Provost Kenneth Duffy has commended the outstanding community contributions made by individuals, voluntary groups and local organisations as he presented this year’s Provost's Awards.
The awards ceremony recognised the remarkable contributions of individuals and groups who have made an impact on their local communities. Provost Kenneth Duffy expressed his heartfelt appreciation for these unsung heroes and their dedication to enhancing North Lanarkshire.
He said: "This year is my first experience with the Provost's Awards, and I was astounded by the overwhelming response we received. We changed the format a wee bit from previous years, and I reached out to elected members across all our areas and members of our community boards and asked them to nominate those unsung heroes in their neighbourhoods who have worked tirelessly to make North Lanarkshire a better place for us all.
“Over 150 nominations poured in, each representing a potential award winner. Selecting the winners proved to be a challenging task due to the exceptional contributions of individuals and groups across North Lanarkshire. After careful deliberation, 37 outstanding award recipients were chosen from the nine Community Board areas.
"I must admit that summarising the incredible achievements and outstanding work of these individuals has proven to be a really challenging task. The depth and breadth of your dedication to our communities is nothing short of awe-inspiring.Your unwavering commitment to bettering our communities is a testament to the spirit of North Lanarkshire. Your hard work, selflessness, and determination are an inspiration to us all."
"Your contributions are greatly valued not only by me but by the council, elected members, and the communities we serve. I hope you enjoyed the ceremony as we celebrate your accomplishments and the positive impact you make."
Provost Duffy also took the opportunity to extend his gratitude to GP Environmental for their generous sponsorship, which made the awards ceremony possible.
The winners are listed below and the photographs from the event can be viewed here.
Community Group Award – Muddy Boots
Muddy Boots is an outdoor classroom that has been developed within the Whinhall allotment site. The area provides outdoor learning for families with children of early years age and helps children to develop their fine and gross motor skills, as well as building meaningful social connections for adults and children within the community.
Community Volunteer Award – Kathleen Weetman
Kathleen Weetman has inspired local people of all ages and abilities to enjoy local walking around parts of Airdrie and Coatbridge. Her organised Health Walks encourage and support people to get healthy, engage with the local community and become nature aware.
Excellence Award – Airdrie Action Partnership
Airdrie Action Partnership are a collection of charities, clubs and groups working collaboratively to ensure the wellbeing of the community of Airdrie and surrounding areas. The group have been instrumental in supporting families and communities, including the delivery of the Christmas appeal, supporting numerous children, parents and carers to ensure they receive special gifts for Christmas.
Special Achievement Award – Moira Anderson Foundation
In the past year, the Moira Anderson Foundation have supported 860 survivors of childhood sexual abuse, with the charity offering a range of therapeutic and support services to a wide range of age groups and encompassing all genders. The service has just been endorsed in a newly published evaluation report commissioned by Inspiring Scotland for the SOCAS (Survivors of Childhood Abuse Support fund).
Community Group Award – Joe Harris Judo Club
Joe Harris has been running a local judo club for several decades and is renowned in the community for helping children develop their physical and social skills. The group also runs as a non-profit organisation, with any money generated throughout the year donated to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital.
Community Volunteer Award – Emma Lyle
Emma Lyle runs a weekly event in her parish hall known as the Messy Church, which reaches out to all community families, along with managing and co-ordinating the Friday night teen space. She is also the main anchor of the Viewcare Foodbank, providing a vital lifeline to many low-income families in the local community.
Excellence Award – Ghulam Siddiquie
Ghulam Siddiquie is a founder member of Lanarkshire Muslim Welfare Society and has spent the past five decades devoting himself to improving the welfare of ethnic minorities within the local community. Ghulam is well known within the local area, working alongside all statutory and voluntary organisations within Lanarkshire.
Special Achievement Award – Grace and Tom McNeil
Grace and Tom McNeil have volunteered and devoted themselves to campaigning for a community green space in the Viewpark Glen. Their work helped to secure external funding to purchase the land, providing a much loved free of charge community space for all to enjoy.
Community Group Award – Carnbroe Community Action for Residents
Carnbroe Community Action for Residents is formed of local residents working tirelessly together to improve their community for everyone to enjoy. The group have a number of ongoing projects including cutting grass, litter picking, running summer fetes and Christmas markets.
