In memory of…
Last year the tenants' movement in Scotland lost four tenant representatives who dedicated much of their lives to improving tenants' rights and making their communities better places to live. They will be sadly missed.
Gordon Lethorn was chair of West Strathclyde Regional Network and joined the Regional Network Committee at the earliest stages of its development. Gordon believed that being part of the networks enabled tenant representatives to influence the Scottish Government's thinking on national policy. Gordon had been part of the local tenants and residents' association in Bridge of Weir for more than 20 years. He had been the chair for over 10 years and under his stewardship it developed into a vibrant, challenging and supportive organisation, which does a great deal to benefit tenants and residents in the community. Gordon received an award from the Renfrewshire Provost, acknowledging him as an outstanding member of the community as a reward for this fantastic work.
Rena Smith MBE was chair of the Tayforth Regional Network and was recognised for her dedication to her community when she was awarded the Citizen of the Year award in Dundee. She joined the Balmoral Tenants and Residents group holding posts of secretary and treasurer. It was through the Balmoral group that she helped to create and publish the award-winning community newsletter Douglas Live and Kicking. As a result of her achievements Rena was awarded the MBE in 2011. Rena was committed to empowering tenants, residents, and community groups, ensuring they were at the heart of the consultation process.
John Colquhoun , a valued member of East Dunbartonshire & Lanarkshire Regional Network was a much-loved and respected founder member of the Regional Networks. Early on, John saw the value of creating a Scotland-wide organisation which would have direct contact with the Scottish Government and could articulate the concerns in our communities. He was a man of integrity, vision and compassion, who could express himself with candour at all times. No matter what company he was in, he was in no way intimidated. His knowledge was extensive and his commitment to tenants and residents' organisations gained him the respect of everyone he encountered. People would stop him on the street and ask for his help and it was never refused. He was a man of and for the people and his legacy will be long remembered.
Hugh Wilson Fraser MBE , was chair of South West Scotland Regional Network and was one of the founder members of the Food Train in Dumfries, which began in 1995 following a community survey of older people that found many of them were struggling with their weekly grocery shopping. A partnership of local shops and volunteers came together and the concept of the Food Train was born. He set up a tenants and residents' group in his home village of Locharbriggs and used his position to promote the transfer of the housing stock from the local authority to a community-based housing association with tenants running the organisation. For his dedication and hard work to his community Hugh was awarded the MBE in 2010.
Email: Annabel MacMillan