A big-hearted carer who devotes her time to looking after her sick husband has been nominated for a Local Heroes Award.
Mother-of-three Edith Ronaldson, of Loanhead, has been described as the “world’s most caring carer” by her daughter, who nominated her in the Carer of the Year category.
Meanwhile, West Calder High School has been put forward for School of the Year by Allison Barr, mother of tragic teenager Jak Trueman, who passed away last month from a rare form of blood cancer.
Pupils at the school rallied around to hold a prom for Jak and his girlfriend before his death.
Edith, 66, worked as an auxiliary nurse for many years before becoming a carer for the council, retiring last August.
She now cares full-time for her 67-year-old husband David, who was diagnosed with emphysema six years ago, and takes on extra caring roles when needed.
Edith’s daughter Karen Greechan described her mother as the “most caring person you could ever meet”, adding: “She is well known for her love and cuddles and constantly worries about everyone.
“She never sleeps properly as she’s always checking on him while he sleeps, but she never complains. She never leaves his side for more than a few hours and is always calling him to make sure he is OK. She hasn’t had a holiday in years as my step-dad can’t travel.
“She is the world’s most caring carer and I would love to be able to nominate her to show her how much we all love and care about her.”
Edith, who was “shocked” and “delighted” to receive a nomination, said: “I cannot put into words how it feels caring for a person and hopefully seeing them get well.
“I had always wanted to be a nurse when I was young but that didn’t happen because I got married and had a family.
“If you have that caring instinct inside, just use it and care for other people who need your help. It can be difficult at times and there are a lot of carers who don’t get appreciated, but it is a fabulous profession.”
This year’s Carer of the Year Category has been sponsored by Edinburgh-based Social Care Alba, which organises professional care at home.
Company director Stephen Wilson described the Local Heroes awards as a great platform to celebrate unsung heroes and raise the profile of caring.
He said: “We like to raise awareness of the importance of care and recognise the contribution that many people make to the lives of those who require support.
“The phrase ‘unsung heroes’ is used too much these days, but I feel it is genuinely applicable in this case.
“Every day we see the difference that a little help can make to peoples’ lives.”
The School of the Year category has been sponsored by publisher HarperCollins.
In her submission to the awards, Allison Barr said she had nominated her son’s school for the way staff and pupils had supported Jak following his diagnosis.
She said: “When they realised my beautiful son’s days were numbered they arranged a prom he could attend with [his girlfriend] Hannah. It was beautiful and so many things were thought of.”
Entry for the awards is still open and another school likely to be nominated is Liberton High, where pupils released a charity Christmas single in memory of tragic schoolgirl Keane Wallis-Bennett which was downloaded thousands of times.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
THE Local Hero Awards are open to anyone who lives in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Winners will be announced on Friday June 5 at the Assembly Rooms.
The easiest way to nominate someone is to visit www.localheroaward.co.uk.
This dedicated website will allow you to choose which category you wish to enter, as well as allowing you to tell us all about your nominee.
If you would prefer to enter by post, please send your entry to Edinburgh Evening News, The Local Hero Awards, Orchard Brae House, 30 Queensferry Road, Edinburgh EH4 2HS.
Entry forms are available in today’s paper on page 14. Entries must include your name, address and telephone number. Please make it clear which category you wish to enter your nominee for and explain why you think they deserve to win the award.
The closing date for nominations is Tuesday, May 5.
To recognise a member of the emergency services who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Sponsored by BT
For someone who has shown exceptional courage in their life. They may have overcome great odds or made sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty. The nominee may have shown courage in dealing with an illness or battling through a traumatic experience. Judges would like to see strong evidence of this individual showing great character and fortitude in their life. Sponsored by Peoples Ford
An individual who may have supported an individual and/or a family, or who has made a significant contribution to the community. The award not only recognises, encourages and rewards people who make a difference within their community but inspires others to do the same. The award will be made to an individual whose time, effort, support and aspirations have made a significant contribution within their community for the benefit of those who live there.
TEACHER OF THE YEAR
To recognise a truly inspiring teacher in primary, secondary, further or higher education. Someone who has made a significant difference to the learning experience of a student or a class.
Someone who has improved people’s health and/or made an impact on the quality of life of an individual. They may work in the NHS or healthcare industry, providing a service above and beyond the call of duty, taking personal responsibility for a person’s wellbeing. They may be a champion for health and wellbeing issues, healthy lifestyles and exercise in the community. Sponsored by Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation
CARER OF THE YEAR
This person may be someone who has cared for a friend or family member or who has made personal sacrifices in order to tend to the needs of others. Sponsored by Social Care Alba
This award recognises individuals who have proved outstanding achievement in a specific sporting field. Not only does it recognise sporting skill but also recognises drive, ambition, and determination even through the face of adversity The award will be made to an individual who demonstrates exceptional sporting talent and determination. The judges will assess the background history of the person, and the achievement he/she has made within sport and where applicable to personal challenges.
CONTRIBUTION TO LOCAL SPORT
This special award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution and shown dedication to local sport and physical activity, over a number of years. A real unsung hero, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.
FUNDRAISER OR VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
This award recognises individuals who, by their hard work and dedication, have made a difference to a charity or cause. The judges are looking for individuals who have demonstrated continued commitment to a charity or individual through fundraising support and successfully co-ordinated fundraising events, giving their own time and effort to help out a good cause. Sponsored by the Scottish Blood Transfusion service
NEIGHBOUR OF THE YEAR
This award recognises an individual who has gone the extra mile to be a good neighbour. The award is for someone who gives their time to someone who needs company, support and acts selflessly towards making a neighbour’s life more pleasant. Sponsored by McCarthy & Stone
INSPIRATIONAL YOUNG ADULT
This award recognises, encourages and rewards an individual who has shown exceptional drive and determination for a cause, belief or individual in the face of adversity. This may be someone who has stood up for a worthwhile cause such as racism, bullying or community cause. They could have acted selflessly and shown great bravery in a situation. Sponsored by the Omni Centre
SCHOOL OF THE YEAR
This award recognises a school either primary or secondary which has achieved outstanding success in the education system. The judges are looking for a school which has achieved results that many thought previously unachievable. A school which has surpassed all expectations through hard work and determination, which may have battled through adversity to achieve great results. Sponsored by Harper Collins
CHILD OF ACHIEVEMENT
We are looking for a child who has demonstrated exceptional achievement in their life. They may have overcome great odds or made sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty. The nominee may have excelled academically, achieved great sporting success, raised money for a good cause, or been a great support to someone with an illness or battling through a traumatic experience. Sponsored by the Scottish Government – playtalkread
LOCAL HERO AWARD
This award is the highlight of the night and will be awarded to an individual who the judging panel considers Edinburgh’s Local Hero. Judges will select the winner either from entries received via nomination for this category or from another category who judges believe stand out above all other nominations. The Local Hero Award will look to reward someone who has done something truly remarkable. Sponsored by Costa Coffee