TO TRIUMPH in the Evening Times Streets Ahead Awards, you need a bunch of community-minded people, with added dedication and a generous helping of hard work.
Big Roots of Ruchill has all of the above in spade-loads, which is why the project picked up the Best Community Garden prize and overall award at the 2017 event.
As we continue our search for this year’s winners – more details below – we caught up with the inspirational initiative, which grew out of the mini-allotment garden at the back of Ruchill Community Centre.
Chairman John Smith says: “It has been a hectic 12 months for us, with new growers coming on board, new polytunnels and new fruit bushes – we have gooseberry bushes for the first time.
“We are hoping to have similar numbers of growers for the new season – 23 – as we had last year, now that the bad weather is hopefully behind us.”
He adds: “We have also recently put in place our brand new wrought iron Roots of Ruchill sign, made by a local blacksmith.”
As well as being the perfect spot for local people – many of whom do not have gardens of their own – to plant flowers and grow fruit and veg, Big Roots also runs workshops, helps people develop new skills and volunteering opportunities and acts as a hub for a culturally diverse community.
Driven entirely by what local people want, it involves nearby schools, who come in to learn about biodiversity; while family support projects and groups helping those with learning disabilities are all regular visitors.
Recent visitors included North United Communities, a fantastic project which supports young people and families all over the north of the city.
There is also a Little Roots community garden at the back of the community centre, which encourages young people and children to get involved in growing.
Judges at last year’s Streets Ahead Awards were hugely impressed by Big Roots of Ruchill’s inspiring community focus and desire to welcome everyone through its gates.
Ruth Adam, of project supporter Maryhill Housing Association, says Big Roots of Ruchill had achieved something very special over the last two years.
She adds: “It’s a great project, really welcomed by the community.”
John Smith adds: “We are very grateful to Ruth and Maryhill Housing Association for everything they do for us.
“And we are so pleased to be well supported by the local community, as that is what it’s all about.”
He adds: “We thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Streets Ahead awards and were delighted to win.
“It was interesting to meet other groups and see the good work being done around the city.”
The city is full of groups like Big Roots of Ruchill, and we want to hear about them.
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.
To nominate yourself or someone else, visit the dedicated awards website at newsquestscotlandevents.com/streetsahead
You can also send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Visit newsquestscotlandevents.com/streetsahead for more success stories and information on how to get involved in the Streets Ahead Awards.