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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Millionaire leaves £1.7m to charity

MILLIONAIRE from Ambleside has secured the future of a raft of charities and organisations in South Lakeland after making generous provisions for them in her will.

Kind-hearted Ada Hillard, who died aged 95 in December, left an estate worth £13.5million.

Her legacy is now set to ensure the worthy causes that grew close to her heart in life will continue to help others after her death.

The Waterhead resident, who was part of the Hillard super-market chain – taken over by Tesco in 1987 – has dedicated £1.7m to charities and groups throughout the district.

Some of the largest benefactors include Bay Search and Rescue, at Flookburgh, to which she donated £400,000, Keswick Mountain Rescue Team, Ambleside Football Club, Ambleside Rugby Club and Ambleside Cricket Club, and the Scouts and Guides Association, which all receive £10,000.

St Mary’s Church in Ambleside will receive £5,000, while the Bendrigg Trust will benefit from £2,500.

Mrs Hillard also chose to support national charities such as the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, the Royal NationalInstitute for the Blind, the British Heart Foundation and National Trust with cash gifts.

Described as a very private and cheeful person, Mrs Hillard, a widow, preferred to keep her considerable support of local causes quiet. But she had given hundreds of thousands of pounds to Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, founded a hospital for wildlife at Muncaster Castle and would often help private individuals with personal fund-raising missions.

Stuart Hulse, former leader of Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, said she was a very gracious person.

“She became interested in the work of the team, and of the Search and Rescue Dogs Association, and took us under her wing. She would put her mind to something and wouldn’t stop until she had achieved it. Her instinct was to help others.”

A spokesman for Bay Search and Rescue said Mrs Hillard’s support had enabled the group to buy a dedicated hovercraft, Lady Ada, and two all terrain buggies, reducing travelling time from three hours to 12 minutes.

“Ada Hillard was the greatest benefactor, supporter and respected 'honorary' member of the Bay Search and Rescue team for many years. Decades earlier, a member of her family had a scare with the treacherous sands and fast-moving water. Because of this, she was instrumental in sharing the team founders’ vision in offering a dedicated rescue service capable of operating in Morecambe Bay.”

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