This is a new feature, where we ask a prominent local person a series of questions that aim to get behind their public persona.
To start us off, we have invited Marjorie Stephenson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Age UK Bedfordshire.
Marjorie undertook her nurse training at the Central Middlesex Hospital followed by midwifery (part 1). After initial posts as a staff nurse and ward sister in the clinical field, she achieved promotion through management ending up as the Director of Professional Development with the Bedford and Shires Health and Care Trust before retiring the in the late 1990s.
Since her retirement she has been involved with a number of charities and is very active in the community, joining the board of what was then Age Concern Bedfordshire in 2001. In 2009, she, together with the Chief Executive successfully steered the transition of the organisation from Age Concern Bedfordshire to Age UK Bedfordshire.
When Marjorie joined way back in 2001, the whole organisation managed with only two rusty old PC’s. We now manage the organisation using bespoke computer programmes, ipads and smart phones!
Chairman, Board of Trustees, Age UK Bedfordshire
Q: Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
A: My mum who always instilled in me to do my best, and my husband who taught me that I could do anything if I really wanted to.
Q: If you could take only one book and one record onto a desert island what would they be?
A: A good dictionary and Brahms 4th Symphony (or Parry’s, I was Glad or Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now).
Q: Did you have a nickname? If so how’d you get it?
A: Tom – There was a radio programme featuring a North country comedian named Al Read and he had a favourite saying – “Who does he look like, who does he remind you of in’t he just like our Tom our Tommy to a tee”. I used to mimic him so I became ‘Tom’.
Q: What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A: An air stewardess for BOAC (British Overseas Aircraft Corporation)
Q: If you could wave a wand and make one significant change on the planet what would it be?
A: I would like people to take more responsibility for themselves, and I would also like to see improved care and respect for older people, who appear to sometimes be seen as redundant or a burden, a ‘commodity’ to be dealt with.
Q: Can you talk about the biggest obstacle(s) you have had to overcome so far.
A: Coping with the death of my husband.
Q: Who was the last person you hugged?
A: My lovely brother-in-law.
Q: Which radio station do you listen to more than any other?
A: Radio 2.
Q: Which book are you currently reading?
A: Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel.
Q: Do you have a sporting hero?
A: Jack Nicklaus the golfer.
Image: © Africa Studio, shutterstock.com