Woman Massey of Darwen obituary


Doreen Massey, Woman Massey of Darwen, who has died of most cancers aged 85, devoted a protracted and busy working life primarily to bettering the lives of kids and younger folks in Britain and, subsequently, as a member of the Council of Europe, additional afield. She believed in an inclusive society and sought to problem discrimination, to defend human rights and, at any time when doable, to talk on behalf of those that didn’t themselves have a voice.

Massey was acclaimed for her appreciable moral contribution to quite a few points in public life, notably on schooling, marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, sexual well being and the misuse of medicine and alcohol. She was a forthright, courageous girl who lived life in line with the values she espoused, and in consequence was as broadly well-liked in parliaments as she had as soon as been as a schoolteacher within the playground.

Her major impetus was a perception in humanism, a philosophy she adopted in her late teenagers, having learn EM Forster’s essay What I Consider. Whereas she loved a fame for being unconventional and relished her capacity generally to shock, her strategy was tempered by humanist ideas of tolerance and sympathy.

She was director of the Household Planning Affiliation (FPA) for 5 years from 1989, having run its schooling programme for the earlier two, and president of the Brook Advisory Centres, which provide assist and recommendation to younger folks on sexual issues. She liked writing, and printed quite a few intercourse schooling manuals, together with The Lovers’ Information Encyclopedia (1996), of which she was the marketing consultant editor and which was banned in quite a few European nations. A guide of quick tales, Love on the Highway, appeared in 2013, adopted by a steamy novel, Love and Loss of life in Shanghai (2018), below the pseudonym Elizabeth J Corridor.

Doreen was born in Darwen, Lancashire, the daughter of a guide employee, Jack Corridor, and his spouse, Mary Ann (nee Sharrock). She was head lady at Darwen grammar college and was inspired to go to college by considered one of her lecturers. In 1961 she graduated from Birmingham College with a BA in French, including a diploma in schooling the next 12 months and an MA from the College of London in 1965. She was a number one member of the scholars’ union and received blues in hockey and cricket.

After a 12 months’s graduate service abroad in Gabon, central Africa, from 1962, Massey taught at South Hackney college in east London for 3 years, after which within the US, at Springfield college in Philadelphia, for an extra two. She labored for the Pre-Faculty Playgroups Affiliation (1973-77) and returned to educating at Walsingham college, London, till 1983. She pursued her curiosity in private, social and well being schooling (PSHE) as an advisory trainer for the Inside London Well being Authority (1983-85), and would later be credited with securing the inclusion of PSHE on the varsity curriculum. She managed the programme for younger folks on the Well being Training Council (1985-87) earlier than shifting to the FPA.

Massey took her advocacy for younger folks – she as soon as spoke of how a lot she loved educating “tough” adolescent women – on to the nationwide and worldwide stage after becoming a member of the Home of Lords in 1999, but in addition continued with public work as chair of the Nationwide Therapy Company for substance misuse (2002-12). A member of a spread of parliamentary choose committees on topics protecting her experience, she grew to become an efficient, influential working peer. She chaired an inquiry in 2014 into the remedy of kids by the police forces of England and Wales. Her report highlighting the dearth of agreed follow and process was described as “an eye-opener”.

A member of the meeting of the Council of Europe from 2016, she was its rapporteur on adolescent well being in Europe (2017-19) and in 2017, as chair of the meeting’s subcommittee on youngsters, she organised a groundbreaking seminar on youngsters’s psychological well being and child-friendly justice.

She was an lively member of a number of all-party parliamentary teams (APPG) on points coping with youngsters, younger folks and well being and, as a member of the humanist APPG, advocated phasing out discriminatory spiritual faculties and obligatory Christian worship in faculties. Massey was a member of the APPG on cricket and was famed for having as soon as bowled out the previous England cricket captain Rachel Heyhoe Flint. She grew to become a member of the Woman Taverners in 2004. She was a patron of Humanists UK and an honorary affiliate of the Nationwide Secular Society.

A fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Massey was awarded an honorary doctorate by Birmingham College and a fellowship by the College of Central Lancashire.

She is survived by her husband, Leslie Massey, a physicist, whom she married in 1966, and their youngsters, Lizzie, Owen and Ben.


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