A BIG-hearted fundraiser who helped keep people fed during the coronavirus crisis is this year’s Greenock Telegraph Community Champion of the Year.

Francis Quinn, known as Francie, was a driving force behind the meals on wheels effort run from Branchton Community Centre during lockdown.

Three years on, and more than 30,000 meals later, he’s still at the centre and he said it will always be the place for him.

Francie, who was helped in his efforts by his partner Jayne Leck, said: “I’m completely dumbstruck with this award.

“I just love helping people.

“I was brought up in community centres and know how much they help people.

“We started off with 100 meals at Branchton then we were up to 450 meals a day.

“I was part of the team that really pushed it forward.

“Three years later I’m still at Branchton and I absolutely love it.

“I know that it’s where I belong.”

Francie has also recently been in involved in building a garden growing area at Branchton with volunteers from a horticulture course at West College Scotland.

The Community Champion of the Year category was sponsored by RCH Group.

John Wright, group services director at RCH Group, said: ”

“We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who took part – from the winners to all the nominees, the presenters and our friends at the Greenock Telegraph, who have worked to make the evening so special – you are all truly an inspiration, and it has been an honour to be able to sponsor Community Champion of the Year. We are delighted for Francie, but we really don’t envy the judges in having to make what seemed like an impossible choice between everyone nominated, as every single one of the finalists had an incredible story to tell and in all honestly, everyone deserved to be a winner.

RCH Group are proud to be an organisation that works towards Inverclyde being a thriving, happy community and this evening is a great showcase for our local area and its people.”