Capital carers win awards for efforts

John Bell, who helps other dads, with Carmen Pieraccini
John Bell, who helps other dads, with Carmen Pieraccini
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Three parents and carers from Edinburgh have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to their families and communities at the Scottish Parent Awards, now in its second year.

Nominated by members of the public, John Bell from Bonnyrigg received the Dads Do It! award, Rosie Hemmings from Dalkeith was given the Parent Group award and the Early Years award went to Young Scot ‘Ping’ Group, a city-centre located support group for young parents.

The Edinburgh-based winners were praised for their involvement in local community initiatives and their support of other parents. John Bell was praised for providing outstanding care for his two daughters whilst battling a severe medical condition. Rosie Hemmings was recognised for her commitment to helping others to develop their parenting skills. The Young Scot ‘Ping’ Group was commended for challenging perceptions of young parents.

John Bell was put forward by Tim Porteous from Midlothian Sure Start voluntary organisation who aim to give children the very best start in life. Tim said: “John is a fantastic father to his two daughters, as well as a big supporter of other dads in the community. Despite facing huge challenges related to chronic pain, John still manages to provide help and advice to members of our dads group at Midlothian Sure Start.

“As well as being fully involved in his children’s lives, John finds ways to acknowledge the issues that other members of our dads group are facing. He even made a short film about fathers being separated from their children, which took him over a year to make. John is a huge source of support and inspiration for other dads.”

Eliza Way from the Woodburn Family Learning Centre who nominated Rosie Hemmings said: “Before Rosie attended our support group, she lacked self-belief. Since then, Rosie has truly blossomed as a parent and has been able to prove to others that barriers can’t stop you from achieving and learning.

“Rosie regularly facilitates groups within our parenting group at Woodburn Family Learning Centre, teaching herself new skills and then sharing them with our group.

“As well as building her own confidence, she has built up the confidence of other parents by using her caring and nurturing personality to encourage others. Additionally, Rosie is actively involved in fundraising efforts for our centre.”

Speaking of the Early Years award, one young mother from the Young Scot ‘Ping’ Group said: “It’s an honour to win. As a single mum of two, I have faced challenges and it’s fantastic to be part of a group who help and support each other.”

Jackie Tolland, Parent Network Scotland Chief Executive, added: “We are so proud to recognise the huge achievements of parents and carers across Scotland.”