Friday, April 27, 2018

Valerie Riches, RIP...

...a woman of courage and kindness, wisdom and good humour...a mentor and friend, died recently.

Valerie was one of the founders of a group that became Family and Youth Concern, upholding and defending marriage as the lifelong union of a man and a woman, researching issues inpacting family life and with great courage opposing the promotion of homosexual lifestyle, abortion, and the sexualising of children.

Her family home was destroyed by bombing in 1941 but Valerie belonged to a generation which did not think of themselves as victims. She worked in the Admiralty after leaving school, and then for a musicians' agency, and it was through love of music that she met Dennis Riches: they wrote a most readable biography of their family story together under the title Built on Love - warmly recommended. As her children grew up, Valerie began a new career as a social worker, and it was this that became the spur  for involvement with groups defending the family. Always a careful, thoughtful researcher producing publications devoid of loud polemic, she was not particularly fond of personal publicity, but could be a powerful and effective debater and contributor to TV and radio discussions.

Britain owes a debt to this courageous woman, and her work continues the Family Education Trust. There is a fine obituary of her in the press today. And  in my heart, I add my own tribute of affection and gratitude.

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