The last few weeks have been full of humbling occasions which make me proud of how our local communities in West Dunbartonshire, and the people who live here, work together.

It is always a pleasure to host the Provost’s Civic Awards and this year was no different. Hearing about the amazing work being done across West Dunbartonshire is always so inspiring.

All of the nominees do remarkable things on a daily basis, giving up their spare time to benefit others. It was an extremely tough job to pick overall winners in each category, and it was such an honour to meet each and every one of them on the night of the ceremony.

A special congratulations must go to our Citizen of the Year Jim McLaren, who won after a flood of nominations from people who attend his Golden Friendship Club, which they described as a ‘lifeline.’ Last month, we also welcomed five residents who were named in the Queen’s birthday honours list, to award them with a British Empire Medal at Clydebank Town Hall.

Each of the BEM recipients had decades of experience in their fields and had achieved great things for charities and their community, yet each expressed surprise about the honour and modesty about how they’d helped improve the lives of others.

I must also say a big thank you to everybody who donated as part of the Macmillan Cancer Support coffee morning in the council’s Church Street office last month.

There was a queue of people waiting to buy the delicious home baking as soon as it opened, and thanks to their generosity, an impressive £1,556 was raised.

I know similar events were held throughout the community, generating vital funding for the cancer services provided by the charity.

Lastly, I helped to officially welcome three new citizens to West Dunbartonshire recently.

These ceremonies always make me feel proud, but thanks to the people I’ve met in our area lately, I was especially confident that these lucky new residents have come to one of the best places in Scotland.