City groups in tribute to 'inspirational' champion

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Glasgow community champion who has died after dedicating her life to helping others.

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Tributes have been paid to Ronnie Rodden who died this week
Tributes have been paid to Ronnie Rodden who died this week

Ronnie Rodden died on Monday after suffering kidney failure.

The 70-year-old, from Possil, who was awarded an MBE for her tireless fight to improve services and opportunities for disabled people, had heart surgery in January but contracted an infection afterwards.

Ronnie had seven children, 16 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren and her family said they were "proud" of everything she achieved.

She was a founding member of the Disability Community, a support group that helped hundreds of people across the city.

The campaigner was known as a "champion of change" and leaves behind a legacy of charity work and activism.

She was a finalist in the Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year and a long-standing board member of North Glasgow Homes.

Ronnie helped set up the Disability Community 30 years ago after she developed arthritis. She became aware of a lack of services for disabled people and was determined to do something about it.

The group ran social clubs and classes and support services people with physical and learning disabilities.

One of the clubs, Cook 'n' Care, was an Evening Times' Community Champion winner last year and the Disability Community won the Team Award in 2011.

In 2008 the centre featured on Channel 4's Secret Millionaire series when property tycoon Nick Leslau spent time with service users and staff. He donated £225,000, which was used to upgrade the building.

The group recently secured enough funding to protect its future following an appeal in the Evening Times.

The Disability Community paid tribute to "inspirational" Ronnie. It said: "Ronnie has been and will continue to be an inspiration for members of the Disability Community and we will continue to be inspired by her passion and values.

"Everyone here will strive to serve Ronnie's memory and her legacy will live on here in the community she created."

Bosses at housing association North Glasgow Homes also paid tribute.

Chief executive Robert Tamburrini said: "Improving the lives of local people was something Ronnie cared passionately about. I shall miss her, she was a great person who always gave sound advice.

"I know the people of Possilpark and the wider north Glasgow community have lost someone who always had their best interests at heart."

Chairman John Fury added: "It's a sad day for everyone associated with North Glasgow Homes. Ronnie was a much valued member of our management board. With all her other community interests, her contribution to our success should not be under-estimated.

"I am proud to have known Ronnie and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time."

Her funeral will be on Saturday at 10am in St Theresa's Church, Saracen Street, Possil, followed by Maryhill Crematorium, Tresta Road, at 11.30am.

linzi.watson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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