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Federer's win means £100k for Oxfam

Posted by Al Kinley Digital Influencer

9th Jul 2012

What a showdown! Oxfam was torn throughout this year's Wimbledon final - we wanted a win for Britain, but we also had a sizeable vested interest in Federer taking home the trophy.

Why? Oxfam supporter Nicholas Newlife left his entire estate to Oxfam when he died in February 2009. This included the outcomes of a series of outstanding bets he had placed. One of his bets was on Federer winning Wimbledon seven times before 2020 - which he finally achieved last night. That means Oxfam are winners too - of more than £100,000!

William Hill's Graham Sharpe, who took the bet from Mr Newlife, said, "Normally we'd have mixed feelings about paying out such a hefty six figure sum, but in this instance it seems that it was meant to be, and we are delighted that a sad story has had a very positive conclusion."

Legacies (people leaving gifts in their Wills) are extremely important to Oxfam and, as Mr Newlife shows, they can come in all shapes and sizes. Oxfam benefits from the generosity of around 600 legacies a year - that's £13m.

Every time someone leaves a gift in their Will, whether it's a few pounds or a few thousand pounds, it helps make a difference to millions of lives around the world. For example, £500 could provide twenty basic latrines, such as those Oxfam sent after the Haiti earthquake. And £3,700 could equip an entire special needs school with teaching and learning aids.

Unusual legacies we've received

  • A pair of gold teeth and a dentist's chair from a former dentist
  • The royalties from a number of books and plays, including Doctor Finlay's Casebook, which was on TV from 1962 to 1971
  • A letter written by Florence Nightingale, which was sold for several hundred pounds at auction
  • Racing greyhounds
  • Shares in the original Woolwich Arsenal Football Club. The shares had been overlooked in 1920 and were traced through four subsequent estates. When they were finally sold in 2009, each share was worth £6,965.

Oxfam has received the proceeds from sales of art collections and antique furniture, and gifts of jewellery, books and clothes. Whenever possible we arrange for these to be sold in our shops. In the case of antique furniture, Oxfam relies on the expertise of auctioneers to value the items and get the best possible price for them in auction. Perhaps the most attractive item sold on behalf of Oxfam in an auction was a Regency Chaise Longue, which sold for £8,000.

Leaving a gift to Oxfam in your Will is a very easy way of ensuring the work you believe in can continue into the future. If you'd like any help or advice on making a Will and leaving a legacy, please talk to our legacy team on 0300 200 1331 or visit our legacy pages.

Other ways to donate to Oxfam

Blog post written by Al Kinley

Digital Influencer

More by Al Kinley