Douglas and Margaret – a true love story for our anniversary year

Whilst Children North East is marking its 130th anniversary, two significant players in our charity’s history are also celebrating their 58th.

Douglas and Margaret with the Order of the British Empire medal

Douglas and Margaret Johnstone tied the knot in 1963 after meeting at Stannington Sanatorium near Morpeth. Stannington was the first sanatorium in England for children suffering from tuberculosis, which was established by the Poor Children’s Holiday Association (the charity that was renamed Children North East in 1988).

Douglas ran a Scouting group there in the late 1950s and fell in love with one of the nurses looking after the sick children that were treated at Stannington, aged between three and 16. That nurse was Margaret.

The couple’s lives became intertwined with our charity and Douglas eventually became its leader. Douglas received the OBE for his charity work at Buckingham Palace with a proud Margaret by his side. Today they still live in Morpeth. You can meet this wonderful couple In this short video, put together for us by Northumbria University journalism graduate, Sarah Storer.

Watch our video