Getting to know... Bob Parsons

Dr Bob Parsons, founder of Hope for Children, outside his Warners End home 'Hope House'
Dr Bob Parsons, founder of Hope for Children, outside his Warners End home 'Hope House'

Dr Bob Parsons, of Warners End, set up global aid charity Hope for Children in 1994 and it now supports disadvantaged children in countries around the world. He has been awarded an MBE and OBE for his work.

What is your favourite food?

Basic British food – fish and chips, kippers or steak and kidney pie.

What’s the most played song on your iPod?

Flower of Scotland, Danny Boy

Favourite quote?

“To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of one’s critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Emerson.

Favourite thing to do to relax?

Meditation.

What is the one thing you hate the most?

Ironing.

If you could have 5 famous people for dinner, who would you pick and why?

1. Nelson Mandela – for his humility and forgiveness

2. Mahatma Ghandi – ‘the world holds enough for everyone’s need, not for everyone’s greed’

3. Aung San Suu Kyi – ‘We have chosen the way of non-violence simply because we think it’s politically better for the country in the long run to establish that you can bring about change without the use of arms’.

4. Mother Teresa – for her simple and effective leadership over many years

5. Robert Burns – for his profound writings and identity with the needs of the poor.

What was the last film you watched?

Dr Zhivago (for the fourth time!)

If you knew the world was ending in 2015, what would you do differently?

Spend more time in trying to help more people and to see more of my family and grandchildren.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A doctor

If you could witness any event, what would it be?

The aftermath of the Tsunami in Sri Lanka where I promoted a foster care programme for 633 orphaned children, preventing them from going into establishments.

The hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Saying no to people who apply for grants from Hope for Children due to insufficient funds.

What’s the best/worst gift you’ve given/received?

Best: Each year I receive a calendar made up of photographs over the last 12 months made by my daughter with the help of grandchildren. Worst: A pair of socks!

How would you like to be remembered?

In my last moments of life, being able to say that the world has been a better place because of my presence.

What is your favourite thing to do in Dacorum?

Helping children with special needs at the Dolphins Swimming Club every Saturday at the Sports Centre.