GLASGOW is full of people who work hard to improve their communities for all.
We want to hear about them for the 2018 Streets Ahead Awards – but don’t wait too long as the closing date for entries – May 3 – is fast approaching.
Our campaign has been supporting inspiring individuals and great groups all over the city for the last seven years, with funding and in-kind support, thanks to our generous partners Glasgow City Council, City Building, Scottish Fire and Rescue and City Charitable Trust.
At the end of each campaign year, the Evening Times holds an awards presentation evening in the People’s Palace Winter Gardens, hosted by Glasgow City Council, giving us the chance to honour the men, women, children and businesses who put heart and soul into making life better for all of us.
From green businesses to environmental initiatives, from clean-ups to community gardens, we want to highlight all the great work being done in neighbourhoods all over Glasgow.
Last year’s winner of the Glasgow City Council Environmental Initiative was Friends of Glasgow Local Nature Reserves.
Concerned about the impact of algae and wet and windy weather on breeding birds at Hogganfield Loch, the Friends of Glasgow’s Local Nature Reserves sprang into action.
Working hard to secure funding, the team installed five bio-havens, or floating islands, to create nesting opportunities for wetland birds and help improve water quality, encouraging more birds – and visitors – to flock to the park.
It was a bold move, as no-one had ever tried it in Scotland before – but it paid off and the group were delighted when a pair of Great-Crested Grebes took up residence on one of the islands, nesting and raising their young.
Already, the islands have successfully boosted numbers of wetland bird species and inspired other lochs around the city to follow their fine example.
Since winning a Streets Ahead award, the group has had a busy year, as chairman Jim Coyle explains.
He says: “As well as the big projects, we organise a whole range of other events and activities and it has been a busy 12 months – despite the weather.
“We’re keeping a close eye on the biohavens project of course – this year we spotted two pairs of Great-Crested Grebes nesting, which is fantastic.”
The group, which formed in 2011, has around 30 members and works in close partnership with other local organisations arranging litter picks, park clean-ups and more.
“More and more people are understanding the importance of taking care of our wildlife, even in the heart of our cities,” added Jim.
As well as raising awareness of the city’s Local Nature Reserves, the group works hard all year round to organise and support conservation days and events.
And they are on hand at Hogganfield Loch to help educate visitors about feeding the ducks and swans.
“It’s been great to see so many young people get involved – we’ll tell them about the swans who come from Iceland to winter in Glasgow, or that there have been sightings of 141 different species of bird at Hogganfield, and they’ll go off and tell their parents, so everyone is getting to hear about it,” smiles Jim.
Jim says the group enjoyed the awards ceremony.
“Winning a Streets Ahead award was fantastic – it was a really great event and we were delighted to be a part of it,” he explains.
“We were very surprised to win once we heard all the stories of the other nominated projects – everyone was so deserving.”
Jim adds: “We feel like it has helped is to raise awareness too of Glasgow’s Local Nature Reserves. Two years ago, people perhaps didn’t know about us but now the message is spreading, which is great.”
To nominate yourself or someone else, visit the dedicated awards website at newsquestscotlandevents.com/streetsahead
You can also send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 0141 302 7407.
We will be awarding eight prizes, including an overall winner, to be announced at a special ceremony on June 19.
There will be trophies for the best garden, best clean up campaign, best environmental initiative, best community garden, best community initiative and best business initiative, plus a prize for the best community-minded school in the city.
The overall winner will be chosen from the winners of all the other categories. Closing date for entries is May 3.
Don’t miss tomorrow’s Evening Times and visit newsquestscotlandevents.com/streetsahead for more success stories and information on how to get involved in the Streets Ahead Awards.