Ann Haigh 1943 - 2022
Ann Haigh, former Nagalro Chair, Children's Rights advocate, died peacefully at home on 16 Oct 22
Ann Haigh (1943 – 2022)
Nagalro is very sad to announce the death of one of the foremost advocates of children’s rights, former Nagalro Chair, Ann Haigh, on 16 October 2022. Ann served as the Chair of Nagalro from 2007 until 2017 and, thereafter, continued to represent the organisation as one of the co-chairs of the Interdisciplinary Alliance for Children, jointly with, solicitor, Maud Davis.
Ann was born and grew up in East London. She began her working career at the Bank of England but, after the birth of her two sons, she re-trained at the North East London Polytechnic, obtaining her degree in social work. After a brief period of work in the Barking and Dagenham Probation Service, she went on to work for Essex Council as a local authority social worker. She later worked with Barnardo’s before becoming an independent children’s guardian.
Indefatigable, Ann not only had a successful and demanding full-time professional career, she also served for 14 years as a District Councillor for Epping Forest Council and four years as a member of Essex County Council. On three occasions she stood (unsuccessfully) for parliament, representing the Liberal Democrats in the 2005 general election for East Ham; in 2010 as the candidate for Epping Forest and in 2019 as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Barking.
Ann’s contribution to children in the family justice system has been significant. Her work includes having chaired and written a report for a Home Office Domestic Homicide Review and serving as a member of the court rules committee working to prepare for the implementation of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. She has also given evidence to several parliamentary committees, including the House of Commons Justice Committee during the pre-legislative scrutiny of, what was to become, the Children and Families Act 2014.
As the Chair of Nagalro, Ann was able to argue passionately for the importance and independence of the role of the Children’s Guardian. She fought tirelessly to preserve these important principles and was gently firm and steadfast in ensuring that the voice of the child was clearly heard when key decisions were being made about their lives. It is a testament to the respect in which she was held that even those with whom she crossed swords professionally continued to speak admiringly of her and for her unflinching commitment to the welfare of the child.