Most people coming to our website probably don’t recognise the name above, but Margaret is the reason that Home-Start North Dorset exists and therefore the reason that you are reading this.
Margaret began Home-Start in Leicester in 1973 and led it for 25 years. In the 1980’s Home-Start was the fastest growing social franchise in the UK, spreading from the East Midlands to all four corners of the UK and into British Forces bases in Germany and Cyprus. In 1998 Margaret also founded Home-Start International in response to requests from more than 22 other countries wishing to adopt the Home-Start approach. She was awarded an OBE in 1989 and a CBE in 2001.
Today, Home-Start supports more than 33,000 families and 70,000 children each year in the UK in 288 local communities. Another 45,000 families are supported in 22 countries around the world, from Norway and Holland to Sri Lanka, and from Tanzania to Japan and Australia. This achievement from one woman, in less than 50 years is astonishing.
The charity is based on the simple premise that if parents get support and friendship from another parent, they will be better equipped to learn to cope with the many difficulties life can bring, and will be able to give their children the best possible start to their own lives.
I was privileged to meet Margaret several times. She was a dignified and modest lady and the best tribute that we can give her is to ensure that Home-Start North Dorset continues to flourish and grow giving, through our network of wonderful staff and volunteers, support to local families and continuing Margaret’s inspirational vision.