Community Volunteer Award – Annie McGhee
Annie McGhee volunteered for over 20 years working at a local level and across North Lanarkshire advocating for tenant’s right and a better housing service for tenants and residents across North Lanarkshire. Annie ensured tenants always had their say and was a stalwart of the North Lanarkshire Federation of Tenants and Residents. Sadly, Annie passed away in 2022 and this award is being presented posthumously in recognition of her significant contribution to the community.
Excellence Award – Jim Melvin
Jim Melvin has been employed with Coatbridge Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for over 20 years and has advised and supported numerous local residents achieving many positive results for people in poverty, unemployed and homeless people and an array of other individual and families in North Lanarkshire experiencing inequalities.
Special Achievement Award – Nan Frame
Nan Frame managed The Safety Zone in Bargeddie for many years, during which time she supported numerous young people and members of the community. During the pandemic, Nan linked in with local charities to ensure that no-one in the local area went without food or was isolated. Sadly, Nan passed away in June 2023, whilst still managing The Safety Zone, and this award is being presented posthumously in recognition of her legacy within the local community.
Special Achievement Award – Nan Fotheringham
Nan Fotheringham has been a volunteer within Coatbridge Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) since 2002 and has spent countless hours assisting and advising members of the community. Nan undertakes this position with the utmost commitment and enthusiasm and typifies the spirit of the CAB.
Community Group Award – Cumbernauld Seniors Wednesday Club
The Cumbernauld Seniors Club hosts over 100 seniors within the local area on a weekly basis, serving a light lunch and organising trips and activities for anyone over 60 years of age. The club is run by volunteers and aims to reduce isolation and loneliness within the local area.
Community Volunteer Award – Natalie Hutchison
Natalie Hutchison has been an active member in her community, ranging from involvement with St Lucy’s Parish Pastoral Council to the local school Parent Councils, where she has been instrumental in providing opportunities for members of the community (of all ages) to benefit from activities which promote social interaction and development of positive relationships.
Excellence Award – Project Sonrisa
Project Sonrisa is a youth-led non-profit organisation base in Cumbernauld with the aim of tackling the stigma surrounding mental health and starting more conversations. The organisation champions equality and diversity in mental health, creating a place for everyone to feel less alone by sharing stories and allowing others a safe place to share theirs.
Special Achievement Award – Billy Lees
Billy Lees has spent years volunteering within the local community, starting out with the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Unemployed Workers Centre, supporting and advising thousands of people on low incomes and experiencing disadvantage. Currently Billy is the Chair of Cumbernauld Community Forum and has led the reintroduction in 2010 of Cumbernauld Gala Day and a series of ‘Strictly Seniors’ Tea Dance events.
Community Group Award – Kilsyth Community Food Bank
Kilsyth Community Food Bank has been providing assistance to families in crisis since 2012. In addition, to providing shopping and supplies to those most in need, the group provides top up utilities and have recently launched a pet food bank to assist families with keeping their pets. The group also work works in partnership with local schools and other agencies to provide education and information on tackling poverty.
Community Volunteer Award – Bill Craik
Bill Craik has held many prestigious roles within the local community, including acting as the Chair of the Community Board and Community Council, during which time he has spearheaded a number of initiatives for the benefit of those in the local area. As well as undertaking larger scale projects, Bill is equally at home digging flower beds, planting trees or watering the hanging baskets which now festoon Kilsyth Main Street.
Excellence Award – Isobel Hughes
Isobel Hughes works tirelessly within the community for the benefit of others. Isobel runs the St Patrick’s Wednesday Welcome group every week offering a range of activities, tea, coffee, soup and snacks for elderly or lonely people, those with mental health issues and their carers. Isobel also volunteered her time to organise and run the ‘Warm Spaces’ initiative twice a week in Kilsyth.
Special Achievement Award – Hugh Service
Hugh Service has volunteered in his community for many years having been a BB leader, football coach/referee, a member of the community council and currently Chair of the Queenzieburn Community Centre Committee. Hugh has been at the forefront of organising inclusive social events, whether that be an Easter Egg hunt or handing out Christmas gifts to every child in the village.
Community Group Award – Motherwell FC Community Trust
The staff and volunteers within Motherwell FC Community Trust work hard to create an environment which is non-judgemental, safe and enables others to thrive. Holding events and activities such as walking football, the heat hub over Christmas, Festive Friends which all aim to give people a sense of belonging or pride.
Community Volunteer Award – Nan McIntosh
Nan McIntosh has been secretary of Newarthill Community Council for many years and is driving change and improvements throughout the Newarthill area. Some of the key areas that Nan has been responsible for include coordinating flower planting across the village, completing funding applications for improvement grants and emailing local Councillors to highlight/resolve issues in the local area.
