Before getting married Sarah taught and ran a large Montessori school in London as well as travelling widely. Later, with three young children of her own, she ran a Montessori school for 3-5s in their house in Wiltshire. During this time she became increasingly concerned about the pressures on mothers to return to the workplace and the increasing focus on the mother’s needs at the expense of the child’s. She wrote a letter which was published in The Times. The letter came to the attention of other campaigning mothers who had similar concerns and wanted to do something about it. They had just founded Full Time Mothers and invited Sarah to join, which she immediately did.
As one of the original members, Sarah has been actively involved in our campaign for over 20 years, including a successful period as Chairman. During this time support for the campaign increased steadily, and this was in no small measure due to Sarah’s success in encouraging and supporting younger mothers in the community and motivating parents to stand up for their children’s developmental needs and welfare.
When their son died suddenly in 2004 Sarah stepped down as Chair and devotes much of her time to raising money for cystic fibrosis research, a complaint with which their two daughters were born. In recent years she has been busy providing care for her granddaughter, now five years old, and helping her settle into her life in Spain with her family.
Sarah Douglas Pennant has been a personal and professional inspiration to many of us on the MAHM Team today. We value her friendship, experience and judgement. She unfailingly reminds us that, although we campaign on many issues such as fiscal and social policy and the wider complexities of family life, the central most important consideration must always be a child’s developmental need for love, care and solid foundations at home. For this to be possible we need policies that respect and value family life.
We are delighted that in 2014 Sarah has accepted the position of Honorary President and that she is happy to advise and support our team moving forward.