Brenda Trenowden and her wonderful husband Mark (Trend) have been one of Peter and Claudia's closest friends since we were all young and fun as new parents in Clapham. They were very loving and supportive all those years ago when Christian was ill, frequently visiting us at The Royal Marsden and St George's, often bringing some delicious soup, and always a bottle of wine. We all remained great friends and they moved to Sevenoaks not long after us, following that well trodden path from Nappy Valley to Kent life.
While Trend looked after the home and their wonderful kids, Teddy and India, Brenda's career flourished. Brenda believed in her work and her passion led her not only to personal success, but to have genuine influence in the lives of many others. Trend's importance in this success can not be underemphasised, there is a great interview on the BBC i-player where Brenda called Trend, "The chief household officer", and I know how much Brenda depended on Trend's perpetual support.
Brenda has been one of the UK's most prominent diversity champions having been chair of the 30% club from 2015 to 2018. During her tenure, Brenda set the deadline for the campaign's initial aim of women making up 30% of FTSE 100 boards. In 2018 she was awarded a CBE for services to the financial sector and gender equality.
Brenda went on to be a partner at PWC, a trustee of The Royal Marsden and the senior independent Director on the England and Wales Cricket Board, I love how this position demonstrates how Brenda could walk the walk and well as talking it!
The extraordinary thing is that much of what Brenda achieved, she achieved while coping with a horrible and rare form of cancer which was diagnosed in 2016. While many of us would have folded and reverted into a spiral of self pity, Brenda didn't. She worked, she raised her family, she supported others, she partied and she lived her life. Brenda and Trend chronicled her journey in her blog Brenda won't back down, it remains as a fitting testament to a truly wonderful person.
Brenda's influence reached far and wide, but also close to home. Her passion, work ethic and ambition fed through to Teddy and India who, as well as being lovely human beings, are both smart, driven and have achieved excellent academic results.
Very few people leave this world inspiring and improving the lives of as many people as Brenda has. We are touched, honoured and humbled that Trend has decided that all donations in lieu of flowers should be given to The Christian Blandford Fund.
Thank you Trend, Teddy and India, and thank you Brenda, for fitting so much into an unjustly short number of years.
Registered Charity number - 1139614