Family to honour Windsor volunteer who devoted her life to helping others

A Windsor community stalwart who devoted her life to helping others will be honoured this month by her family and friends following her death in January.

Banchhaya Roy died in January following a long battle with cancer however due to COVID-19 restrictions the family could only hold a small funeral.

Banchhaya, affectionately known as Jhunua to her family and Benu to the community, spent more than 20 years volunteering for the Samaritans charity and Age Concern Windsor.

Her younger son Brijesh said she answered thousands of calls and emails under her Samaritan name Rita supporting people in distress with nowhere else to turn.

The 71-year-old also organised events for the Windsor branch of Age Concern, even driving the bus, ran summer workshops in Dedworth and coached badminton.

She created the Kankhal Medical Aid charity – which fundraised for the Ramakrishna Mission Sevashram charitable hospital in Kankhal, Haridwar.

Brijesh said before she died on January 21 she made sure her husband Barun got the first dose of his COVID-19 vaccine.

He added: “She was very active in the community, she put on so many events raising money for the community hospital.

“She devoted her life to supporting others and asked for nothing in return.”

The family, which includes her older son Bratin, adopted daughter Pia and four grandchildren will be honouring her in Windsor on September 19 and are also fundraising for Age UK, Cancer Research UK and the Samaritans.

Once travel restrictions ease they will travel to India and take her ashes on pilgrimage to the sacred Ganges River in Kankhal, Haridwar, near the charitable hospital she supported.

A memorial page has also been set up. Visit where donations can be left.

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