In the 10th anniversary year of our uplifting event, the standard of regional heats winners has been higher than ever.
That meant our judges – representatives from all of our generous partners Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Community Planning Partnership, Glasgow Housing Association, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland – had their toughest challenge yet.
Panel chairman and Evening Times Editor Graham Shields said: “It has been a bumper year for outstanding individuals, great groups and brilliant projects which made selecting winners extremely difficult.
“All of the winners from the south, north east and north west heats have been fantastic examples of the good that can be done when people decided to work together, tackle a problem, or simply do something for the good of the community.
“But we have come to a decision on all the categories at last, so the waiting is almost over for our fabulous finalists.”
He added: “We are looking forward to revealing all at the grand final on November 29.”
The glittering finale will take place at the City Chambers, in what promises to be a lively, heartwarming event.
Battling it out for the Team Award are North East heat winners Fuse Café, who impressed judges with their dedication to local young people; Glasgow South East Foodbank, which helps families struggling to put food on the table; and North West heat winners Cook n Care, who have been serving up nutritious meals for vulnerable, elderly and disabled people in their homes for nearly 20 years.
The three contenders for the Individual Award are North East champion Selina Hales, who set up refugee support charity Refuweegee; expert organiser and activist from the South, Marilyn Cunningham, who fought hard to save a local community hall; and incomparable Drumchapel Foodbank volunteer, fundraiser and organiser Liz Atkinson, who won in the North West.
The Public Service Award finalists are Glasgow North East Foodbank, which is now an important community service as well as a food provider to those in need; Family Addiction Support Service, which won the South heat; and The NHS Centre for Integrative Care Nursing Team, who provide holistic and integrative health care to patients in the North West.
The three finalists for the Uniform Service Award are Police Scotland’s London Road Problem Solving Team, who triumphed in the North East event for their hard work on a range of initiatives including vital improvements in Alexandra Park; South champion and lifesaver PC Jacqueline Campbell, who inspires both pupils and staff as a campus officer; and equally inspirational campus officer PC Colette Farren, who won in the North West.
The Senior Award finalists are Anne Livesey, the 93-year-old convener of Springboig 50 Plus Club, who won the North East heat; Violet Robertson, 83, who runs Govanhill Stroke Club; and Pat and Rae McCarthy, who founded the Primrose Club in the North West to help older people beat loneliness and isolation.
The Young Award will go to one of the following quartet – popular Free Wheel North helper Habiba Amin, or superstar volunteer Megan Johnston, who were named joint winners in the North East; South dance champion and tireless community worker Bethany Donaghy; and the North West’s Abercorn Secondary School.
Abercorn pupils impressed the judges as respected, hardworking community volunteers in a whole range of projects from charity shops to foodbanks and local nurseries, despite facing their own health and learning challenges.
The contenders for the Health and Wellbeing Award are North East winner Stephen Thompson, known as the Homeless Barber as he gives up his own time to offer free haircuts to homeless people; The Macmillan at Glasgow Libraries South Team, which takes cancer support into the community with fantastic results; and North West champions the North Glasgow Community Food Initiative.
The Sport Award finalists are Red Star Athletics, from the North East; Our Lady of the Annunciation Football Club, which has 90 members and 20 volunteer coaches, all working hard on behalf of local kids, from the South; and North West champions Glasgow Eagles, which supports young people who have special needs, mental health conditions and disabilities to achieve sporting excellence.
The final award of the evening – the Lord Provost’s Award – will be announced on the night.