Kevin Crawford is a Clydebank man whose mobility was severely impacted by a health complication.

It can’t be easy learning to live with a disability. Most people experience grief – for the loss of their health and the limiting of future plans. Some feel isolated and unsure of where to turn for support.

On his website, Kevin describes this time as an “eye opener”. So he decided to set up the Clydebank Disability Group, which later became The Big Disability Group.

“Providing help to people with disabilities who would otherwise struggle to find the right support is something I’m very passionate about,” he says.

That passion, that drive to help others, is why I chose Kevin to be our ‘Local Hero’ at the recent formal opening of the Scottish Parliament.

Kevin’s story is inspirational, but it also embodies a spirit of community I often see in Clydebank. A spirit of determination, of empathy, and of togetherness.

We see it in the delivery of ‘mental wellbeing boxes’ to people struggling with anxiety and isolation during lockdown – a project delivered by Kevin’s charity.

We see it, too, in the story of Maureen and Gordon Cummings, who set up Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels last year after being put on furlough. The charity that now feeds 200 people each week.

It’s a spirit of community that’s present in the people from across Clydebank who lend a hand at community clear-ups – from sorting out a roundabout in Linnvale to cleaning up the canal.

These examples are just some of the volunteering that goes on in Clydebank and they remind me of something the civil rights leader Coretta Scott King once said: “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members”.

By that standard, I’m lucky to represent an area that is clearly worthy of greatness.

Kevin, Maureen or Gordon didn’t have to help out. As each faced adversity in their own lives, it would have been much easier for them to stay at home and complain about the hand they’d been dealt.

But they didn’t do that. They saw an issue, people in need of support, and they decided to help.

“I am extremely honoured,” Kevin said after the Scottish Parliament’s opening ceremony, “to have received the Local Hero nomination… for the work we do at The Big Disability Group”.

Having been given the opportunity to represent an area with such a spirit of community, I can assure you the honour is all mine.