Margaret Jean had humble beginnings and a highly complex family background. This made her determined to work and fight hard for a stable and loving home life.
She married young and had three daughters in quick succession before leaving her extended family in North London to move to the shiny new town of Stevenage where she knew no one but from where she started to build a new life for her family.
She inspires me because she did this when she was so young with no strong role models who could show her how or offer any kind of support. My dad worked two jobs and she worked as well as caring for us and doing the best for her daughters.
She taught us how to work hard, how to stand up for ourselves, to believe in ourselves and how to love each other. She gave us feminism and we gave that to our own daughters.
The reason this inspires me is because she had to work it out one step at a time and she never gave up. It meant encouraging me to stand on my own two feet and be the first person in our family to go onto further education.
It meant enrolling at night school in something she didn’t want to study to sit beside my sister and support her learning. It meant supporting my baby sister through and out of a terrible relationship. And more …
It wasn’t ever easy and there was so much learning on the way but she never stops fighting even today. When my dad died we taught her how to use a mobile (she is now prolific on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) before packing her off to Nepal to volunteer for three months in an orphanage.
She now 81 and still adventuring, as she builds a house and shows her grandchildren the way to love life. However the most inspiring thing is the extraordinary love that she gives and inspires in everyone who meets her. Not all girls and women are as lucky as we did…
-Laura Sercombe, Chief Executive Officer
Take part in the #SheInspiredME campaign
Every one of us will have a woman whose achievements, behaviours or persistence have inspired us. Why not support our work with girls and young women by sharing who has inspired you to celebrate International Women’s Day? They could be a family member, a celebrity, a teacher, or anyone in between.
All you have to do is:
- Make your donation at girlsfriendlysociety.org.uk/tbg
- Then, share the donation link, along with who you picked and why
- Finally, nominate five others to do the same! Don’t forget to tag GFS in your post too.
Plus, from 8-15 March, The Big Give will double your donation, so your support will go twice as far. Funds raised during this campaign will be used to hold Regional fund day meet ups that connect GFS girls with girls from other groups in their region for a day of friendship, activities and laughter. After nearly two years of isolation during COVID, these fun days are a huge deal to the girls and your support in making them happen would be amazing.