Renfrewshire Council

An inspiration to us all

I'm delighted to be hosting my first Community Awards tonight as it gives me the great privilege of honouring some of our inspiring community members in Renfrewshire.

The awards first took place in 1997 and have seen more than 100 people recognised for the work they do within our communities.

It's impossible to ignore the community spirit and the selflessness of so many of our community members in Renfrewshire and these awards give a chance to show a small token of appreciation to those who go above and beyond the call of duty. I'm delighted I can do that on behalf of Renfrewshire.

Now I'm not going to give away the winners just yet, so let's take a look back at last year's winners and why they so deserved their awards.

Sporting Achievement (sponsored by Acre Industrial and Cleaning Services) - Jackie Turley

The Paisley Pirates are run by the Turley family with Jackie undertaking the day-to-day running of the club and off-ice activities, while son Iain is the player/manager and all family members play some role within the club. The Pirates have been transformed into a not-for-profit club and rely on sponsorship and donations to survive. Despite this, the club have achieved continued success winning the Scottish Cup and the league on numerous occasions in recent years- including last year.

Community Volunteer (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd) - Jake Fulton

Jake was nominated for his work creating the 'Houston Litter Crew' who clean up the streets of Houston. He was a part of a similar project in his home town of Maybole, but since moving to Houston he has inspired a large number of people to come together and make the area a nicer place to live. He, and the group, had collected more than 720 bags of litter at the time of the awards and has managed to inspire a real sense of community pride, cohesion and spirit in the area.

Community Group (sponsored by Piazza shopping centre, Paisley) - Sma' Shot Cottages

The Sma' Shot Cottages are 19th century weavers cottages which have been returned to their original state, furnished in a traditional manner and opened as a free museum during the summer months.
The volunteers at the Sma' Shot Cottages give their time and service in many ways. During their open season (Apr-Sep), several volunteers act as tour guides and give visitors tours of the cottages. An insight into the lives of 19th century weavers is given as well a chance to see an array of artefacts from Renfrewshire's history. The volunteers help preserve Paisley and Renfrewshire's culture and they actively supported Paisley's bid for UK City of Culture. Without the volunteers the cottages would fall into disrepair and the area would lose one of its historical gems.

Carer's Award (sponsored by former Provost Nancy Allison) - Samantha Webster

Samantha has been a carer for her mum since she was 12 years old and in her first year at high school. Her mum was involved in a car accident and now faces severe mobility issues, often using a wheelchair to get around. Following her traumatic injury, it was recommended that Samantha and her sister would be better in foster care but the family pulled together and have remained a tight unit. Samantha has been involved with the Renfrewshire Carers Centre and has been a part of helping older carers with modern technology as well as looking after younger carers at the centre.

Employer of the Year (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council) - CGC

City Gate Construction (CGC) employ a total staff of 123 and place a great emphasis on recruiting from Renfrewshire. At the time of the awards, they employed 8 apprentices who learn their trade with the company and most previous apprentices have stayed on permanently. The company works with a number of different charities and local organisations to further their philosophy of social justice. They also put their support behind Paisley's bid for UK City of Culture 2021 for the advancement of the area as a whole.

This year's winners are just as inspiring so stay tuned on social media tonight to find out who they are!