A LEADING community figure in Hedge End has died at the age of 94.

Helga Ralls was a well-known face in the town, having lived there for 60 years.

She was organiser and treasurer of Hedge End Community Care for many years. The group oversaw Allison House, a day centre for older and disabled people.

Helga also received a good citizen award from community magazine The Informer.

Born in Essen in Germany in 1926, exactly a week before Queen Elizabeth II, Helga had an English mother and a German father who she lost aged just ten.

As a teenager, she fled Czechoslovakia, where she was working as a nurse, to avoid the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe, moving to the UK soon after.

Helga initially lived in Portsmouth where she worked in the pathology lab of Queen Alexandra Hospital.

She married Harry in 1955 and the couple were together until his death in 1997. They moved to Hedge End in 1961 and had two children, Nick and Andrea.

Helga was a homemaker who was heavily involved in community life. As well as being involved in the organisational and financial side of things, she was a hands on voluntary worker for Allison House, who particularly enjoyed getting involved in the coffee mornings, from the 1970s to around 2010.

She was a great cook, loved her dogs and played for the local WI darts team.

Helga’s funeral took place in Hedge End earlier this month. She leaves her two children and five grandchildren.