Margaret Harrison, founder of Home-Start, dies aged 77

The founder and life president of the global family support charity died in mid-August

Margaret Harrison
Margaret Harrison

Tributes have been paid to Margaret Harrison, founder and life president of the family support charity Home-Start, who died last month aged 77.

Harrison founded the organisation in 1973 and led it for 25 years. Today it supports more than 33,000 families and 70,000 children in 288 communities in the UK. A further 45,000 families are supported in 22 other countries.

The charity said that Harrison, who received an OBE in 1989 and was appointed CBE in 2001, died at home on 16 August. Her family have not released details about the cause of her death.

James Sainsbury, chair of Home-Start UK, said: "The 25 years of Margaret’s leadership seemed blessed. There was patronage from Princess Diana and then Princess Alexandra; endorsement of Home-Start’s approach from archbishops, authors such as Sue Townsend, academics, army colonels, ministers and prime ministers; and constant enquiries from groups that wanted to set up Home-Starts in their communities, recognising the immense value of the approach."

Rob Parkinson, chief executive of Home-Start UK, said Harrison had remained actively involved with the charity.

"Most recently she agreed to judge an award in her name for outstanding family support among Home-Start volunteers, he said. "The fact that she was doing this as her own health faltered and recovered, and while she cared increasingly for Basil, her beloved husband of more than four decades, is testament to her phenomenal energy, kindness and resilience."

Messages of condolence can be placed on the charity’s Facebook page.

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