Mother and daughter smiling in selfie photo

Much-loved mum and nan, Margaret Stanford, is being remembered by her daughter Heather, and her grandson Dan, when they take part in the forthcoming Derby 10k for us.

Margaret was ‘outgoing, loving and a force of nature’, as Heather explains:

“Mum was quite simply fabulous. Her answer was always ‘yes, what’s the question’. She’d go to the moon and back for anyone she cared for and she was the kind of Nan that would sneak chocolates to her grandkids as they came out of school.

“Mum was widowed in her mid-40s when my dad died from bowel cancer. My brother and I were just teenagers at the time and her whole world collapsed. Her many wonderful friends and her work helped her find ways to deal with the huge gap that had opened up in her life.”

Margaret Stanford
Margaret in our Counselling Centre at Treetops Hospice

Trained as a volunteer counsellor

Several years later, through friends, Margaret met Graham who became her life partner for almost 30 years.

After the couple moved to Melbourne in 2003, Margaret started volunteering for us and trained as a bereavement support volunteer.

“It was mum’s long-held wish to give back something from the awfulness of her experience of losing my dad. Counselling was her real calling.

She helped them in their darkest times

“For over twenty years, Mum supported countless men and women through their loss. She had such compassion and an empathy she was clearly born to share. She helped them in their darkest times and places.

As a family, we will forever remain super proud of all mum's work at Treetops. It is a source of great comfort to us to know there are hundreds of families who were supported by her.

Remembering Margaret with love and fondness

Jules Kirk, our Therapeutic Services Manager, remembers Margaret as a much-loved volunteer:

"Margaret was passionate about her work, bringing a wealth of knowledge and life experience to the role. She helped numerous adults to process their grief and begin to adjust to life without their loved one. Her approach drew on personal experience. Clients were often able to recognise the depth of warmth and empathy which stemmed from this.

Margaret had a natural way of being with others which conveyed love and care. She was able to draw alongside others, including her colleagues, offering practical support and a listening ear. We remember Margaret with love and fondness. The legacy of her work continues in the lives of her clients.

Margaret was diagnosed with cervical cancer in February 2021 and died just six months later aged 79.

An amazing comfort to fundraise in her memory

Heather explained why running the Derby 10k was so important to her and Dan:

It’s an amazing comfort and positive force to fundraise in mum’s memory. It’s been an excellent way to deal with our anger and frustration and all the emotions that come with the loss of such a dear family member.

Mother and daughter smiling
Margaret and Heather

The Derby 10k takes place on Sunday, 26 March and is suitable for all running abilities. The course begins and ends at Pride Park Stadium taking in the sights of the city centre.