Freda's Diary

Emma researching, using Freda's diary and photographs

In 2017, we were all saddened by the death of Freda Lambert, LEAH’s chair for over 20 years (Celebrating Freda's Life).

Her family returned many boxes and files of paperwork to the LEAH office which Freda had meticulously stored at home.  Amongst them, we discovered a diary and annual reports from the early days of LEAH, as well as lots of old photographs.  This summer, Emma Holland has been volunteering at the LEAH offices, and has taken time to sort through these historical documents.  Emma writes below about what she found.

“Freda will be greatly missed by all members of the charity, but she left memories both intangible and tangible.  The diary she kept that dates to the origins of LEAH will be treasured as it contains a detailed account of the humble beginnings and the journey they have taken since.  As an intern what struck me the most when reading these accounts was the strong emphasis on the tutor-student relationship from the very beginning.  The Annual Report from 1987 thanks the volunteers for the ‘perseverance, trust and loyalty’ that they gave so ‘readily’.  It goes on to give examples of tutors that have accompanied their students to the doctors, dentists or the clinic and in two cases, in that year alone, supported them in cases of racial harassment.  I may not personally be completely well acquainted with the details of this charity, but it is abundantly clear to me after only two days how vital their work is, not only in supporting the learning of English but equally as important to integrate our communities.  As an A level Politics' student, I am very aware of the significance of this, especially at the moment where there is a worry that migrants are feeling unfairly and increasingly unwelcome.

Over coming weeks, I’ll be tweeting extracts from Freda’s diary of meetings and activities on the day they were written decades ago.  Watch out on the LEAH twitter feed!”