Doctor Josephine Lomax-Simpson was born into an upper middle class family on 11 March 1925. Her grandfather had been involved with the design of Port Sunlight in Merseyside and both her parents were committed to social reform. Lomax-Simpson studied at Aberdeen University before taking a diploma in psychological medicine. She became a registrar in child psychiatry at the Child Guidance Centre in London in 1952. She became a psychoanalyst and, from 1953 to 1967, was psychiatrist to the LCC children's home at Hartfield, Roehampton (Hartfield House) where she helped train students from the nearby Froebel College.
Lomax-Simpson became senior registrar at the Portman clinic and psychotherapist at Holloway prison, where she developed her experience of working in groups. She extended this at the Marlborough day hospital in 1963, working with Dr Joshua Bierer on therapeutic communities for children. From that year until 1990 she was also consultant psychiatrist/psychotherapist at East Grinstead child guidance clinic.
Lomax-Simpson's on-going concern for the young patients she had treated whilst a psychiatrist for fourteen years with the Greater London Council, caused her to open her own home in Wimbledon from 1963 to a multitude of young people who needed shelter and support. In 1970 she used her inheritance to purchase a house in Malcolm Road, Wimbledon, and created the Messenger House Trust to provide accommodation for single young mothers and their babies to help them establish bonding in a stable environment prior to being re-housed in society. The first house was named Messenger House in memory of her mother. During the next seventeen years the project grew from having a single house to having at one time nine houses. Over 400 young people - including not only single young parents but also young men needing support and a home were welcomed into the organisation. Within this forum the basics of a therapeutic community developed as young people took the opportunity of developing their social skills and their confidence among their peer group and the local community.
In 1977 the Hutchinson Settlement was founded by Lomax-Simpson as a 'sister trust' for students who needed accommodation and were also interested in the Messenger House Project. During the next nine years, over 75 young people who were training in the professions - including doctors, teachers and social workers became an integral part of this community. Two very individual strands have run throughout the years in all that Lomax-Simpson has achieved. These factors are her hall-mark firstly a continuity of concern and social networks recognising the importance of people not only living and working together in the community but also having the capacity to talk to each other and experience a 'sense of belonging'.
In retirement, Lomax-Simpson served on the executive committee of the Group Analytic Society, established links with local societies and delivering lectures.
Lomax-Simpson died 25 May 1999.