AT THE centre of the Evening Times Streets Ahead campaign are people who add sparkle to their communities.
It could be through their work with local groups or groundbreaking initiatives – or it could be simply because they are good neighbours.
As we continue our search for this year’s Streets Ahead award winners, we are turning the spotlight on one of the toughest categories – Best Garden.
While our annual awards ceremony includes prizes for community-wide projects and initiatives which bring people together in a variety of clever and creative ways, this category acknowledges the incredible work done by individuals right on their own doorsteps – and how they often inspire others too.
Take Gordon Kendall, for example. Our 2013 winner, from Balornock, takes great pride in his garden, but he also impressed the judges with his willingness to help elderly neighbours look after their own outdoor spaces.
“When you are perhaps housebound, or unable to do your own garden, having someone like Gordon there to help is invaluable,” his mum, Annie, told us. “Looking out on a beautiful garden means all the world.”
Gordon, who attended the awards with his wife Irene, said: “I just love doing my garden and helping my neighbours. I never expected to win an award for it.”
Drumchapel great-grandmother Dora MacDonald won in 2015
“I like my garden, I didn’t realise so many people thought it was lovely,” she said on the night.
Last year’s Best Garden winner Robert Tibbetts and his little dog Hamish won the hearts of the Streets Ahead audience.
Robert moved into his Castlemilk home four years ago, and transformed the garden from an unloved and overgrown mess into a colourful place full of plants and flowers – much to the delight of everyone else in the area.
Neighbours and friends are always keen to tell him what a difference he has made to the whole street.
“I was shocked even to be nominated,” he told us. “I don’t really shout about what I do, I just love to do my garden! I’ve had some health problems in recent years – I have arthritis, and have just recovered from cancer. So my garden keeps me going.”
Another previous winner, David Walton, turned his garden into a neighbourhood hub.
James Drummond, who nominated the Ibrox gardener for a Streets Ahead award, said: “David’s garden is something we can all be proud of and he encourages others to be active in their own gardens, which benefits us all.
“In summer we all chip in for food and drink and hold barbecues, so it’s bringing us all together.
“David has been here for 25 years and he helped us all work together to clear up the communal garden and back courts too – he is an inspiration.”
We know there are many other green-fingered role models out there – please tell us about them!
To nominate yourself or someone else for a Streets Ahead award, visit the dedicated awards website at newsquestscotlandevents.com/streetsahead The closing date for nominations is April 26.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 302 6019.
We will be awarding eight prizes, including an overall winner, to be announced at a special ceremony on June 18.
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 schools award.
The best garden prize will be presented to the best residential garden. We are looking for gardens which are attractive and well kept, which improve the appearance of the local area. Perhaps you live next door to a brilliant gardener who inspires you and your neighbours? Maybe your own garden is a source of great joy for you and your family – tell us why and you could be in with a chance of winning a Streets Ahead award.
The clean-up campaign category celebrates the best clean-up initiatives taking place across the city. We want to hear from people who have come together to tidy up their local area, whether it’s a street, gardens, allotments or even a park.
The Glasgow City Council environmental initiative award will be presented to city’s best “green” project, whether it’s a recycling scheme, a sustainable travel initiative or something completely different, while for the best community garden category, we will be looking for gardens which are used by the whole community.
The winner of the best community initiative category will be an exceptional example of a project which encourages people to work together, which has gone the extra mile to make a real difference to people’s lives.
The Green Glasgow Business Award will be presented to t h e company, large or small, which has played its part in keeping Glasgow clean and green and the schools award will be given to a nursery, primary, secondary or assisted support for learning school which can demonstrate what contribution it has made to its local community.
The overall winner will be chosen from the winners of all the other categories.
The Evening Times Streets Ahead campaign, in partnership with Glasgow City Council, City Charitable Trust and City Building, is now in its eighth year.
Our Streets Ahead coverage continues tomorrow in the newspaper and online at www.eveningtimes.co.uk.