THE community of Ruchill is mourning the loss of an inspirational woman who worked tirelessly to better the lives of those around her.

Eleanor Brown passed away on May 1 aged 69, following a short illness.

Eleanor made a lasting difference to Ruchill and other communities in the north of Glasgow through her extraordinary work and dedication, which spanned more than two decades.

An avid campaigner, Eleanor was on the management committee of Maryhill Housing Association, before joining their Board, and becoming the chairperson of Ruchill Community Council.

Among her achievements is The Ruchill Furniture Project, which has been collecting and distributing unwanted furniture to families and individuals in need since 1992.

In 1994, she helped pave the way for the stock transfer of homes in Ruchill and the beginning of community-controlled housing.

Maryhill Housing and the Barnes Road Action Group worked together to persuade the-then Glasgow District Council to hand over unpopular and difficult to let properties.

They were then demolished to make way for new homes in what has come to be known as the ‘Barnes Road stock transfer’ in the Parkhill area.

Through her hard work, Eleanor helped to shape the future housing needs of Ruchill and continued to get involved at every stage of the process.

She also turned her hand to setting up other projects, including Big Roots of Ruchill, which won Best Community Garden at the 2017 Evening Times’ Community Champion Awards.

Elsewhere, she worked on developing the Ruchill Credit Union, Ruchill Choir, and Ruchill and Possilpark Thriving Places.

As well as being highly regarded and admired in the community, Eleanor was acknowledged through the inaugural Mary Barbour Award in 2016 in which she came runner-up.

The award recognises inspiring women within the housing association movement.

Robert Stewart, who worked with Eleanor for 28 years after being brought in to help with the finances of Ruchill furniture, said: “I think the most important thing about Eleanor was her love for her community.

“She was instrumental in the 90s in helping the housing situation – before then the housing stock in Ruchill was appalling.

“She kept the profile of the area up. Within her own community she was legendary because she looked after everyone.

“People would come round to her house and there would be a big table set up with chairs and she would cook.

“On a Sunday she would cook for all the single people.

“I just have the greatest admiration for her. She left a massive footprint that will be difficult to fill.”

Paying tribute to Eleanor, Maryhill Housing chief executive Bryony Willett, said: “We mourn the loss of Eleanor, sharing the sorrow of her family, but remain extremely thankful for her exceptional life and work.

“Eleanor was a selfless and devoted servant of the community and this housing association. Her overwhelming desire was to make life better for people she didn’t even know and to fight poverty and injustice wherever she found it.

“We will remember Eleanor fondly as an inspiring individual whose life was dedicated to helping others.”

Former Maryhill Housing community development officer Bobby Pollock who worked closely with Eleanor – particularly on the 1994 stock transfer – added: “Eleanor was undoubtedly a true champion of the community.

“I vividly recall her dogged determination to deliver the best housing possible for Ruchill, the satisfaction she derived from helping people obtain a new home and from the regeneration of Ruchill.

“She will be greatly missed.”

Councillor Jacqueline McLaren, said: “Eleanor was a real stalwart in the Ruchill Community.

“She was a good friend to many including my own niece and nephews.

“She will be very sadly missed.”