Obituary: Tributes paid to Bob Parsons - founder of Hemel Hempstead charity as Hope For Children

Tribute has been paid after the death of Dr Bob Parsons OBE, who founded the Hemel-based charity Hope For Children.

By Olivia Preston
Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 10:32 am
Bob pictured receiving his OBE.
Bob pictured receiving his OBE.

A statement from Hope for Children said: “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dr Bob Parsons OBE who died on 29th March at the age of 88 following an 18 month decline in health.

"This man was an amazing person; an energetic Christian socialist and philanthropist with a strong Quaker faith.”

It added: “Peace and social justice were at the centre of his life and work. The charity he founded, Hope for Children, is determined to carry forward that work. The charity continues to strive to deliver Bob's mission, to create opportunities for overlooked, vulnerable and exploited children living in extreme poverty.”

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Bob’s charity, which supports vulnerable and disadvantaged young people across the world, was set up after his retirement in 1994.

Originally from London, Bob was born in 1933 to a proud working-class family with his Scottish heritage influencing him greatly throughout his life.

Following Bob’s marriage to Ann, the couple settled in Warners End, Hemel Hempstead to raise their children, Kathryn and Graeme.

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Throughout Bob’s life, he was dedicated to helping and bettering the lives of others, both through his work in the Probation Service and as a senior manager at Save the Children.

During his latter role, he discovered that many disadvantaged children were overlooked by the larger charities and he felt very frustrated about this serious gap in provision.

Hope for Children was started with a donation from a former Probation client - a prisoner that Bob had befriended after his release.

This ‘miracle’ £5,000 donation was to be used ‘to help disadvantaged youngsters’, and since then many thousands of children in nine countries across the world have been helped by his charity.

For his dedication to charitable efforts, Bob was awarded an OBE and MBE by Her Majesty the Queen.

Bob’s funeral will take place this Friday (April 8) at 2.30pm at West Herts Crematorium with the wake held at Warners End Community Centre from 5pm.

Donations can be made to Hope for Children Reg. Charity No. 1161729.