A GENEROUS bequest made by a much-missed Inverclyde woman is being used to help vulnerable groups of women in Inverclyde.

Annette Clark, who was secretary at Greenock Arts Guild from 1953 until 1969, passed away in August 2020 just weeks before her 95th birthday.

In her time at the Guild, Annette helped the Greenock institution go from strength to strength, and was instrumental in its success.

When Annette passed away her best friend Elizabeth's children Jean Bodie and Jamie Russell acted as executors as she had no family of her own.

They discovered that kind-hearted Annette had left £5,000 to the Beacon Arts Centre in her will to show her appreciation for the arts in Inverclyde.

The funding will now help run the Beacon's Inverclyde Women Create! programme, a project set up to help recently-migrated women who have just arrived in Inverclyde.

Annette's 'niece' Jean Bodie says her 'aunt' would be very proud of how the money is being used.

Jean said: "Annette would be so pleased and proud that the money is making a difference in a practical way.

"She always had a strong connection to the Arts Guild and the Beacon so the project really fits in with the very essence of Annette."

Annette, nee Johnson, was born and brought up in Greenock and lived on the Esplanade for many years.

She married Eoghan in August 1969 and in later life, moved to Strachur and then to Dunoon.

The hard-working community volunteer received an MBE for her work with the WRVS.

Jean described Annette as a forceful person who would always go the extra mile to help people.

She said: "Annette was always a big part of my life.

"She met my mum when they were teenagers and they were very close all through the years.

"Annette was a determined person and always got the job done.

"She loved organising things and that was definitely one of her strengths.

"She was always involved in the community and was known for her kindness and generosity.

"She was definitely held in very high regard."

The Beacon's Inverclyde Women Create! project will support vulnerable local women and women who have located from places like Afghanistan.

Crafting activities will help ladies embed themselves into their communities, build confidence and friendships, and reduce social isolation.

Jean says the use of the universal language of crafting to help people will create a fitting legacy in Annette's honour.

She added: "The project really fits in with the spirit of Annette's life.

"She loved knitting, sewing, origami and flower arranging.

"Annette would be delighted to know that the money is making such a difference to people."

Pauline Kane, director of the Beacon Arts Centre, added: "We know Annette was extremely passionate about the arts, the community and having fun, so using her very kind donation to fund the Inverclyde Women Create! programme is a fitting tribute to her.

"The programme creates a space for recently-migrated women to come together and share through creative expression.

"This donation has made it possible for us to continue to expand this important programme to a growing network of women over the next year and we are immensely grateful."