Community stalwart made Freewoman of Barrow

Margaret Burrow MBE has been made a Freewoman of the Borough in a ceremony at Barrow Town Hall.

Margaret, the honorary CEO of Barrow District Disability Association, who has dedicated decades to charity work and helping the local community, has been recognised by Barrow Borough Council with its highest honour.

In a ceremony in the Drawing Room at Barrow Town Hall, Margaret was presented with the Freedom Scroll to recognise her work on behalf of disabled people, their carers and families over many years and for the input she has had on many major projects.

Members of the council and invited guests were in attendance for the special event. The honour had been agreed by members of the Full Council in May.

Margaret Burrow MBE said: “Never in my wildest dreams did I expect this award. I’m very, very grateful and humbled. I’ve had many people congratulating me and wanting to celebrate.

“I’ve always been proud to be a Barrovian and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I love the people of Barrow.

“I’ve always worked for the betterment of disabled people. Whether you were born disabled or acquired a disability, it’s hard enough. So if I can do something to make their lives a little easier then I will.

“I started my work 42 years ago, working with a group of disabled and kind people. We thought we could change the world, quite naively, but we’ve actually done quite a lot.

“I’m not done yet - if I could live another 50 years then I could put a lot more right. But if I’ve made a little change in my lifetime then I’m happy. 

“I couldn’t have done this alone. I’ve had lots of love and support, particularly from my colleagues, trustees, members and volunteers at Barrow and District Disability Association.

“If there’s one person who I’d like to be proud of me, it would be my mother. I’m one of nine kids, and my mother taught us to share what we had and to always think of others. I like to think she’d be pleased with me.”

As the founding member of the Barrow and District Council for Disabled, now the Barrow District Disability Association, Margaret has spearheaded a series of major projects. This has included transforming derelict properties into a fully adapted disability centre which is now the hub of many services provided by the Barrow and District Disability Association.

Margaret was conferred the Badge of the Order of Mercy in 2006. Alongside her charity work, she has also dedicated 16 years as a governor, with a special interest in disability issues, at Furness College. In 2002, she was awarded an MBE for outstanding services to the Barrow and District Disability Association and has raised a vast amount of money for the betterment of the town and its people.  

The Freedom Scroll was presented to Margaret by the Mayor of Barrow, Councillor Hayley Preston.

Cllr Preston said: “Margaret has inspired so many people along the way, and this award commemorates her fantastic work and selfless dedication over the years.

“The Freedom of the Borough is for exceptional service to the council and the people of the borough, and it is rarely handed out.

“I’m very pleased to have been able to present the Freedom Scroll to Margaret today. It’s a wonderful thing to do in my role and on behalf of the borough of Barrow.”

The title is an honorary role. It offers no legal status and there is no remuneration linked to the honour.