A social worker who exposed the scandal of forced child migration in Britain is set to receive the Woman of Achievement award 2013.
Dr Margaret Humphreys from Nottingham was presented with the award at the 31st Women of the Year awards luncheon and ceremony, which was held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel.
She received the illustrious title in recognition of her devotion to helping to support and reunite Britain’s former child migrants with their families through her charity the Child Migration Trust.
Humphreys’ investigations led to the exposure in 1987 of the British government’s child migration policy, which saw more than 130,000 children forcibly transported to Australia and other countries.
She first uncovered the scandal after receiving a letter from a woman who claimed, that at age four, she had been forcibly shipped to Australia by the British Government.
Her efforts have since helped to secure public apologies from both the British and Australian governments and she has also helped to raise awareness of the issue through the documentation of her experiences in the book Empty Cradles, which was adapted into the 2010 film Oranges and Sunshine.
Dr Margaret Humphreys follows in the footsteps of previous Women of Achievement and Courage Award winners, including Katie Piper whose personal story My Beautiful Face inspired millions as well as Britain’s number one wheelchair tennis player Lucy Shuker and London bombings survivor Martine Wright.
This year’s awards ceremony was held in support of the charities Vitalise, Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer and Alzheimer’s Research UK with all of the proceeds from the event donated directly to the charities.
Britain’s double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes MBE was the guest speaker at the event, dazzling hundreds of the UK’s top businesswomen with her life story and describing how her major life choices helped to shape everything she has achieved.
Pauline Edden, awards director, said: “Margaret’s continued efforts to support the victims of child migration in Britain make her a very deserving winner.
“She has not only addressed the issues surrounding the deportation of children but has also continued to secure funding to help reunite child migration victims with their family members.
Judy Groves, awards chair, commented: “The Women of the Year Awards honour women’s outstanding individual achievement in all elements of life, whether this is through overcoming a life changing disability or by simply achieving something outstanding against the odds and Margaret winning this year’s Woman of Achievement award is a fantastic example of the latter”.