In his latest Post column, Garscadden and Scotstounhill Councillor shares his thoughts on two "invaluable" community groups who are looking out for locals...

This month, I’d like to highlight the invaluable work of two community organisations which operate within the Garscadden/Scotstounhill ward – LINKES and Kingsway Community Connections, based at 280 Lincoln Avenue and 50 Kingsway Court respectively.

Both depend upon the hard work and enthusiasm of a staff team, volunteers and board of directors who work together to deliver a range of activities and an impressive level of support for all residents of Lincoln Avenue and Kingsway.

Each of these organisations held their AGM recently and I was, as always, impressed by the work and success achieved during another challenging year.

Under the chairmanship of Robert Smith, LINKES continued to deliver a very impressive programme of community activities, learning opportunities and events.

I’d like to mention the band of local people who, in concert with the staff, direct the work of the organisation.

There is a weekly women’s group which attracts about 60 people, a weekly seniors lunch club with 32 participants, a men’s group which learned the skills to build a model railway, a community learning programme, 174 weekly after-school play sessions and 25 young people who attended 40 sessions across the year.

Along with a food hub, a forest garden, a fun day in 2022 and an International Women’s Day event, they all speak to a highly impressive programme supported by a dedicated, imaginative and hard-working organisation.

Kingsway Community Connections, under the leadership of Lainy Bedingfield, is another splendid organisation operating in Ward 13.

It works in cooperation with a number of partners to support local people by way of the sharing of expertise, training and resources.

As the organisation’s annual report states, community spaces continued to benefit from a variety of groups delivering their sessions, creating opportunities for learning, connections and support during 2022/23.

The last year saw 650 individuals “access services and/or groups/activities in the centre”.

This clearly demonstrates the success of the organisation based on community cooperation. It is powerful testament to the positive input of successfully-run community hubs.

Activities range from yoga, Mind & Draw, Tai Chi and health walks to aromatherapy sessions, a thriving women’s group, a walking group and a community garden.

All of these, along with a youth group, are significant examples of what can be achieved, despite intense economic and day-to-day pressures, with an organisation rooted in the community and supported by it.

Both of these organisations, along with many others in Garscadden/Scotstounhill and elsewhere in our area, are testament to what can be done, even in difficult times, by people in the community working flat out to meet the needs of the community.

Personally, I feel privileged to represent people who work so hard to support one another and their wider community.