Margaret Harrison's Story
‘My Fellowship gave me a way of life’ is how Margaret Harrison described her travels to the USA in 1973.
Whilst working as a voluntary worker in the then Children’s Department of the City of Leicester, Margaret developed a growing belief that, as well as volunteers supporting individual children, the families of these children required intense help. This conviction was heightened by her experience working as a volunteer in a local school, when she set up a number of voluntary playgroups and when she helped at a Family Service Unit in the city. Her discussions with professional workers in health, education and social work convinced her that a new approach was needed. Margaret undertook her Fellowship, and upon her return she set up Home-Start in Leicester.
Forty years on, Home-Start UK has become the UK’s leading family support organisation. It has nearly 16,000 family support volunteers helping more than 32,000 families every year – giving over one million hours of time. Home-Start now operates in 22 countries and on five continents across the world. Margaret was involved as a Life-long President until her death in August 2015, and was awarded a CBE in recognition of her work for the community.