The CEO and founder of Bristol Drugs Project (BDP), Maggie Telfer, has died aged 63, the charity has announced. Telfer founded the organisation with a group of probation officers in 1986, in response to the lack of support for people who used drugs in Bristol.
She was also instrumental in establishing the first sub-Saharan needle exchange, Kenya’s Omari Project, and was awarded the OBE in 2007. ‘Maggie’s work was defined by her drive to challenge the inequality and stigma faced by some of the most vulnerable people in our society,’ the charity states.
‘We are all devastated by the loss of a much-loved colleague,’ said BDP’s chair of trustees, John Long. ‘She has led the charity from strength to strength, across five decades. Maggie’s leadership, compassion and indomitable spirit inspired all around her. Our sadness will be matched by the sorrow of many people and their families whose lives were improved and transformed by her work. The city of Bristol has lost one of its truest champions.’