I had an extremely busy evening last Friday out and about in Clydebank and I am delighted to see community spirit is alive and well in West Dunbartonshire.

I got a real sense of that when I attended the Provost Civic Awards Ceremony in Clydebank Town Hall.

I saw first hand the selfless efforts of individuals who work in their communities to make the lives of others so much better.

It was great to see Jim McLaren named as the Citizen of the Year for 2018.

Most of you will know Jim, as part of the double act, the Karaoke Clowns. Moreover, Jim is the founder member of the Golden Friendship club, which provides a safe base to our elderly and disabled community, and gives them an opportunity to get out and spend an afternoon with friends enjoying entertainment but also getting help and advice on a wide range of issues.

This group helps to build confidence and reduce social isolation for many of our Bankies.

On the evening I was honoured to present the Youth Champion award to Harry Crossan, a eight-year-old who saved his sister’s life when she was choking. I met Harry earlier this year, when I visited his school with Sheenah Nelson from Heartstart Scotland, to hand over the new defibrillator that the school had raised funds to purchase.

On the day we visited, Harry was being honoured by his school and he received an excellence achievement award for springing into action to help his little sister.

Harry is such a hero and his actions show the importance of teaching first aid to our school children.

The council’s defibrillator campaign is picking up pace and we are currently carrying out a mapping exercise throughout West Dunbartonshire to make sure we know where all the current defibrillators are located.

Once this is concluded we will be placing additional defibrillators into our communities. It is important we get a good geographical spread across the authority.

Finally, I was delighted to help steward the 10 o’clock walk on Friday evening organised by St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.

It was great to see so many women taking part and raising money to support the hospice.

It is clearly very close to the hearts of many and I for one will always be on its side.