Published 02 September 2022
A group of local heroes who frequently go the extra mile for their communities have been named as finalists in the 2022 Provost’s Civic Awards in partnership with CCG.
Members of the public were encouraged to put forward individuals or groups they felt made a significant contribution to improving the area and the lives of people who live in West Dunbartonshire.
The quality of nominations this year has been outstanding, making it extremely difficult to select the 2022 finalists.
The esteemed list includes committed volunteers, up and coming musicians using their platform to support young people’s mental health and a local firefighter going above and beyond to make young kid’s dreams come true.
Each finalist will be invited to attend the event, taking place on October 7 at Clydebank Town Hall, in partnership with CCG where the overall winners will be announced by Provost Douglas McAllister.
The 2022 shortlist is as follows:
Arts and Culture Champion (sponsored by Polsec)
Lottie Barker, who set up community art organisation Clifftop Projects to making the arts accessible to all regardless of age, ability or personal circumstances; Jack Smyth, who didn’t let his disability, or bullies, stand in his way as he learned welding skills and set up his art business Salvaged Metal Arts; Just The Brave, a four-piece boy band who are touring schools not only singing to pupils but use their own experiences to raise awareness around mental health and bullying with young people.
Sports Champion (Sponsored by Alger Electrics)
Karen Nicoll, who gives her time as a guide runner for a local visually impaired schoolgirl and was instrumental in the creation of West Dunbartonshire’s first junior park run; John Joyce, who has given more than four years of his time volunteering his time in youth football, training multiple times each week and setting up the first ever Renton girls football team; Stewart Smillie, head coach at Alexandria Kickboxing Academy who alongside producing world champions also promotes mental wellbeing and confidence sessions for children.
Community/Voluntary Champions Team (sponsored by Caledonia Housing Association) - Lomond Radio is run by a team of more than 40 volunteers with the aim of entertaining and informing the local community as well as supporting local businesses and community organisations, they played a pivotal role in keeping communities together during covid; Let’s Make a House a Home was set up by local couple Des and Louise McFarlane with inspiration from their nephew during the pandemic to provide a link between those most in need and residents looking to re-home their unwanted goods.; Bags Full of Love was set up by foster carers Fiona and Leigh Ann Hennebry to provide children moving into foster care, who frequently have none of their own belongings, with a backpack full of supplies to call their own - including clothing, toys and toiletries.
Community/Voluntary Champion Individual (sponsored by Wheatley Group)
Kirsty Campbell set up Daniel’s wish after her experiences with her son Daniel led her to spot a gap in the support for children and families dealing with complex needs in West Dunbartonshire; Kevin Crawford after finding himself in a wheelchair suddenly and with no idea how to access support, Kevin set up the Big Disability Group to provide a support network for people in a similar situation; Colin Hay is the driving force behind the Linnvale Community Group, volunteering his time to encourage ideas to improve the area including organising litter picks and a successful community Gala Day.
This year’s Youth Champion (sponsored by West College Scotland) is Zoe Neeson, who was nominated for encouraged her Mum to set up Look for a Book in West Dunbartonshire after spotting a book during a trip to Edinburgh Zoo. Zoe was excited to encourage others to follow the ‘hide and seek’ style trend. Look for a Book now has over 2,500 followers on Facebook and has created a real buzz for reading and outdoors in the area for young children.
At the conclusion of the event, Provost McAllister will also announce the overall winner who will receive the Citizen of the Year award, sponsored by CCG.
Provost McAllister said: “Every single nomination received was deserving of praise and reading through them, I was extremely proud that West Dunbartonshire is home to so many different fantastic people and organisations who go above and beyond every day.
“They each have gone above and beyond to help someone else, in some cases devoting hundreds of hours of their own time to improve the lives of others and make a real difference in our communities.
“Everyone who was nominated for this year’s awards should be immensely proud of themselves and I would like to extend my thanks to every resident who took the time to highlight these exceptional people, even if they did make my task as one of the judges a very difficult one. I’m very much looking forward to meeting each of our finalists in person next month.”