Lesley Gorski a WWOOFing legacy

Mar 17, 2023

Last year, we received the sombre news that long-standing WWOOFer Lesley Gorski had passed away. We were very saddened to hear this news as Lesley was well known by WWOOF staff, and had been one of the last remaining old-school members still using the printed handbook. Lesley had said she intended to WWOOF into her 80s but regretfully, she didn’t quite make it.

Shortly after we heard the news, we were contacted and told that Lesley had left WWOOF UK a sizable donation in her will. We were truly heartened to learn how much she loved WWOOF and supported our ethos and mission.

image credit:  ©RLWT

Lesley was in her 70s and still every inch the active volunteer. She had a real passion for growing and all things WWOOFy. As well as being a member of WWOOF UK for many years, she’d also WWOOFed in France, Italy, Germany, India, Japan and New Zealand. Lesley was involved in a good many projects over the years, including being filmed for A Simple Life whilst visiting a host in Wales. Lesley also wrote a blog for us on her experiences and thoughts about WWOOFing. This is a short excerpt:

“I was a lucky girl; my ancestors were smallholders and my Grandad imparted his knowledge willingly to an inquisitive youngster. Care of his soil was crucial, composting was an art and companion planting was the norm. Even before the phrase had been coined for the organic movement and the general populous, I was digging bean trenches, turning compost, caring for poultry and other animals whilst growing and learning to respect the circle of life, the seasons and mostly the environment in which we all live.

I still feel privileged to be invited into hosts’ homes and lives after all these years and perhaps over a hundred placements. But, hey, who’s counting? I have learned so many different skills; practical and culinary, practised languages and passed on my knowledge, if appropriate, as I interacted and aged over the past years.”

As well as WWOOF UK, Lesley left legacies for the Railway Land Trust and the Trust for Conservation Volunteers (TCV, formerly BTCV). All three organisations will greatly benefit from Lesley’s generosity. We are immensely grateful that Lesley chose to support WWOOF. Her kind legacy will help us sustain and build WWOOF for the future ensuring others can benefit from the experiences that meant so much to her.

If you’ve benefited from WWOOF and you believe in its values and ethos then perhaps remembering WWOOF in your will is something to consider. We are an educationally focussed registered charity – our aim is to help as many people as possible learn and grow through experiencing an organic, sustainable and kinder way of life.

The final words we’ll leave to the lady herself – thank you Lesley Gorski.

“I hope this missive encourages the reader to keep on WWOOFing, at any age, or to try if you have never thought of doing such a thing.”

How to leave a gift for WWOOF UK in your will

If WWOOF has had a positive impact on your life, then please consider leaving us a gift in your will to help us to continue to grow the WWOOF movement in the UK. All gifts are gratefully received, whether it is enough to fund a leaflet, a bursary, an event, or even a staff member.

If you already have a will writer or solicitor then all you need is to take the information below to them. They can either re-write your will or just add a codicil (amendment document). If you want to add a codicil yourself then here’s a free template. Make sure your solicitor / will writer / executor knows where this is stored (ideally with your existing will). 

Charity name – WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)

Registered Address – 61 Bridge Street, Kington, Herefordshire, England, HR5 3DJ

Charity number – England and Wales 1126220 or Scotland SC045524

Choose what kind of gift you want to leave WWOOF:

– an exact sum of money

– a percentage of your estate

– a specific gift (such as a plot of land)

For more information & advice on how to write a will and give to charity go to Remember a Charity

Donate now

If you’d like to make a donation now or set up a monthly donation then please use one of the buttons below.

Grower Opportunity – Suffolk

Grower Opportunity – Suffolk

There's an exciting vacancy at Berry Farm Projects, who've been WWOOF hosts since 2009, running their organic market garden, woodland, orchard and campsite. This could be a perfect opportunity for an experienced WWOOFer looking to put what they've learned into...

Episode 9 – Scarlett Penn

Episode 9 – Scarlett Penn

Scarlett Penn is our guest on the 9th Episode of the WWOOFCast. She has a deep knowledge about the WWOOF history and is the coordinator of WWOOF UK.

‘Hive Mind’ Letters to the editor – Beltane 23

‘Hive Mind’ Letters to the editor – Beltane 23

Do you have a question for the 'hive mind'? Do you have any answers to these questions? Do you have any top tips you want to share? Feel free to email the editor - editor@wwoof.org.uk Questions from our membership Funky veg What's the funkiest thing you are growing...

Jude Dunn Land Fund and ‘The Microbial Forest’

Jude Dunn Land Fund and ‘The Microbial Forest’

When my good friend, Jude Dunn, died last year a couple of friends and I took up the challenge to "establish a grant or loan giving Trust Fund to help women living and working in Scotland who are involved in sustainable agriculture/land-based activities and soil...

Capital Growth Project Officer

Capital Growth Project Officer

An opportunity has arisen to support Sustain UK's London network with the task of helping people gain access to land for nature & climate-friendly food growing. Capital Growth is an initiative of Sustain - the alliance for better food and farming - and is a...