Shining a light on Lillian's story

Friday 08 September 2023
Grandma and grandchild looking out window.

We are spotlighting Lillian and the lasting impact she’s had on vulnerable children and families across the UK by leaving a gift in her will.

This is the remarkable story of Lillian, who dedicated her career to supporting children at the National Children's Homes (now Action for Children), and left a lasting impact on vulnerable children and families across the UK by leaving a gift in her will.

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Lillian's story

At 27, Lillian moved to London to start her journey into the sisterhood – a religious community of women of the church. She trained for three years and joined officially after her ordination in June 1963. In July, Lillian was then placed into one of our homes where she devoted her time to supporting the home’s children and ensuring that they had a safe and happy childhood.

Group photo with Lilian who worked at a National Children's Home

Lillian’s niece, Hilary, reached out to us to share her aunt’s story.

My Aunt always talked fondly about her time working for the National Children’s Homes. Some of her best friends were her colleagues from the sisterhood. Throughout her life she always cared for the children she met.

Hilary, Lillian's niece

Even when Lillian wasn’t working, she devoted her life to children. Hilary shared stories about her involvement with both the girl's and boy's brigade, and how she always supported families that had children or were expecting a baby, even outside of work.

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A letter from a child Lillian looked after:

Years after her time at the National Children’s Home, Lillian would still receive letters from the children telling her about their latest activities and progress in school. Her impact on their lives and the warmth she showed them was clear.

Letter received by Lilian from child she looked after

“Dear Sister Lilian, I hope you are well and happy. We have not seen you for ages! We've been told that you will be coming, so I hope it will be soon. I hope to go out with my friend this afternoon. This year the home is going to camp again, but we don't know where yet. Have you still got your little van?”

A child that Lillian looked after whilst working at the National Children's Home

How leaving a gift helps

Lillian’s dedication to helping children did not end when she left the National Children's Home; she chose to leave a gift in her will to Action for Children. By doing so, Lilian continues to care for those most vulnerable.

I hope the gift she left in her will continues to help the disadvantaged children that Action for Children care for.

Hilary, Lillian's niece
Grandma and grandchild looking out window.

Thanks to Lillian’s gift, we can continue to help keep children safe and healthy. Over 24% of our donations last year (2022) came from gifts in wills; and through these gifts, we helped change the lives of 604,885 children, young people, and their families.

If you would like to learn more about leaving a legacy to Action for Children, you can visit our Gifts in Wills page or email [email protected]

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