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Speaker Biography

Margaret Elliot OBE

Founder and Executive Director, Sunderland Home Care.

Margaret Elliott OBE has been involved in co-operative/employee owned development since the 1970s, first as founder member of a worker’s co-operative shop, Little Women, and then in a small Home Care co-operative, Little Women Household Services Ltd. This co-op used Social Security benefits to cover the cost of the help. It built up close contacts with Social Services, Trade Unions and the Voluntary Sector.

After a stint at the Prince’s Trust and a study visit to care co-operatives in New York, Margaret established the hugely successful Sunderland Home Care Associates in 1994 that received the UK Social Enterprise of the Year award in 2006. Margaret is also a founder member of Care and Share Associates (CASA). CASA develops companies based on the SHCA model. There are currently 5 companies that have been developed and are supported by CASA’s Social Franchise model.

Margaret’s commitment to participation in the workplace is as strong now as it was when she first learned of this totally different way of working in the early Seventies. Margaret’s dedication and achievements were recognised with the awarding of an OBE in 2009. Margaret is regularly invited to participate in meetings to discuss the shaping of government policy in areas of social enterprise, mutualisation and employee ownership. Margaret’s way of working will continue to inform the development of Sunderland Home Care Associates and CASA.


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