By Provost Douglas McAllister

CLYDEBANK has always been known for its strong sense of community.

Alongside the deep sense of pride in our town, there’s a desire to make it better and that’s reflected by the high numbers of community organisations we have whose members dedicate their time to improve the lives of others.

These groups and individuals work away quietly in the background and often their efforts can go unrecognised.

The Provost Civic Awards offer a chance to show these community champions from across West Dunbartonshire how much we value their contribution. 

It’s an honour for me to have the opportunity to do this, but I rely on residents to put forward their nominations and ensure those who inspire and make lives better for people in our community receive the recognition they deserve.

Last year we received almost 100 nominations and Clydebank was well represented among the winners, with St Peter the Apostle High School’s soup kitchen volunteers being named community champions, pupil Ryan Miller named youth champion and Daniel McCormick named arts and culture champion. 

I would encourage you all to put forward your nominations for the 2016 awards and let me say thank you to all our local heroes.

I always enjoy the opportunity to go out in the community and meet residents and in recent weeks I’ve attended Edinbarnet Primary School’s bustling Christmas Fair; Dalmuir Barclay Church Christmas Tree Festival where I had the unenviable job of judging the entries, and also the annual Duntocher Old Folks Christmas Dinner.

I also had the opportunity to participate in an event organised by Guide Dogs for the Blind in Three Queens Square. The Sensory Tunnel Experiences provided a really powerful insight into what it is like to be blind and helped me to understand the obstacles people with sight impairments face on a daily basis.

For me nothing signals the start of the festive season quite like the sound of Christmas carols and the young people who performed at this year’s Music For A Christmas Evening were simply outstanding. 
I hope each and every one of you has a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.