Sheila Woodcock, 87, was from NSW, Australia who lived a pretty private life enjoying acting, travel, pets, chocolate, and horticulture. She died in May 2018 dividing her $14 million worth estate among 15 charities.
Image: Max Mason-Hubers/ Australian Community Media
She was unmarried and had no kids but she formed several close friendships in her life. She often received letters from various charities, thanking her for one thing or the other. Despite this, no one from her family or friend circle had any idea about how much property she possesses.
Kent Woodcock, a second cousin knew that Sheila was prosperous but even he didn’t have a hint of the $14 million worth estate she possessed. Being her guardian and good friend, Kent took up the responsibility to enact her will and share her estate among the 15 charities.
He invited representatives from all the 15 Australian charities to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service facility and told them about Sheila’s will. The charity representatives were “gobsmacked” on hearing this news.
He said, “She did not share her will with anybody—I only found out in the last six months”.
The woman gave $1.375 million to the Helicopter Rescue Service as a gift. The receiving organization found it “deeply humbling”, they plan to use it for funding high-tech equipment for training as a live hoist tower and fidelity winch simulator.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service received the same amount for purchasing new engines for planes and other required equipment.
She donated another $1.375 million from her $14 million worth estate to the RSPCA, NSW. In the past, she had already given $200,000 to this organization. The money will be utilized in shifting the vet hospital in a new building.
“What a transformational community member—it blows me away,” said the CEO of RSPCA Steve Coleman.
Another charity, the Smith Family’s Partnership received $340,000 which they’re calling “transformative”. The donated amount will be used for a program called Learning for Life and the Artcastle program. It will help children by giving them easy educational opportunities. They will create a scholarship- Sheila Woodcock Memorial Scholarship.
Generous donations were also given to The Garvan Institute of Medical Research, The Scots Kirk Presbyterian Church Hamilton, Guide Dogs Australia, Diabetes NSW, and The Salvation Army.
She also left some money to World Vision, the Australian Red Cross, The Heart Foundation, Vision Australia, Breast Cancer Trials, and Cancer Council, for helping with their research work.
Kent commented saying, “I don’t think anybody [in Newcastle] has ever done something like this and I don’t know if we’ll ever see it again”.