I recently received a telephone call from a relative which took me aback quite a bit but ultimately warmed the cockles of my heart.

In 2001 I was lucky enough to be awarded the Bob Cotton Citizen Awards by Unison.  The award was created to commemorate Bob Cotton, a member of UNISON’s governing body, the national executive committee, who was killed in the Ladbroke Grove rail crash on 5 October 1999.  Bob was an extremely active member of his community and sounds as though he was thoroughly nice man.  It is supposed to celebrate those people who have made a meaningful contribution to the community and been a good role model to others.  It was an extreme honour at the time and one I will always remember as a huge privilege to have received.

Bob Cotton
Bob Cotton

My relative relayed the story that a friend of hers, who is a member of Unison, was at the national conference this year.  Part of the activities was for some of them to name people that they hold as an inspiration for their lives and use as a positive influence in moving forward.  Apparently a young woman got up and cited me as their inspirational influence and someone that they admired.  I can’t tell you how much that this makes me feel so proud.  Not for any egotistical reasons I assure you.  It is more that it is always my wish that if the experience I have had to endure can help anyone or provide them with a positive influence then I am a very, very humbled but happy person.  And after all these years it is astonishing to think people still remember!

I think a very special legacy for Bob Cotton to have inspired.

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