The late Anne Paterson was born in Edinburgh but grew up in Glasgow and spent her life between Glasgow, Edinburgh and London. She came from a family with a medical background, studied social sciences at Edinburgh University and started her professional career as a medical social worker, an almoner, at the Central Middlesex Hospital in London. She was attached to the chest unit, a multidisciplinary team. A major part of her work was working with lung cancer patients but also patients with mesothelioma. Following the reorganisation of social services she became a generic social worker in the London Boroughs of Brent and Westminster. Child protection in the early days was managed by today’s equivalent of the NSPCC before being taken over by Local Authority social services. In Brent and Westminster the emphasis was on children and families. Anne worked with the first Afro-Caribbean children to be accommodated in the boroughs. Anti-racist practice was always at the forefront of everything she did.
Anne kept her interest in young people going when she retrained as a Youth and Community worker at Moray House College in Edinburgh. Her focus on child protection for individual children shifted to a focus on child protection within the community. She was a Project Leader for Ruchill Community Safety and Health Issues Project, a drugs prevention project for children and young people aged 8 to 13, in Glasgow before moving back to Edinburgh and taking up two posts, first as Senior Health Promotion Specialist in cancer prevention and then Community Worker for Edinburgh City Council based at Kirkliston.
In retirement in Edinburgh Anne did things for herself but these were all with and for other people. She sang in a Gaelic choir. She volunteered as a guide at Newbattle Abbey. Importantly she volunteered for BASPCAN. As an active member of the Scottish branch she supported the running of BASPCAN conferences across the UK. She never lost her passionate commitment to supporting children and young people.
The endowment of a BASPCAN scholarship fund in Scotland ensures that we can continue to support high quality research which will make a difference to practice.