Edinburgh mum wins citizenship award for charity work

Tracy Rendall and her family at the City Chambers

Tracy Rendall and her family at the City Chambers

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A MUM-of-four who was honoured with a top civic award for her charity work in the Capital has issued a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped make it possible.

Tracy Rendall, 49, was named the winner of this year’s Sir William Y Darling Bequest for Good Citizenship, an annual prize which recognises citizens who have gone to the extra mile to help the community.

She was presented with the gong by Lord Provost Donald Wilson at a reception held this week at the City Chambers.

Tracy, who lives in Craigentinny, was praised for her work to raise awareness of spina bifida and juvenile arthritis, disabilities which affect two of her children.

It was back in 2003 that Tracy was dealt the shock news that her son Beau, now 13, had spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

She said: “It was a huge shock because I wasn’t expecting it at all when I went for the scan.

“The best piece of advice I could give to anybody facing any diagnosis or something that happens to their child is to reach out to other parents.

“They are absolutely the best source of support – just knowing you aren’t alone is the key thing.”

It was with this in mind that Tracy and fellow parent Alison Pentony set up a parental support group in 2004 in association with Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBHS).

And the group, which attracts parents from across the region, is still going strong to this day.

“We are still close friends with all the people who joined the group,” said Tracy.

“We’ll see a lot of people that we first met all those years ago. It’s really nice to be able to mix with other parents and I think that’s what was missing.”

This was also the thinking behind the Scottish Network for Arthritis in Children (SNAC), which Tracy co-founded after her daughter Jos, 11, was born with juvenile arthritis.

But that isn’t all the busy mum has juggled over the years, as she also runs a kitchen-fitting business with husband Stuart and looks after their two other children, Meg, 15, and Fin, 14.

Tracy also chairs the Craigentinny Primary School parent council and has also started volunteering for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

She was nominated by city councillor Gavin Corbett.

He said: “Her tireless work supports her own family but also her own community and a whole network of children from across Edinburgh and Scotland. I cannot think of anyone who better deserves the recognition of this award.”

Presenting Tracy with her award, Cllr Wilson said: “This is a well deserved recognition and it is truly inspiring how much valuable time Tracy has given to her community and to her causes.”

But for Tracy, the award is just as much for those who have supported her over the years.

She added: “I wouldn’t be involved in a fraction of the things that I am without the support of many, many wonderful people.

“This award is for all of us. ”

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk