This is my first column for the Clydebank Post since the devastating Covid-19 pandemic hit the world – and the impact has been felt far and wide across our communities, with many lives lost across our area, and many families left bereft.

The restrictions, although understandable and understood, have left many families unable to pay their final respects in the fullest way at the funerals of their loved ones. There has been a surreal feel to many funerals over the last few months, including those of some members of my own family.

It was heart-breaking for me to only be able to attend these funerals of my own relatives virtually, and I’d like to take this opportunity to say to my own family, following the loss of my uncles Johnny and Joe only five weeks apart, and to my cousins Annemarie and Christine, who lost their husbands, Raymond and Steve over a similarly short period, that they are not alone. They continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

During the pandemic, the community of Drumchapel also lost a giant of a man in John Oliver. It was a loss felt by very many folk across that community and further afield – I was proud to have known and worked for and alongside "J.O.", and a fitting tribute, in time, will be made to him and the countless good things that he did.

Read more: Clydebank mum shares the heartbreaking Covid-19 loss of only child

That sense of community thoughtfulness came to the fore, and continues to do so, during this pandemic, and I want to especially pay thanks to three couples in my ward for their efforts.

Tricia Lorimer and her husband Kenneth, along with Rev Gregor McIntyre and his wife Catherine, set up Faifley Foodshare via the local community council during the lockdown, and have been an absolute lifeline to those in their area who are shielding and the families that are reliant on them.

And Maureen and Gordon Cummings, whilst furloughed, set up Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels. Both organisations continue to provide for hundreds of families in need every week.

Both organisations should be receiving assistance from the council, and I was pleased that after I raised the matter at our recent virtual full council meeting – our first since lockdown restrictions came in to effect – it was agreed this help would be provided.

I hope this support is delivered sooner, rather than later.

Stay safe and well.