TRACY Hickson puts herself before others and now she’s been officially recognised for her contributions to her community.

North Baddesley Parish Council named her Parishioner of the Year last week.

Council chairman, David Knight said the 45-year-old mother-of-two was a worthy recipient of the award.

“Tracy is and has been a very outstanding worker for the village of North Baddesley for many years,” said Mr Knight.

Tracy, who has lived in North Baddesley with her husband, Peter, for 24 years, chairs the Village Fun Day organising committee and was actively involved in saving North Baddesley Library from closure in the face of proposed county council cuts.

After receiving the award, a crystal bowl, a delighted Tracy said: “I love being part of village life and this award is a lovely way for my contribution to be recognised.”

She said becoming a mother had kick-started her community work.

“In March 1991 my daughter Emma was born and I left work to bring her up. I soon realised that whilst I loved being a mum, I wanted to be involved in other things. I helped to run North Baddesley NCT group and took on the role of secretary at Little Saints Pre-School,” she said.

When her children started school at North Baddesley Infants she joined the Parent Teacher Association and later became the chairman of the Little Saints Pre-School.

She also served as a governor at the Infant School for four years and ran the Junior School PTA.

When her son, Ollie, started at Mountbatten School, Tracy joined the PTA there.

“Five or six years ago I became involved in the initial attempt at the North Baddesley Parish Plan and a result myself and a small group decided to relaunch the annual village day. The first took place in July, 2009 and the event is going from strength to strength and any profits we make are donated to village groups and charities,” said Tracy.

In July, 2012, when she first heard that HCC planned to close the village library she became involved in the campaign to keep it open.

Since then she has been actively involved in negotiating with HCC, finding grants, negotiating the library lease and setting up the registered charity Friends of North Baddesley Library which now runs the facility.

“Of course I haven’t achieved this all on my own, we have a dedicated team of trustees and an ‘army’ of volunteers meaning that we now have a thriving village library of which I am really proud. However, there is still lots of work to be done,” concluded Tracy.