Streets Ahead Awards Finalists 2013

IN EVERY corner of Glasgow, Streets Ahead projects are improving our city, one street at a time.

Inspiring individuals, great groups and creative communities, all spurred on by our awardwinning campaign, are slowly but surely helping to build a better Glasgow.

One June 13, the Evening Times, in conjunction with Clean Glasgow, will reward the people and projects behind some of these great initiatives.

There will be seven category winners – best garden; best community garden; best environmental initiative; best school; best clean-up campaign; best community initiative and the Green Glasgow business award – and one overall champion chosen by the judges.

Today we reveal the finalists for Best Clean Up Campaign and Best Environmental Initiative.


John Wheatley College/Lamlash Nursery

AN EAST end nursery school garden trashed by vandals last year is blooming again, thanks to John Wheatley College’s EVIP (Enhanced Vocational Inclusion Programme) construction students.

The team worked tirelessly to build everything from beastie boxes and compost bins to beautiful planters designed as boats, benches and tables.

With fantastic support from staff, children, parents, local fire crews and the wider community, plus a £4000 grant from Streets Ahead, the students have restored the garden to its former glory.

Head teacher Margot Sagan said: “We are very grateful for the support everyone has shown us – it has been incredible. Many of our children don’t have a garden of their own at home, so this is really special to them.”

Craig Hamilton, 15, from Carntyne, was one of the construction students involved in rebuilding the equipment.

“It was great experience for us because we did a lot of work both in college and here on site, where we met the kids and the staff,” he explained.

Nicola McKenzie, EVIP development officer, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to develop their practical skills and to get out and help people who really need it.”

She added: “The work they have done is fantastic and hopefully it will show the wider community that many young people do have a heart and are delighted to contribute to their community.”

After Schools Activities Programme (ASAP)

This charity was set up by Stephen Koepplinger, 43, from Maryhill, who moved to Glasgow 18 years ago from his native Ohio.

Driven by a determination that children and teenagers should have lots to do after school, he rallied local volunteers and started work on the derelict Maryhill Park tennis courts. They have cut away trees, levelled the ground, planted flowers and started painting work. Dozens of local children now take part in ASAP’s tennis coaching sessions after school.

Stephen said: “It’s been hard work but the benefits for the whole community are enormous. We’re hoping to start work now on the running track.”

Balmoral Terrace Residents Association

Fed up with looking out on to overgrown, untidy grass, residents in Balmoral Terrace decided to do something about it.

They have tidied the grass, planted shrubs and flowers and are currently hoping to secure funding to restore the original railings to turn the strip of land into a community garden.

Tony Halifax, 66, who lives in Balmoral Terrace with his wife Linda, explained: “It’s been a fantastic project, not just because it has made a big difference to the way the area looks, but because it has brought together residents who previously did not know each other. We have set up a residents association and plan to hold a summer barbecue, and I think it sends out a really positive message that people in Glasgow do care about their neighbourhoods.”


Dumbarton Road Corridor Environmental Trust

DRCET has helped communities clean up their area, create community gardens, help eco schools, recycle bikes and reduce carbon footprints in the nine years since it first opened its doors in Scotstoun, Yoker and Whiteinch.

Project manager Neil Lovelock and an enthusiastic team of volunteers and part-time staff have worked hard to make a difference to the local environment, bringing neighbours together and encouraging pride in their areas.

Children’s Wood

The dedicated volunteers who helped turn derelict tennis courts into the Children’s Wood at North Kelvin Meadow believe they have created something special for the young people of Maryhill and surrounding areas.

The wood, which sits beside the meadow, raised bed allotment and community orchard created and managed by North Kelvin Meadow, now welcomes thousands of people every year to assorted events and activities.

From storytelling and Halloween parties, a reindeer parade at Christmas and the chance to simply play and explore with friends, the Children’s Wood has boosted health and wellbeing, community spirit and healthy eating as kids get involved in growing and harvesting fruit from the orchard.

Fortune Garden

The people who tend and care for the Fortune Garden in Drumchapel are slowly but surely creating a service the whole community can be proud of.

