This year marks the end of a 17-year-career as executive director for Kitimat Child Development Centre stalwart Margaret Warcup.
She said the decision wasn’t made easily, but that she wants to spend more time with her partner and her family, especially her four grandchildren.
Warcup is also intent on pursuing a life-long ambition of travelling the world, working overseas to empower women, work with children and focus on the environment.
She said her first two stops are sure to be Sweden and Hawaii.
“It wasn’t easy to decide, but the time has come for me to do something else. However, while I’m retiring from the CDC, I won’t stop working with children,” said Warcup.
She said her work with the Provincial Child Care Council will continue, as will her work as a Coast Mountain School District trustee.
“I’ll also have the time now to write the articles that I have been meaning to write,” added Warcup.
The much-loved mother of three started working part time as a physiotherapist for the CDC in Kitimat in 1998.
At the time she was working at the Terrace CDC as program director, but had her eyes on something much bigger.
Having graduated with a Masters in Community Health, Warcup was frustrated with the lack of co-operation between the various social services assisting children and families.
“To properly provide for children it is vital to focus on other services, encompassing all ages,” said Warcup. “If parents don’t have a roof over their heads it becomes difficult to look after their children.”
So when Warcup applied for the post of KCDC executive director in 2000, she so impressed KCDC board president Jo Ann Hildebrandt and her fellow panelists during the interview panel, she was hired without hesitation.
“We didn’t even need to discuss it,” said Hildebrandt, who admitted that whoever is appointed in her place will have big shoes to fill.
Hildebrandt’s youngest son was one of Warcup’s clients, one of the hundreds of children who have now grown up and fondly remember her.
“I’m not sorry we appointed her. We have been very fortunate to have someone of her calibre running the CDC in this neck of the woods.”
Warcup refocussed the CDC’s energy into three streams – Early, Middle and Adult and Community services.
She said Warcup had spearheaded many initiatives as executive director, including the Kitimat Inter-Agency Community and the Kitimat Community Foundation.
“Margaret has dedicated her life and career to supporting and enhancing services for youth and their families,” said Hildebrandt. “She has been a strong advocate in developing both political and public awareness of the importance of these services.”
She was also instrumental in developing the Better At Home program, as well as establishing Douglas Place.
“My passion has always been for the various services to work better together. I am extremely proud that we have been able to evolve our services,” said Warcup.