By Margaret Noel- April 28th, 2020
I am Descendants’ Founder, Margaret Noel. I first met Lennox in 1987, when I applied for a job as a probation officer. At the time I was shocked to find out that the senior probation officer who was going to interview me, was black! In fact, he was the first black senior probation officer in the then, Inner London Probation Service.
This was my first job after qualifying. Lennox Thomas was an amazing supervisor, mentor and teacher, who taught me everything. He was the best senior I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I was able to carry out my job having had a good foundation. During that time, I saw him encourage and nurture others who followed in his footsteps. He moved on and remained a great support to me throughout my time as a probation officer, working in different areas of the profession.
Lennox was a modest yet inspirational man! He had many titles but when asked how we should describe him, when we asked him to become Descendants’ patron, he replied just Lennox Thomas!
Lennox was: –
The first person of Caribbean descent to become a Senior Probation Officer
A published author featured in many book and articles.
An inspirational speaker
A community activist
A past member and Chair of Descendants’ management committee
A loving and inspirational father to his three children
Lennox K. Thomas MA, CQSW, BPC, AFT, UKCP (Fellow). trained in child development, clinical social work, child and family psychotherapy and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. He was Clinical Director of Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre, and Co- Director of the University College (London) MSc in Intercultural Psychotherapy. He was co-founder and consultant psychotherapist at the Refugee Therapy Centre. Influenced by his work with children and parents in hospitals and probation, he had an interest in attachment, and trans-generational family trauma.
His published works include:
“Attachment in African Caribbean Families”, Attachment Theory in Adult Mental Health, eds. A. Danquah & K. Berry, Routledge 2014.
“Relational Psychotherapy: The significance of Father”. Psychodynamic Practice, 16, 61-75. (2010).
“Parenting roles and the African Caribbean man in post-slavery society” eds. P. Lovejoy & B. Bowser, UNESCO, Africana World Press (2014).
We were all so honoured to have had Lennox Thomas serve as Descendants’ patron, 2017-2020. Below are a few of the events, where he was instrumental in helping to raise the profile of Descendants.
Before becoming a Patron, Lennox attended the Friday sessions with his three children and led inspirational sessions. Lennox taught the children and young people songs from the Caribbean, one that comes to mind is ‘Hill and Gully Rider’ a call and response song.
In 2017, Lennox led ‘Descendants AGM’ with a lecture on mental-health in our community. His talk was so inspiring, the Queen’s representative who attended, along with all who attend the AGM were left wanting more!
In 2018, Lennox was instrumental in Descendants being awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2019. He attended the meeting with the Queens representative, alongside Dr Patricia Walker and Marcella Phelan MBE.
In July 2019, Lennox attended Descendants’ 15th Dr John Roberts CBE QC Achievement Awards, where he presented an award for our dearly departed community activist, Mr Willis Wilkie.
Lenox Thomas presents the Willis Wilkie Award at the Descendants Annual Achievement Awards 2019
In October 2019, Descendants’ was invited to attend the Black History Month event at Twyford High School. Lennox and members of Descendants attended this event, giving great feedback to the Management Committee meeting.
Lennox continued to support Descendants despite the problems with his health. He was hospitalised but kept in contact. We last spoke about 2 weeks before his passing and despite his failing health, he was so positive and looking forward and making plans for his future.
On Monday 13th April 2020, the sad news was relayed to me by family who told me Lennox passed away in his sleep that morning. It was a big shock.
Descendants has lost its patron, a very inspirational and positive man, a special friend and confidant. He was a family man and loved his 3 children equally.
Condolences are sent to his family from the Descendants’ Management Committee, our patrons, children, parents, the wider community and everyone whose life he has touched.
He will certainly be missed by the Descendants’ Community.
Rest in Eternal Peace Lennox.