A GORBALS group which uses the power and joy of music to bring people together is hoping local residents will help shape its future.

Givin’ It Laldie, which won the Health and Wellbeing Award at last year’s Glasgow Community Champions Awards, is holding an open day on September 11.

The Evening Times is on the hunt for nominations for this year’s awards, in association with Glasgow Fort and supported by our other partners Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Community Planning Partnership, Glasgow Housing Association and Trades House of Glasgow. The closing date is September 17.

Givin’ it Laldie triumphed in the South heat and at the Grand Final last year and after a busy few months performing around the city, are gearing up for the open day next month.

As well as free food and workshops, visitors will have the chance to talk to staff and volunteers about the impact the group is having on the Gorbals community.

Manager Clare McBrien explains: “We are quite good at understanding how we help individual people through our music programmes, but we want to know how we fit in to the wider community – are we supporting people properly?

“How do our projects reach the mums and dads of the children who come along, for example, or the partners of the people we support?”

She adds: “The open day is a chance for people to come and talk to us, share some soup and snacks, and join in a workshop if they wish.

“They can come for five minutes or stay for the afternoon, we’ll be delighted to see them.”

Givin’ It Laldie started up around seven years ago and it now offers a diverse range of free music sessions for local people – no auditions, no experience and no ability to read music required.

There are guitar groups, a children’s choir, a community choir, smaller singing groups and singing sessions for people with disabilities and additional support needs. Givin’ it Laldie also goes out to local dementia units and sheltered housing complexes to run singing sessions for residents, friends, families and staff.

Anna Mathew, husband Sujit Samuel and their eight-year-old daughter Elena came to Scotland through Sujit’s job in the IT sector, and joined Givin’ it Laldie’s guitar group Strum for Life to help settle in to their new life in Glasgow.

The sessions include people of all ages, so parents, grandparents and children all learn alongside each other.

Anna explains: “We are not at all a musical family – but the guitar part is only a little bit of the story at Givin’ it Laldie. It’s more than the music, it’s the fun, the relaxation and the being together.”

Recently the group launched a Friends of Laldie fundraising scheme and the project is always looking for volunteer helpers – find out more on the website, givinitlaldie.org.uk

The open day, which is being held at Gorbals Parish Church from 1.30pm until 7pm on September 11, will include musical workshops and fun feedback sessions.

“It’s a chance for all our groups to come together too, and to celebrate everything we are doing,” says Clare. “The groups are all quite disparate, so this will hopefully give everyone a chance to feel part of something bigger.

“It will help us understand too, how we can keep using music to support the people who need it.”

Entries are now open for this year’s Community Champions awards. There are nine categories – Team Award, Individual Award, Public Service Award, Uniformed Services Award, Senior Award, Young Award, Health and Wellbeing Award, Sports Award and – new for 2019 – Teacher Award.

The awards cover three areas of Glasgow, the south, the north-east and the north-west.

We want to hear about inspirational individuals and great groups going the extra mile in your area – who do you think deserves recognition for fantastic community work?

Tell us why they should win and remember to include lots of detail and photographs to support your entry.

You can nominate on the website at https://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/glasgowcommchamps/

The closing date for entries is Tuesday, September 17.

A shortlist will then go to a public online vote to determine the winners in each area, who will then progress to the Grand Final at Glasgow City Chambers on December 6.

A judging panel made up of representatives from the awards’ partners, will decide the Grand Final winners.