Former policewoman leaves a ‘generous bequest’ to hospice

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A FORMER police officer from Bury St Edmunds, who was West Suffolk’s first woman sergeant, bequeathed more than £191,000 to St Nicholas Hospice Care.

Brenda Mann, of Chelsea Close, Bury, died last August, aged 92, after a 12-year-long battle with cancer.

On Monday, the executors of her estate, close friends Jim Burroughs and Veronica Brunskill, handed over £191,494 to hospice staff Margaret Lee and Georgina Carr.

Miss Mann joined the police in 1951 and worked in Lowestoft and Felixstowe before a promotion in 1961 brought her to Bury.

Her move from the old East Suffolk Constabulary to the former West Suffolk Constabulary meant that she became the West Suffolk force’s first woman police sergeant.

Miss Mann, who was awarded an MBE for services to police welfare in 1993, left 70 per cent of her estate to St Nicholas Hospice Care, after spending time as a day patient on Orchard Day Therapy from 2000-2005 and counselling other cancer patients.

Gerry Fox and Pam Currie, of Orchard Day Therapy, described Miss Mann as a woman who commanded respect, who loved people and was very good with new patients.

Mrs Brunskill said: “It is great that the money came somewhere she wanted it to go. As well as the bequest, almost all her belongings went to the hospice.”

Margaret Lee, legacies officer at the hospice, said: “We are so very grateful for this generous bequest. The hospice has to raise £10,000 every day to operate, so this money will be put to very good use.

“When we are awarded a grant the money has to be allocated in a certain way, but a legacy such as this can be used where the need is most urgent. This case highlights the importance of making a will, to ensure your wishes are carried out.”

Miss Mann left the remaining 25 per cent of her estate to Southgate Church, of which she was a member, and five per cent to Angel Hill Surgery.