Honouring the founding lady of Derian House and pioneer of nursing, Margaret Vinten, who died this week

Tributes have been made to honour the founder of Derian House Children’s Hospice, who has died at the age of 80.

By Natalie Walker
Friday, 7th June 2019, 10:46 am
Updated Friday, 7th June 2019, 11:46 am
Builder Bert Ainscough hands over the keys of Derian House to Margaret Vinten, chairman of the trustees, in 1993
Builder Bert Ainscough hands over the keys of Derian House to Margaret Vinten, chairman of the trustees, in 1993

Margaret Vinten, known affectionately by many as Miss V, passed away peacefully at Royal Preston Hospital on Thursday June 6.A well respected member of the community, Margaret was a nurse and had set up several nursing homes, including Moor Park House and Preston Private Nursing Home.

But she was more well known as the inspiration behind Derian House, in Chorley. After being approached in 1991 by the Haydock family, who wanted to open a children’s hospice, Miss Vinten became the driving force behind the campaign.

She recruited a team of trustees, of which she was chair and raised the funds to make the dream a reality.In October 1993 Derian House Children’s Hospice was officially opened by the Duchess of Norfolk.

The builder of Derian House, Bert Ainscough handing over the keys to Margaret Vinten accompanied by the Trustees: Douglas McMillan, Rick Thomas, Alan Chesters, who was Bishop of Blackburn, and Leo Duffy, in 1993

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Although Miss Vinten stepped down as chairman of Derian House in 2011, after 20 years of service, she continued to take an active interest in the hospice as Honorary President, right to the end. Derian’s newest building is named Vinten Place, in honour of her.

Margaret with two children in the new sensory garden in 2000

David Robinson, chief executive of Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “In Derian House, Miss Vinten has left a remarkable legacy.

“Her spirit of dedication, passion and drive to make a difference to the children and young people of Lancashire will live on. We will always remember her here. She was a highly respected member of the community, a remarkable woman and a good friend to many."

Her daughter, Susan Vinten, said: "Mum was a pioneer in the area of nursing. She was very entrepreneurial and had great management skills and she wanted to put those skills to work. "

"She had a great sense of drive and achievement of wanting to make the world a better place for people who were sick. She was always wanting to do more and would encourage other people to do so."

Margaret (left) with retired Bishop of Blackburn Alan Chesters and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire Diane Duke at a Derian House anniversary lunch last year
Margaret Vinten at home