Ramsey's wife is crowned 'Mum of the Year'

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The Independent Online

The wife of television chef Gordon Ramsay was crowned celebrity mum of the year today and said "patience" was the most important virtue for a parent.

Tana Ramsay, 35, who has four children, described herself as a traditional mother who was forever learning new lessons about being a good parent.

Ramsay received the Tesco Magazine Celebrity Mum of the Year award at a glitzy ceremony in central London.

She beat off competition from high-profile mothers including newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, Emmerdale actress Linda Lusardi and EastEnders faces Patsy Palmer, Jo Joyner, Jessie Wallace and Lucy Benjamin.

Asked about what made a good mother, Ramsay, who has written three best-selling cookbooks and raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity, said: "It's a big learning curve. It's a journey.

"It's important to stay close to them, but that gets tricky when they get older and they get secretive and into their teenage years... but just being there, being their friend."

She said parents needed the "patience of a saint", adding: "You talk to them and listen to them. As they get older that's the thing I'm learning all the time is just listening. Some problems you might not think are a big deal are massive for them."

Ramsay, the mother of Megan, 11, twins Jack and Holly, 10, and Matilda, eight, said: "As they get older it's more important for them to spend more time with Gordon, more time with me, and with us together."

She said her husband, known for his foul-mouthed rants, behaved totally differently at home.

She said: "It's different at home, it's not a stressful environment."

She continued: "I follow my mum's lead in how she was as a mum.

"Computers and telephones make it quite hard being a parent. Where do you draw the line? You don't want them to stick out and be a different child to their friends but you want to be traditional, you want to see them do research in the library and go to a phone box to call you but that's not real any more."

Ramsay, who has been married to her husband for 14 years, supports several charities including the Scottish Spina Bifida Association, Woman's Aid and the Meningitis Trust.

The marathon running fundraiser has raised more than £900,000 for charity.

The overall award for Tesco Magazine Mum of the Year went to Jane Gates, from Binfield in Berkshire.

Mrs Gates set up a charity after her nine-year-old son, Sebastian, died of a rare form of kidney cancer on Christmas Eve 2003.

Mrs Gates, 47, was nominated by her mother, Pamela Walters, who told the magazine about her daughter's hard work to set up Sebastian Action's Trust.

It was her son's dying wish to establish a holiday home for sick children and their families.

She said: "It was Sebastian's last wish to raise the money to build the holiday home. He had already established the charity and 12 days before he died he launched a campaign to raise the money to build this unique holiday facility for sick children."

Since her son's death the charity has raised £1.2 million and Mrs Gates hopes to accommodate a hundred families every year when the home is opened in Hampshire.

Mrs Gates was picked out by a judging panel including the Prime Minister's wife, Sarah Brown, from a record 4,000 nominations.

She said: "We all work so hard to make a real difference to the lives of children who face an uncertain future.

"Today I'm accepting this fantastic award in recognition of the sterling efforts of everyone involved in the trust.

"Today is a celebration of the achievement of so many who give so much to our community, recognising that individuals can make a difference and collectively we are a very strong force."

A visit to Number 10 Downing Street tomorrow will be all the more poignant because it was the last place she visited with her son, nine days before his death.

Afterwards he was taken to a hospice in Oxford and his condition deteriorated rapidly.

She said: "It will be tinged with sadness but there will also be huge pride."

The ceremony, hosted by GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips, took place at the Waldorf Hilton in central London.

Mrs Brown said: "Once again, the 2010 nominees are truly inspirational and I am proud to help celebrate Britain's hidden army of wonder women who never give in or give up and give their all for their kids."

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