Suffolk piano teacher strikes the right chord with generous £1million donation

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A much-loved music teacher from Suffolk has brought hope to hundreds of children in sub-Saharan Africa by leaving an incredible legacy of over a million pounds.

Helen Ruddock was so inspired by the work of The Rotary Foundation UK (RFUK) charity that she bequeathed her money to a perpetual fund which supports projects to provide clean water and sanitation to those who need it. She passed away in 2015 at the age of 96 and had no children.

Alison Budge from Ashtons Legal, who provided legal advice to Helen Ruddock said: “We are seeing more and more clients leaving money to good causes in their Wills, and know how much these charities rely on legacy gifts. I knew Helen for many years both as a friend and a client and I greatly appreciated her lively character and indefatigable spirit. Helen was very explicit in her wishes and it was a pleasure assisting her in setting up the Helen Ruddock Foundation Endowed Fund.”

A former pupil of Helen’s and a friend of 40 years, Rotarian Mike Harrington-Spier described her as a very money-wise lady: “Helen was thrifty and prudent with finances but so generous as a person. During her long life, she helped so many to fulfil their promise, it was said to me that families were taught by Helen for three generations and would never have known music without her. It is typical of her that she wanted her legacy to help those families who suffer the most.” It was through Mike that Helen had learned of the valuable work carried out by Rotary International.

Fulfilling her wishes, the spendable earnings from her gift, known as the Helen Ruddock Foundation Endowed Fund, will exclusively fund water and sanitation projects to improve the provision of clean water and hygiene practices in Africa through the Rotary Global Grants programme.


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