Excellence Award – Community Action Newarthill
Community Action Newarthill (CAN) is a local community group who aim to be local, accessible and affordable for all. The group have been running a number of drop-ins and running summer sessions providing activities and free refreshments. CAN also work closely with local charities supporting their work within the community.
Special Achievement Award – Jim Callachan
Jim Callachan has undertaken extensive work over the past 35 years in the Motherwell and outlying areas through association football currently for 300 children and across 13 age groups. With Jim’s drive, the club has grown with now approximately 50 volunteer coaches, providing a safe place for children to keep them off the streets and helping them to become better citizens.
Community Group Award – Glenboig Development Trust
Glenboig Development Trust have been existence for more than 20 years providing support and resolution to issues faced by the community and individuals alike. The Trust provides a vast array of services from cradle to grave and focuses on providing services to help sustain continued improvement for both individuals and the community as a whole.
Community Volunteer Award – Isobel Kelly
Isobel Kelly is an advocate for the improvement of not only her hometown but also the surrounding villages. Isobel is involved in a range of local groups including Gartcosh Tenants and Residents and the Northern Corridor Community Board engaging in all aspects of the community from organising events to providing guidance on local housing issues.
Excellence Award – Moodiesburn Community Food Bank
The Moodiesburn Community Food Bank was initially established as a response to the pandemic, with the key aim of supporting individuals, families and the wider community through a very difficult time. Ran by volunteers from the local community who sort, package and distribute food to anyone in need and beyond that they offer a listening ear to those in need.
Special Achievement Award – Nathan Ritchie
Nathan Ritchie has been volunteering with the Glenboig Development Trust and dedicates himself to the clean-up of the environment surrounding Garnqueen Loch in Glenboig. Nathan has proved himself to be a key member of the team, spending considerable time undertaking litter picks and spreading word about the type and volume of rubbish collection via social media.
Community Group Award – Paul’s Parcels
Paul’s Parcels are a small independent food poverty prevention group helping those in need by not only delivering food but also offering friendship, advice on heating bills and providing access to clothes and items required to set up the home. In addition, this summer, the group have assisted by providing free of charge meals and snacks to the kid’s clubs running in the local area.
Community Volunteer Award – Jessie June Allan
June has been volunteering for the Salvation Army for upwards of 60 years undertaking a wide variety of roles from running a friendship club for elderly members of the community to supporting after school club and running holiday clubs. In addition, she has kept and cleaned the hall for many of the years coming in contact with generations of the community and always greeting them in a positive and helpful manner.
Excellence Award – St Patrick’s Furniture Project
St Patrick’s Furniture Project have been providing a much-valued service to those in need for over 30 years both in the local area and throughout the local authority. The group, ran by volunteers, recycle furniture and white household goods providing items at a cheap cost to families on a low income. They also promote recycling urging householders to donate unwanted goods rather than go to landfill.
Special Achievement Award – Karen McKay
Karen McKay has been a Trustee and member of Hartwood Community Development Group for the past 3 years and has been instrumental in negotiating issues surrounding the village swing park. Karen also attends the village planters by populating with plants and flowers, watering and weeding to ensure the village looks at its best. She was also instrumental in obtaining an AED (defibrillator) for the village.
Community Group Award – Coltness Community Food Larder
Coltness Community Food Larder which is ran entirely by volunteers across 2 sites provides an invaluable service to the local community. The larder offers more than just enabling people to collect food supplies but also provides an information services where members of staff from the local MSP/MPs office are on hand to assist with advice on benefits and services available.
Community Volunteer Award – John Smillie
John Smillie volunteers with both the Friends of Cambusnethan Priory and the McLean Team Alba litter picking group and is renowned in the local area as a fanatical litter picker. John works tirelessly to ensure that the local area is looking at his best, even bagging and removing fly tipping and disposing of the rubbish at his own expense.
Excellence Award – Cleland Community Council
Cleland Community Council is run by a small group of volunteers, who organise free events in the local community. Recent events include Easter egg treasure hunts, family fun days and the Christmas Tree switch on. These events can attract a large number of attendees and provide an opportunity for the community to come together.
Special Achievement Award – Hugh Cairns
Hugh Cairns has dedicated himself to improve the quality of life for everyone in the local community. Hugh has worked collaboratively in the development of the Wishaw Café and Wellbeing Centre, which provides a community space where people can source information, attend various wellbeing classes and also provides a free drink or meal to those in need.