Under the guidance of garden support worker David Stewart, the team – who all have learning disabilities – grow plants and flowers for local schools and day care centres. They also sell hanging baskets and planters to the public and hold local litter picks.

David said: “All of the people who work in the Fortune Garden are service users with Enable, the charity which supports people with learning disabilities. They work really hard and enjoy every minute of it. The project is still in its early days but we think it has the potential to bring huge benefits to the community.”

FOR the last 12 months, Streets Ahead fever has gripped Glasgow – now it is time to reward the people and projects who made it happen.

The second Streets Ahead awards, organised by the Evening Times in conjunction with our campaign partner Clean Glasgow, take place on June 13 at the Winter Gardens on Glasgow Green.

There will be seven category winners – best garden; best community garden; best environmental initiative; best school; best clean-up campaign; best community initiative and the Green Glasgow business award – and one overall champion chosen by the judges.

It’s a chance to pay tribute to the men, women and children who have helped to transform the city’s streets, gardens and parks since the second year of our successful, awardwinning campaign got underway.

In our second feature on the Streets Ahead awards finalists, we meet the finalists in two of the most hotly contested categories, Best Community Garden and Best Community Initiative.



The volunteers who maintain the grounds around Cathcart Old Parish Church have created more than just a beautiful place in which to stroll or relax.

Reverend Neil Galbraith explains: “Our grounds look great, thanks to the efforts of a whole bunch of local people, from Davy and his sit-on mower, who keeps the lawns bowling-green neat, Bert who comes in to hoe at 6am and the ladies who weed and plant.

“But they have also given our community a real focal point, somewhere neighbours can meet up to chat and relax together. A place of great beauty has come to life again and our kirk, which dates back 1400 years, has a new lease of life too.”


The community project at the corner of Ledard Road and Arundel Drive is used for a whole host of activities, from gardening sessions with local children and disabled adults to an annual street party attended by more than 400 local people.

It’s also a popular spot for sunbathing and relaxing and thanks to the efforts of the volunteers who transformed it from an overgrown mess, is now a valuable and much-loved community resource.


The overgrown and abandoned garden next to the Norfolk Court high rise flats was a real eyesore until local residents transformed it into a peaceful and beautiful haven with flowers, seating and raised beds.

Run by Gorbals Healthy Living Network, it provides horticultural skills and learning opportunities for residents, and five of the unemployed volunteers have found permanent jobs as a result of the programme.

Most importantly, anti-social behaviour, littering and vandalism in the garden area have stopped and local people have a beautiful space to be proud of.



The project began because a group of local people wanted to grow their own healthy food.

With funding from the Climate Challenge Fund and Glasgow City Council, they turned a derelict site into allotments, a community garden, mini-orchard, polytunnel and potting shed. As well as community food growing, and the children’s project the Smelly Welly Club, the group also provide volunteering opportunities for local people.

Many unemployed residents have gone on to education and employment as a result and organisations and individuals from all over Glasgow and beyond are being inspired to follow the project’s example in their communities.

Project co-ordinator Marion Bate explains: “As well as creating a safe, positive place for people in the community, the project has done so much to put the heart back into Shettleston. Areas like ours often get dismissed because people assume high unemployment levels mean folk are lazy. Here, it is absolutely not the case. We held an event on Sunday to celebrate the work of our volunteers and more than 130 people turned up. It is a fantastic project and it has transformed the area.”


Glasgow Housing Association’s four Area Committees listen to local residents and do what communities need to grow and thrive.

They are made up of tenants, factored homeowners, councillors and community representatives and each have £1 million to invest every year.

There are fantastic examples of their work across Glasgow, from building safe car parking areas in Sandyhills and upgrading paths in Balornock to lockup makeovers in Riddrie and creating beautiful garden areas at sheltered housing complexes in the east end.

Thanks to the Area Committees, communities across the city are safer, cleaner and more attractive.


More than 70 people have signed up to support Friends of Rosshall Park and Gardens since it started in 2009.

Their aim was simple, but strong – to restore the park to its former glory and to protect the surrounding environment.

The hard-working volunteers have organised events and activities for the local community, bringing families back into the park which was under-used and neglected.

They also plant, weed and tidy various locations around the area, including Crookston Railway Station.