IT IS almost time for the Glasgow Community Champions 2018 Grand Final.
After a bumper year of great groups and inspiring individuals, the winners will be crowned at the City Chambers next week.
This year’s regional heats produced a fantastic crop of truly remarkable finalists – which made life very difficult for our judges.
Representatives of all our partners – Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Community Planning Partnership, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland, City Building and Glasgow Fort – found it tough to choose the winners.
Panel chairman and Evening Times Deputy Editor Henry Ainslie said: “All of the winners from the south, north east and north west have been fantastic examples of the good which can be done when people work together.
“It was really difficult for the judges, because all of the finalists are doing great work in very challenging circumstances.
“But we have come to a decision – and we are looking forward to revealing all at the grand final on November 27.”
The fabulous finale promises to be a lively, heartwarming event with entertainment from host Michelle McManus.
Battling it out for the Team Award are north east winners Beacon Warriors, who bring families together for exercise, healthy eating and more; north west winners Braveheart Industries, a group of social enterprises generating employment and other life-changing opportunities for ex-offenders; and south champions Coming Home Centre, which provides support to veterans and their families in Govan.
The three contenders for the Individual Award are Glasgow East Women’s Aid support worker Clare Elliot, from the north east; Poverty Alliance fieldwork development officer Twimukye Mushaka, north west winner, who has overcome significant personal health challenges to help others; and the south’s Raza Sadiq, who founded the area’s popular Active Life Club.
The Public Service Award finalists are Royston Youth Action Group, from the north east, which has been helping young people reach their full potential for almost 30 years; north west joint winners University of Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian University Law Clinics, which work tirelessly to provide access to justice to some of society’s most vulnerable people; and Glasgow Clyde College’s Community Learning and Development Team, who triumphed in the south.
The three finalists for the Uniform Service Award are Police Scotland’s hardworking Baillieston Local Problem Solving Team from the north east; north west winner, Scottish Fire and Rescue’s Community Action Team, for its inspirational work protecting vulnerable children from sexual exploitation; and PCs Nicola Baird, Sarah Smith, Paul Mallon and Iain Mackintosh, from Police Scotland’s Operation Mighty team in the south.
The Senior Award finalists are inspirational Red Star Athletics coach and volunteer Donald Adie, who won the north east heat; north west winner Alexander Watt, who has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to running a Springburn sports club; and Marie McMonigle and Marlene Johnston, joint winners in the south, who are part of the driving force behind FamilyAddiction Support Services.
The Young Award will go to one of the following quartet – north east winners Sunnyside Ocean Defenders, a group of children from Sunnyside Primary who have run a range of eco-friendly initiatives; Glasgow North West Youth Bank; Abdul Haseeb, who inspires and encourages young people at Active Life Club; or kind-hearted volunteer Kelsi McFadden. Abdul and Kelsi shared the south heat win.
The contenders for the Health and Wellbeing Award are Glasgow East Women’s Aid, which has been supporting vulnerable women and children in the north east for 25 years;; Notre Dame Children’s Centre, from the north west, which supports children living tough lives and the kinship carers who help them; and inspirational Gorbals music programme Givin it Laldie, from the south.
The Sport Award finalists are north east champions Shettleston Harriers; Partick Thistle Charitable Trust, who triumphed in the north west because of its innovative work supporting homeless people; and South heat winner Demi Mitchell, lead youth worker at Shell Twilight Girls Govan session, which encourages black, Asian and ethnic minority girls to be active in their communities.
The final award of the evening – the Lord Provost’s Special Recognition Award – will be announced on the night.