Glasgow Community Champions Awards 2018: Meet the SOUTH finalists

FROM super schools and inspiring individuals to terrific teams and hardworking young people, the finalists in our latest Glasgow Community Champions heat are outstanding.

Today we reveal the contenders for the trophies in the second round of our 2018 contest, which covers the south of the city.

The awards, supported by our generous partners Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Community Planning Partnership, City Building, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Police Scotland and Glasgow Fort, reward the heroic individuals and hardworking groups who make life in the city better for all.

Battling it out for the Team Award are Coming Home Centre, which provides support to veterans and their families in Govan; Home-Start Glasgow South Dads Group, which supports fathers and their children in Gowanbank and Pollok; and South West Community Cycles, which encourages safe cycling for all ages.

Coming Home Centre has supported 400 veterans over the last three years, providing everything from warm meals and financial support to jobsearch assistance and help with housing.

Lesley McGregor, who nominated the charity, explains: “The centre is a place to seek help – as well as offering a free lunch every day, the veterans carry out a whole range of services for the community, such as clean-ups. It has transformed people’s lives.”

South West Community Cycles works tirelessly to encourage people to get on their bikes but the project has a much wider impact.

Based at Pollokshaws Railway Station, their volunteer programme has supported more than 50 people, while partnerships with local schools and colleges have reached hundreds of people, improving self-esteem, friendship and training and job opportunities.

Amy Cloke, who works tirelessly to support Roma families; John Elder, who runs Castlemilk Carpenters Workshop; and Active Life Club founder Raza Sadiq, are the Individual Award finalists.

Battlefield Primary, a school right at the heart of its community; Glasgow ClydeCollege Community Learning and Development Team; Govanhill Housing Association director Anne Lear; and South Seeds energy efficiency expert Casey Dickson are contenders for the Public Service Award.

The finalists in the running for the Uniform Services Award are Operation Mighty (PCs Nicola Baird, Sarah Smith, Paul Mallon and Iain Mackintosh) in Govanhill; Scottish Fire and Rescue Glasgow City Management Team, who give up their own time to mentor young people; and Scottish Fire and Rescue Crew Manager Alistair Lamb, who goes above and beyond his day job to deliver CPR training to groups and individuals across the south side.

The finalists in the Senior Award are champion fundraiser Jan O’Neill; kinship carer Sadie Prior; and Family Addiction Support Services founders Marie McMonigle and Marlene Johnston.

Abdul Haseeb, who inspires and encourages young people at Active Life Club; kind-hearted volunteer Kelsi McFadden; and the hard-working pupils of St John Paul II Primary in Castlemilk, will battle it out for the Young Award.

The four finalists for the Health and Wellbeing Award are Cristina Bernadino, who runs the beauty social enterprise Remake Up; community support group Carnwadric WIN Project; music programme Givin’ it Laldie; and dates-n-mates Glasgow, a dating and friendship organisation run by and for adults with learning disabilities.

Givin’ It Laldie started in the Gorbals around eight years ago, with the aim of bringing local people together to restore the area’s community spirit.

As well as running free choirs, instrumental groups and workshops for everyone, the hardworking team also runs community events, helping to reach everyone – including young and old, people with poor physical and mental health, or those with addiction issues or living in poverty, through the common language of music.

The exceptional Dates n Mates has been on the go for 10 years. Group member David Weir, explains: “The group gives people with learning disabilities the opportunity to make friends, improve their own confidence and volunteer – you will be valued and supported in whichever role you take in the group.

“Without them, I would have had nowhere to go.”

And finally, the Sport Award will go to one of the following three finalists – 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; St Angela’s Participation Centre Community Sports Hub; or St Brigid’s Primary, which has transformed the way it offers sports to pupils, culminating in fantastic success at the city’s sports awards where they were crowned Glasgow Primary Sport School of the Year 2017.

The school, which has 291 pupils, offers sports clubs to everyone and a massive 92 per cent of children take part.

The winners of the south heat will be announced on June 5 and will join their fellow champions from the north east and north west of the city at the grand final in the City Chambers later in the year.