EVERY day, Glasgow’s unsung heroes inspire and inform, mentor and support, guide and care for people all over the city.
Last night, at the Glasgow Community Champions Grand Final 2018, they had their much-deserved moment in the spotlight.
The banqueting hall at the City Chambers rocked and rolled as heat winners came together for the most heartwarming awards do of the year.
Around 300 people filled the wonderful venue to pay tribute to our 2017 stars. Young stars from Angela McCallum School of Music got the evening off to a rousing start, performing a medley of songs from hit movie The Greatest Showman.
The event was hosted by superstar singer Michelle McManus and supported by our partners Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Community Planning Partnership, Glasgow Housing Association, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland.
Nine awards were presented on the night, including the Lord Provost’s Special Recognition Award, which went to Sunnyside Primary’s Ocean Defenders, a bunch of eco-minded schoolchildren working hard on a variety of environmentally-friendly initiatives across the country.
The young pupils were beside themselves with glee when the prize was announced.
“People say, you’re just schoolkids, what can you do?” said P7 pupil Kiera McCourt. “Well, we are proof young people can make a big difference.”
The Team Award went to Coming Home Centre, which has supported more than 400 veterans in the south of Glasgow, providing everything from warm meals and financial help to assistance with job-seeking.
Adam Edwards, operations manager, said: “It’s brilliant for a small organisation like ours to be recognised alongside so many huge community groups doing good work – we’re really proud.”
The mighty Twimukye Mushaka, Poverty Alliance fieldwork development officer, won the Individual Award.
An emotional Twimukye, who has hearing and vision disabilities, said: “It’s great to be here, amongst so many inspiring people. I’m very happy to be recognised by this great event.”
Royston Youth Action, winner of the Public Service Award, supports schools and parents across a range of activities.
Young volunteer Toni Wilson said: “This is amazing – the work we do is really important, because it has changed the way people look at Royston.”
The Senior Award was presented to Alexander Watt, who missed out on claiming his north west heat trophy because of ill health.
Alexander, who has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to running Glasgow Eagles sports club, got a special cheer on the night as he received his prize.
Alexander said: “There’s a great atmosphere here tonight – I feel very honoured.”
The Uniformed Services Award went to Baillieston Local Problem Solving Team, which has teamed up with local schools and businesses on a range of initiatives.
PC Daryl Teasdale said: “We’re proud to be part of such a big event – we’re glad we are making a difference.”
Glasgow North West Youth Bank won the Young Award.
Young leader Jamie Morrice, 16, said: “It’s brilliant to be here, and it shows our group is helping people.”
The Sports Award was presented to Demi Mitchell, lead youth worker at Shell Twilight Girls Govan, which encourages black, Asian and ethnic minority girls to be active in their communities.
A delighted Demi said: “I’m so shocked – I’m just me, and there are all these amazing groups here tonight. I’m glad what I do has an impact, glad that I can give young women a voice because otherwise, they would not be heard and would miss out on so much the rest of us take for granted.”
The Health and Wellbeing award went to Gorbals music programme Givin’ It Laldie.
Clare McBrien, who joined the group earlier this year, said the nomination was extra special because it had come from group members. She summed up what Community Champions is all about.
“The people who come to our group are often lonely, or isolated, or in poor health.,” she said. “Like everyone else in the room tonight, we are helping the people who really need it.”