Name: Margaret Leahy
Voluntary Position: Chairman for Berkshire County
Tell us about your life outside the Women’s Section. I work full-time as a PA for a large trade distributor but in my spare time I like to be in the garden, reading or visiting new places with my husband.
How often do you attend meetings and events? Our Branch normally meets every fortnight. Working full-time means I can’t always attend every meeting or event but as County Chairman I do my upmost to make sure I can.
What’s the role of a County Chairman and what does it involve? The role of a County Chairman is to guide, encourage and supervise the work of branches and members within the county.
What do you enjoy most about it? Meeting new people and talking to them about what we do, particularly the way in which we support families involved in modern conflicts and how our fundraising helps them.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve experienced in the role so far? Recruitment. Finding and encouraging younger members to join is always tricky as most women work or have family commitments.
What qualities does a good County Chairman need? Passion, enthusiasm and a firm belief in what we do. A ‘can do attitude’ is essential!
Why would you encourage others to step up? The feeling you get knowing that you’re helping other people is immense. In my role as County Chairman, I’ve met meet some of the loveliest people in life.
What’s been your biggest achievement in the Women’s Section? Over the last few years, my work colleagues have become more aware of the work I do within the Women’s Section and earlier this year they nominated me to carry the Olympic Torch for all my efforts. To my complete surprise, I ended up being selected which meant I was able to carry the Torch through Bracknell. It was such an incredible honour not only to carry the Torch but also be recognised for my work within the Women’s Section.
Why is it important that we continue our support to the Armed Forces community? Service personnel put their lives in danger everyday for our security – the least we can do is be there for their wives, husbands, sons and daughters should they need our help - they are the silent heroes who support our military heroes.