Mystery of £130,000 legacy left to hospital

tis  Harrogate District Hospital exterior.  101020M1a.
tis Harrogate District Hospital exterior. 101020M1a.

A £130,000 personal legacy from a mystery benefactor has allowed Harrogate District Hospital to develop a new stroke unit.

Friends of Harrogate Hospital said the donation is the biggest individual legacy it has received in its 46-year history and £100,000 has been allocated to the stroke unit project.

Barbara Williams died in 2011 and bequeathed the residue of her estate, including a flat on West Park Stray to the Friends of Harrogate Hospital, though, although chairman Andy Wilkinson said very little is known about her.

Mr Wilkinson said: “We don’t know anything about her. The first we heard of it was from Mrs Williams’ solicitors in York.”

“The legacy has been a massive boost for us. We owe it to Mrs Williams to use her donation in a way that will benefit patients in a most useful and practical way.”

Barbara Williams was not a member of Friends of Harrogate Hospital. They know that she was treated in hospital herself after suffering a stroke, although they do not know where.

Plans are underway to use the money to create a four bed stroke unit in the Oakdale ward.

Mr Wilkinson explained: “The hospital wouldn’t have been able to do this without Mrs William’s donation.

“This way the donation can help a lot of local people and improve hospital staff’s ability to help.”

The Hospital Trust updated its stroke facilities about five years ago but new technology means that the improvements taking place were necessary.

Unfortunately Mrs Barbara Williams remains some what of a mystery, she is known to have only a distant relative.

Mr Wilkinson said: “It is a shame, I do wish we knew a bit more about her. We are planning to put up a plaque to commemorate her.”

There are currently no plans for the remaining £30,000.

Did you know Mrs Barbara Williams who lived at West Park Stray? If anyone who knew her could please get in touch on 01423 564321 or