A BIG-HEARTED Greenock businessman who dedicates his working life to helping people who have fallen on hard times has been put forward for a Tele community champion award.

James McCairn, who runs the local Man with a Van firm, is in the running for Community Champion of the Year in recognition of his selfless work with people all over Inverclyde.

The Greenock man works with homeless people and in 2018 he offered the use of his van to help homeless people.

Alongside running his removal business, James and his team clear up rubbish and fly tipping, and have also done their bit for Ardgowan Hospice.

James said: “This is a total surprise.

“I don’t do this to get any recognition for it – it’s just something I’ve been doing for a few years.

“I don’t think I do anything special but it’s great to be recognised for what I do.

“It’s just something that seems natural for me.

“I had been helping the homeless by giving them shelter in the van and I go about clearing up fly-tipping mess and doing removals.

“I just enjoy helping the community. ”

James’ most recent endeavour is taking food boxes into local shops to make sure people who are struggling don’t go without.

His food boxes are in shops in Brougham Street and in Belville Community Garden and he hopes to be able to get boxes in Craigend and Branchton community centres too.

James added: “People can donate to the boxes but they’re also controlled so people can take items if they need to.

“We’re getting a lot of interest in it and a lot of people want to help.

“Tesco gave us a full trolley load.

“It’s great to see the whole community coming together to help people out.”

There’s still time to vote in our Community Champion Awards and you can vote in any of the following categories: Community Champion of the Year; Live Music Award; Youth Community Champion; Heart of Gold; Senior Community Champion; Charity Champion of the Year; Teacher of the Year; Business Champion of the Year; Sporting Champion of the Year; Little Champion of the Year.

Closing date for entries is Wednesday March 25 and you can find out more and download a form by visiting https://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/greenockcommchamp/