It is with great sadness that Home-Start announces that Margaret Harrison, founder and life president of Home-Start, the UK’s largest voluntary family support charity, died at home on Sunday 16th August 2015.
Margaret began the charity in Leicester in 1973 and led it for 25 years. In the 1980s 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 base 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.