Charity stalwart who gave her all to causes

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A SHEFFIELD woman who received the MBE for her tireless charity work has died.

Vina Ludlam, who was 95, raised thousands of pounds for organisations including Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, Parents’ Association of Children with Tumours and Leukaemia, Weston Park Hospital, supporters of deaf and blind people and the RNLI.

For 26 years she volunteered with the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, working in the hospital shop and going on the rounds with a trolley, and was the longest-serving member when she retired.

She helped to run the scouts at St Oswald’s Church in Millhouses and social nights at the church and she ran sequence dances at Smithy Wood and Gatefield Clubs.

In latter years, as the first resident of Ranulf Court retirement complex in Abbeydale Road South, she became virtually the social secretary, organising activities and helping fellow residents to keep fit.

Vina, whose full name was Esther Malvina, was married to Bert Ludlam, managing director of cutlery firm Cooper Ludlam, and son David recalled this week how this “slip of a lass” once ran a buffing shop at the factory.

She died in the Northern General Hospital after breaking her hip in a fall.

David, who lives in Millhouses, said she was “bright, alert and she certainly had a brain on her”. Despite being almost deaf and blind towards the end of her life, she knew the answers to a daily crossword in a national newspaper.

Even up to last year she went for a daily walk in Millhouses Park, resting at Millhouses Bowls Club, which “almost adopted her as a mascot!”

Vina, who used to live in Totley, also leaves a son, Peter, who took over from his father at Cooper Ludlam, five grandchildren and five grandchildren.

Prince Charles presented the MBE to her in 2008. “She said to Prince Charles ‘Can I tell you something?’ People my age think your mother is doing a wonderful job.’ He smiled and said: ‘I’ll tell her!’

The funeral is at Hutcliffe Wood next Thursday (April 12) at 1.30pm, followed by a gathering at the Waggon and Horses pub in Millhouses.