Published 27 March 2017
A gran who has dedicated over 15 years to fundraising for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland has been named West Dunbartonshire’s Citizen of the Year.
Tracy Brittan has raised thousands of pounds for CHAS and its Balloch hospice Robin House, volunteering tirelessly and taking part in a myriad of fundraising events in the community and beyond.
The Renton gran was first inspired to help CHAS after the charity launched its appeal to build Robin House at Loch Lomond in 2002. Tracy has combined her volunteering with working full-time, and being a mum and now a gran. Over the years, she has given her time to support fundraising events across the country, staffed CHAS information stalls and arranged bucket collections.
The 52-year-old said: “I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with CHAS and help them in a really small way. CHAS relies on fundraising to run its hospices for children across Scotland with life-limiting conditions, and I’m just one of hundreds of people who help.
“I lost a baby 15 years ago after miscarrying at 20 weeks. When I saw that CHAS were looking for volunteers, I wanted to help. I really admired the work of CHAS and thought I might understand a little bit of what the families were going through.”
She added: “I love volunteering with CHAS. When you visit the hospice, and meet the families and see how CHAS is helping, it really inspires you and I plan to keep helping for many more years to come.”
Provost Douglas McAllister said: “Tracy Brittan is a fantastic advocate for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, and a shining example to everyone in the community. She has worked quietly in the background, and given her time freely for the last 15 years to not only raise much needed funds for CHAS and its hospice in Balloch but also raise awareness of the charity. She is a fitting winner of the Citizen of the Year award.”
Tracy was announced as the overall winner at the Provost Civic Awards, held in partnership with Wheatley Group, at Clydebank Town Hall on Friday night, where six other awards were also announced recognising the spirit of the community in West Dunbartonshire. Tracy also took home the title of Community/Voluntary Champion (individual), which was sponsored by CCG.
Talented Council tree surgeon Patrick Muir who has transformed tree stumps in Balloch and Levengrove parks into magical works of art in his spare time to bring joy to residents and visitors of all ages, was named Arts and Culture Champion (sponsored by Caledonia Housing Association).
Sports Champion (sponsored by Commands) was Duncan Hewitson of Club Sport West Dunbartonshire. Chair of the Club, Duncan has held this position for seven years and has dedicated himself to improving the organisation to provide better support to local clubs, coaches, volunteers and officials across West Dunbartonshire.
The Community/Voluntary Champions team award was won by Police Scotland Youth Volunteers who work in the community providing peer education, becoming dementia friends and promoting the ‘no knives better lives’ strategy. The award was sponsored by Morgan Sindall.
The Provost’s Special Recognition Award went to Duntocher Village Hall management board, who were hailed as a great example of community empowerment. The group’s efforts have seen the hall transformed to become an integral part of the community, used for playgroups, exercise classes, ballroom dancing, fitness activities, local fundraising events, parties and local celebrations.
The Youth Champion award (sponsored by West College Scotland) went to Kayla McCulloch of Clydebank. Kayla, who has a debilitating condition which causes her immune system to attack her liver, has been fundraising for other children with liver disease and has raised over £2,000.
Provost McAllister added: “In West Dunbartonshire, our greatest asset is our people and we are fortunate to have so many stalwarts who dedicate their time to improve the lives of others. It’s an honour for me to have the opportunity to demonstrate how much we all value the contribution they make by recognising them through the Provost Civic Awards.
“We had a record number of nominations this year which is testament to the fantastic work which is ongoing in our communities, and selecting the shortlist and winners was extremely difficult. I want to congratulate all of our winners and take this opportunity to thank everyone who was nominated for all that they do to make West Dunbartonshire great.”
The winners’ names will be displayed at Clydebank Town Hall, and will all be guests of the Provost at the Queen's annual garden party at Holyrood in July.