Leeds woman leaves 'wonderful' £450,000 legacy to Royal National Institute of Blind People's Talking Books service
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Doreen Gough from Gipton left just under £450,000 to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to be used for the benefit of its Talking Books service.
Her late husband Derek, who had sight loss, was a keen user of the service and it was his experience that inspired the donation.
Although he had died a long time before her, Doreen had decided that she wanted to acknowledge how RNIB had helped her husband to enjoy reading again by donating her whole estate to the charity.
The Reverend Diane Lofthouse, a long-standing friend and executor of the estate, said: "Derek and Doreen were such a lovely couple. They loved each other’s company and especially enjoyed reading.
"Doreen told me how Derek felt a bit lost when his sight started to deteriorate and that he was delighted when he discovered RNIB’s Talking Books.
"Doreen always remembered how Talking Books helped Derek enjoy reading again and the couple would often listen to a book together. It was because of this that Doreen made the decision to donate her estate to RNIB and I am so pleased to fulfil her final wish.
"I hope that this money will give other people with sight loss the chance to enjoy many books for years to come."
The money has now been presented by Diane to RNIB at the charity’s Talking Books recording studio in Camden, London.
Lorna McPherson-Reed, the charity's head of legacy fundraising, said: "More than one third of our work is only made possible thanks to the generosity and kindness of people like Doreen, who choose to leave gifts in their will.
"We are so grateful to Doreen for this wonderful donation. RNIB believes no child or adult should be held back due to their sight loss and knows how reading helps build the skills and confidence needed to participate fully in life."
The generous legacy will be used to fund three new RNIB recording studio pods and one of these pods will be named ‘The Gough Pod’ in Doreen and Derek’s memory.
The money will also go towards an ambitious public library engagement project, aimed at raising awareness of RNIB’s library of 40,000 books, and how they can be accessed digitally, within public libraries across the UK.
During the visit to RNIB’s Talking Books studio, Diane and her daughter Angela also had the opportunity to narrate a children’s book.
The book is called Omar, the Bees and Me by author Helen Mortimer and is already part of RNIB’s Talking Books library, with a dedication to Derek and Doreen at the start.