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Dame Sheila Marshall McKechnie


1948 - 2004

Campaigner. Born in Camelon (Falkirk), McKechnie was educated at the University of Edinburgh. She began her career as Health and Safety Officer for the trade union the Association of Scientific, Technical and Management Staffs (ASTMS) and became involved with the Trades Union Congress (TUC). In 1985, she was appointed National Director of 'Shelter', a charity supporting the homeless. McKechnie made a major impact through high-profile campaigns and successfully changed government policies particularly in relation to homeless youngsters. She felt a genuine sense of outrage at social injustice and unfairness.

She became Director of the Consumer's Association in 1995 and was quickly in the vanguard of their campaigns for consumer rights and safety.

McKechnie was awarded an OBE in 1995 and created a dame in 2001. The University of Edinburgh has honoured McKechnie by naming her their second 'Alumna of the Year' in 1991 and awarding her an honorary degree (1994).

Latterly McKechnie lived in London, where she died while still in her campaigning prime.


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