£400,000 gift to Exmouth charities

PUBLISHED: 14:23 19 June 2010

TWO vital Exmouth charity lifelines received a massive cash boost worth £200,000 each this week thanks to a legacy.

TWO vital Exmouth charity lifelines received a massive cash boost worth 200,000 each this week thanks to a legacy.

Exmouth hotelier Josie Hall, who died last summer, left 600,000 to be split evenly between Exmouth Hospital League of Friends, Exmouth and Lympstone Hospiscare, and Devon Air Ambulance Trust.

And the cheques were presented yesterday afternoon at East Devon Golf Club - Josie captained the ladies in 2000.

For more than 30 years Josie ran The Royal Beacon Hotel and then Alliston House Hotel in Salterton Road.

Lynne Elson of Exmouth and Lympstone Hospiscare said: "We are overwhelmed by her generosity.

"It costs 200,000 a year to run the charity, with 95 pence of every pound going into care so this is most welcome."

Helna Holt, Chief Executive of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust said: "We are truly grateful to Josie.

"She will continue to leave a lasting gift to the community and county that she lived in."

Mavis Prideaux, chairman of Exmouth Hospital's League of Friends was friends with Josie for 63 years, and said: "We started school at the same time, we played golf together, tennis together and bowled together.

"Sadly her son (Julian) died (in 1992) and she had no immediate family and I think she wanted to help as many people as she could.

"She always took a keen interest in the work of our committee and this money will mean we can continue our work."

Josie's cousin David Lockwood said: "I am only too delighted to carry out her last wishes. Her heart was in the right place."

Alan Pratt, Josie's financial adviser for 15 years, added: "She was very kind hearted, right up until the end.

"When she died she was in the middle of helping sort out the estate of a neighbour who was in a nursing home.

"She was very generous but seemed to be too busy to spend her money.

"She didn't want it to go to the tax man and instead wanted to help local people."

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