Weatherman fishes for more legacies

17 September 2012

Weatherman Michael Fish will mark the 25th anniversary of the 1987 storms by encouraging more people to plan for the unexpected and make sure they have a Will.

“What I’ve learned from my years of forecasting is that however prepared you are, the weather can still be unpredictable.” says Michael. “Life’s a bit like that too, that’s why we’re encouraging people to make sure they’ve got their Will sorted.”

Michael, along with other celebrities such as Dame Judi Dench and Jeremy Irons, is supporting Remember A Charity Week (17-23 September) by joining forces with charities across the UK to urge people to think about leaving a gift in their Will to good causes.

“UK charities rely heavily on gifts in Wills,” Michael added. “So during Remember A Charity Week, we’re calling on people to think about the good causes they value and make room for a charity in their Will, after they have looked after their family and friends.”

As well as raffles, tea mornings and special events in almost 3,000 charity shops nationwide, the week will see the launch of the first scheme in the UK to recognise the contribution of people who leave gifts to charity in their Wills. Throughout the week, those who have written a Will with Co-operative Legal Services will be able to update it with the addition of a charitable gift for free.

15 yellow plaques will be unveiled at charitable projects and initiatives across the UK which have been made possible thanks to donations left by supporters in their Wills, as a mark of national recognition and thanks.

Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, said: “We’ve heard a lot about legacy in the news this year. With that in mind, during Remember A Charity Week, we want people to think about whether they could leave their own legacy by including a gift to charity in their Will.”

Three quarters of Britons regularly give to charity in their lifetimes, yet only 7% currently include a charity in their Will. Nevertheless gifts in Wills are still the foundation of many of Britain’s charities, creating almost £2 billion each year, the equivalent of 19 Comic Reliefs. Without this income, many charities would simply not exist and others would have to cut crucial services. Two out of three guide dogs and six out of ten life boat launches are paid for by gifts in Wills, as is over a third of Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work.