Chrissie Maher OBE

Chrissie launched Plain English Campaign in 1979 by shredding hundreds of government forms in Parliament Square, London. Born in 1938, Chrissie largely missed out on formal education and could not read until she was in her mid‑teens. She was heavily involved in community work during the 1960s and founded Britain's first community newspaper, 'The Tuebrook Bugle'. In the 1970s she set up 'The Liverpool News', the country's first newspaper for semi-literate adults, and Impact Foundation, a community printshop.

Chrissie was invited to be a councillor on the National Consumer Council (NCC) when it was created in 1975. She remained on the NCC until 1979. It was during this time she started the Salford Form Market - a project to help people fill in forms - which led to the birth of Plain English Campaign. In 1985 Chrissie was awarded the Rosemary Delbridge Memorial Trophy for her campaigning activities.

In 1994 Chrissie received an OBE and in 1995 she was awarded an honorary MA by Manchester University. Two years later, she received an honorary doctorate from the Open University. And in 1999 she officially joined the 'establishment' when she was listed in Who's Who.

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