TRIBUTE TO MARGI BASHALL

Margi Bashall was a primary school teacher by profession.

She believed passionately that young seven to nine year old children struggling with literacy and maths, due to a combination of their disadvantaged backgrounds and second language learning environments, should be given a real chance in their education and life. This could happen, if they were to receive one-to-one tuition in reading and maths in a safe and encouraging environment during their normal school day.

Margi was provided the opportunity in 2010 to pilot her dream at Salvazione Primary School in Brixton, where she was empowered to come alongside an existing volunteer based reading programme.

Drawing on many different sources of specialist primary school teaching expertise from around the country, Margi designed and refined positive, sustainable and measurable literacy and maths Grade 2 and 3 interventions.

During the next four years, she, together with an extraordinarily passionate body of volunteers and centre managers, expanded the number of schools to the eleven we have today.

Throughout this period, Margi was struggling with the side effects of melanoma cancer, to which she finally succumbed in November 2014.

We, the members of the greater Link Family, were inspired by all Margi led us to do and are emboldened to build on her legacy.

In so doing, we commit to ensuring Margi’s core purpose for The Link remains at the centre of everything we do. This means, that as we look into the bright, alive and smiling eyes of each young child we teach, we remember we are here to provide them with the core literacy and maths competencies. They need these if they are to have any chance of making a success of their education and lives in an environment where the odds are heavily stacked against them.