Will power so vital for the future of HEAL children, says legacy adviser Sally

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The third HEAL Day celebrations were filled with dance, song and humour

HEAL volunteer Sally Young and her husband John visited Paradise Village during the third HEAL Day celebrations earlier this year and came away happy in the knowledge they had promised legacy gifts to HEAL.

Sally, as a legacy adviser herself, knows all about the power of leaving a charitable gift in your will and how vital these are in helping small charities like HEAL to plan for the future and continue their work on a long-term basis.

“John and I were incredibly lucky to be able to visit Paradise this year, even just for a couple of days. During our stay we were able to join in the wonderful third HEAL Day celebrations with lots of singing, dancing and humour,” said Sally, who was so moved by meeting the children that she now volunteers as HEAL’s UK sponsorship secretary.

“The Paradise children are incredibly talented and gave a really entertaining and enthralling show. In fact, our whole experience was amazing, meeting so many of the wonderful children who live, and thrive, at the Village.

“On my return home one of my friends asked me if I had wanted to bring one of the children home with me and much as I would love to, I know they are so very happy in Paradise, with their brothers and sisters and friends, being cared for, and encouraged and supported so well by their housemothers, teaching staff and volunteers.

“They have lots of fresh air and exercise, a great school and beautiful surroundings… it’s no wonder they are so smiley and proud!”

No sooner had Sally and John arrived back home in Stilton, Cambridgeshire, than she was accepting an invitation to attend a Royal reception at Buckingham Palace with HEAL founder Dr Satya Prasad Koneru – and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect!

“Both Prasad and I were honoured to have the opportunity to meet and be received by The Queen and Duk/e of Edinburgh personally in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace,” said Sally.

“Once all guests had been received, The Queen and all other members of the Royal Family joined us in the Picture Gallery and once again Prasad and I both had the opportunity to speak with Her Majesty and tell her about HEAL.

“I was so pleased to have visited HEAL Paradise Village shortly before the event so that I was able to relay my pride at what Dr Prasad, our volunteers, sponsors and major donors have achieved there and across the children’s villages.”

Sally Young meets The Queen at Buckingham Palace, while HEAL founder Dr Satya Prasad Koneru looks on. Picture copyright of HM The Queen and BCA Ltd

Sally Young meets The Queen at Buckingham Palace, while HEAL founder Dr Satya Prasad Koneru looks on. Picture copyright of HM The Queen and BCA Ltd

Sally happened upon HEAL during a holiday in India when she was sent a copy of a newspaper article written by a former south Wales schoolfriend, Jem King, who she had not seen for almost 40 years. Jem, a long time HEAL supporter and child sponsor, was living and volunteering at Paradise Village at the time and had written about his experiences.

Sally soon got in touch and was moved by stories of children, some orphaned or abandoned, being given the prospect of escaping the Indian poverty trap and building a hope-filled future through HEAL’s education programme. It wasn’t long before the Youngs were planning their next trip to India… and that life-changing visit to Paradise Village!

“I know these children, who have all experienced such difficult circumstances in their young lives, will go on to do so much and lead happy and healthy lives as a result of their time at HEAL,” adds Sally.

“John and I had already included a gift in our wills to help sustain Paradise in the future and, having recently visited, we are wholly confident our faith and trust in Dr Prasad and all at HEAL is totally justified.

“If you haven’t visited Paradise and are able to do so I can guarantee you will have an amazing, uplifting time and will be welcomed with open arms by the team, and the children. We will be back as soon as we possibly can and it will now definitely be a regular feature on our holiday itinerary.”

If you think you might be interested in leaving a legacy gift to HEAL in your will, please visit the How to Help section on the HEAL website, or Sally will be happy to answer your questions if you email her at sallyjyoung@btinternet.com