I WAS honoured to be invited to the recent Red Ramp event organised by Clydebank charity Golden Friendships.

It was an incredible night that celebrated the opening of the World's first purpose-built wheelchair entertainment venue.

So, how was this achieved?

In 2019, Jim McLaren was out for dinner with friends – including one who was in a wheelchair – and, during conversation, it became clear that wheelchair users were restricted in where they could go for entertainment.

That night, Jim vowed to bring about change. He not only vowed to do it, he had the will to do it.

With incredible support from his family, he began to put his vision in place.

He very quickly assembled a dedicated team, every one of them sharing his vision.

Jim researched sources of funding and went to local builders to ask for help. He was very persuasive and no one turned him down.

Then came Covid.

Right behind that, Jim had a major operation.

This did not stop Jim and his team. The Red Ramp event became a reality.

It happened because they had the will to do it. They overcame a whole lot of barriers and a lack of cash. The will to do what was right drove them on.

I was also privileged to be present at a recognition event for Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels – an amazing group that helps those in need.

Food banks do not just appear, there is always a story behind them, with someone who is ready and willing to make a difference, to change lives.

Maureen Cummings is one such special lady.

She made a delivery to some flats and what she saw that day shook her to the core and galvanised her.

At the event, Maureen delivered a speech in which she told how "that day drove me to act."

And act she did. Armed with little more than determination and a will to help others, she created Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels.

Donations poured in from the public and businesses to the point where a bigger place was needed.

That was never going to stop Maureen, though.

Soon, larger premises were found and thousands more people could be helped.

All of the volunteers at Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels have the same thing in common – they are dedicated to helping those in need.

Jim and Maureen are just two ordinary people who recognised that change was needed.

They had no bottomless pit of money, no ready-made solutions, and only the remnants of a plan but they had determination and drive, as well as the will to succeed.

Thanks to them, and many more like them, people's lives are changed for the better, and people's lives are saved.