close family under the intestacy rules may not be what you would have wanted and other family members, friends and favourite causes you might want to benefit would receive nothing. It could also lead to an unwanted and unavoidable tax bill on your death.