It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr Madeleine Portwood, our much loved and respected Clinical Director.  For those who knew Madeleine, whether it be in a personal or professional capacity, you will know how special and unique she was. Madeleine was quite simply one in a million.

Madeleine had been involved with Witherslack Group for more than 12 years, playing a leading role in the establishment and ongoing development of our therapeutic services.  In particular, she was key to the creation of our Integrated Therapeutic Learning Centre Model. Her commitment to helping and supporting children and young people with additional needs resulted in countless lives being changed for the better.

Madeleine truly had a gift for connecting with people, whether that be with the thousands of children and young people she worked with, to speaking in front of audiences across the world, Madeleine’s approach, expertise and ability were unquestioned.

Her commitment to helping others never stopped.  For example, after every presentation that she gave you could be certain of a long line of parents desperate to seek her advice.  Madeleine would, without exception, then spend as much time as was needed to carefully answer every question, ensuring each and every person left with the guidance or encouragement they needed.

Madeleine was also one of the most humble, kind hearted and positive people you could ever wish to meet.  Her wicked sense of humour, gift for storytelling and her infectious laugh meant that to spend any amount of time in her company was a true joy.  She was loved and respected in equal measure.

Her loss is devastating in so many ways to so many people, but some comfort is found in the fact that we were all lucky enough to know Madeleine.  We each have our own personal memories of her but collectively we will remember Madeleine as someone who possessed a unique gift to help people and who was relentless in ensuring that this gift was put to good use.

We’d like to end with footage of Madeleine presenting at our annual conference.  The video actually doesn’t do Madeleine justice as it fails to capture that upon finishing many of the audience were truly moved and the applause continued for long after, only being broken as the audience formed a queue with questions at the ready.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vo11lbA_KU

Thanks for just being you Madeleine, it was an honour to have known you.

From all at Witherslack Group.