Margaret founded the Inside Out Trust in 1994, pioneering work in restorative justice and developing the basic business model that we now follow. We named our new charity after her because we share her values that people who have done wrong should be given the opportunity to make amends by doing useful work that helps others less fortunate. Margaret is not on our board or staff, but she has been advising us on fundraising and was instrumental in our successful application to the Monument Trust. Not content with that, she is in touch with another half-dozen trusts, seeking funding to enable us to run more projects in more prisons.
Here’s what she says about herself:
I’ve spent most of the last 20 years doing work that aims to improve the lives of marginalised people.
In 1993, I founded the Inside Out Trust, a charity which set up restorative justice based projects inside prisons throughout England and Wales; I ran it for ten years until July 2004. Associated with this, I chaired the Board of the Restorative Justice Consortium (now Council) for 6 years. In 2007 I was part of the team that set up Circles UK to expand the work of circles of support and accountability in England and Wales. This is the Quaker initiative that works with released sex offenders within the community. I have chaired the Board of Circles UK since it achieved charitable status in December 2007. In October 2010 we were given the Longford Prize, and in May 2011, we won in the very prestigious Charity Awards, both a marvellous recognition of our work. I have recently completed seven years as an Independent Member of the Parole Board. I’ve been a magistrate since 1990 and specialise in the Family Proceedings and Drug Rehabilitation Requirement Courts.
Outside the Criminal Justice System, I’ve recently completed six years as churchwarden in our parish church and this involves being a trustee of several community charities; I sing alto in the church choir, possibly the only organisation which includes an activity shared by people between the ages of 8 and 80! I chair the Board of the Hurst Festival, a 17-day long annual extravaganza which is now in its seventh year and strives to engage all groups in the community. I’ve always lived in Mid Sussex and can’t imagine being out of sight of the South Downs for very long. My husband, Kevin, is a social entrepreneur, preacher, writer, singer, and chairs the Board of the RNIB, a charity on a somewhat larger scale than any of mine! He has recently published his first novel, Perpetua. We have two children (one lives ten miles away and the other ten thousand miles away in Australia); between them they have seven children of ages between 10 and 23.