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Mrs Dinsmore's story

Chosing to leave a gift in your will is a very personal decision. A retiree from Teedale shares her motives to gift to charity in her will.

Mrs Ruth Dinsmore, who lives in Teesdale, decided to leave a donation in her will to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) after one of the charity’s helicopters landed in her village.

The charity’s actions that day enabled a local resident to be treated and then swiftly flown to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, saving them a lengthy road journey and probably their life.

Mrs Dinsmore said the knowledge that there was a local charitable organisation to be called upon in such an emergency, and the fact helicopter could land in such small space, made such a strong impression on her.

She added: “I’m in my car a lot and take great care, I but I am well aware of other people’s driving, and know that an accident is a possibility, even if it isn’t my fault."

“I could easily need the air ambulance, and because it doesn’t get funded by the Government, I decided it would be something I would like to leave money to.”

Last year, 38 per cent of the charity’s income came from gifts left in wills.

Mandy Drake, deputy director at GNAAS, said: “We could not continue to provide the service we do without gifts left by supporters in their wills.

“We aren’t always able to thank the person responsible for the gift, but we certainly put the money to good use in supporting the aircraft and the hundreds of missions they fly every year.”

Mrs Dinsmore has taken her interest in the charity to another level by volunteering. She will be collecting money, helping on the events stalls and gathering prizes for raffles.

She said: "I prefer to be out doing something rather than sitting around as I like to keep busy and if in any way I can help, I would like to be useful.   

“I would not be able to speak to big groups but the GNAAS staff said that I don't have to do that and that they’ll find jobs I want to do. People think you have to give up a lot of time and travel, but that’s not the case.

“There are such a wide range of things to do, and I can decide for myself where I go, so I can fit this in with my other activities and commitments.”

Mrs Drake added: “We are very pleased to have Mrs Dinsmore as a supporter and volunteer.  We have a wide range of volunteering roles for anyone wanting to follow her example.”

Mrs Dinsmore was born and raised in London but moved North when she fell in love and married Sunderland man Kennedy Dinsmore in 1964. The couple moved from Sunderland to Teesdale in 1967 where her husband ran the well-known K and R Dinsmore fashion store in Barnard Castle. 

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