2023 Provost’s Community Awards winners revealed
Renfrewshire has honoured local groups and volunteers for their work in the community at the 2023 Provost’s Community Awards.
Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron was joined by comperè Gina McKie to help celebrate the achievements of devoted community members who go above and beyond to make Renfrewshire a better place to live and work.
The award winners were invited to a special ceremony at Ingliston Country Club in Bishopton after being chosen from outstanding nominations submitted by their peers in the local community.
On the night guests were entertained by singers from Paisley Opera before the award ceremony got underway.
The recipients of this year’s awards were:
Arts and Culture (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council) – Diane Mitchell
Brought up playing piano from a young age, Diane has always been passionate about music. Since launching her own music school in 2015, Diane has built a programme of community music programmes and workshops that highlight her belief that everyone can benefit from learning music – regardless of age, race, gender, or background. One of her most popular community activities is the Music Café where older people who are lonely or isolated can come together to make music and socialise with each other in a warm and welcoming space.
Carer’s Award (donated by former Provost Nancy Allison) – Lesley Compston
Lesley is one of the founders of KLAS Care in Linwood, offering flexible and affordable childcare during term time and school holidays. KLAS Care launched in 2010 with 6 children and now provides regular care to nearly 300 children in Linwood and Johnstone across breakfast clubs, after school care clubs and playschemes throughout the school holidays. Lesley also takes on a caring role for her father, and previously for her mother who sadly passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2022. Lesley takes her inspiration and caring nature from her mum, who was heavily involved in the Linwood community throughout her life.
Community Group (sponsored by City Gate Construction) – Kickin’ On
Kickin’ On is a mental health support group providing a safe and non-judgemental environment. Initially set up as an exercise and talking therapy group to help ease the burden on those suffering with poor mental health, addiction problems, social isolation struggles and loneliness. Since launching in 2020 the group have built upon this and now have a weekly programme of activities including boot camps, talking groups, cold water therapy, football sessions, arts and crafts sessions and music and DJ-ing activities. Many of the people who attend the group credit it with saving their lives.
Community Volunteer (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd) – Suzanne Stevenson
Suzanne is the founder of Wedding Wish Makers – a non-profit organisation that organises and funds weddings for couples where one partner has had a terminal diagnosis. Suzanne was inspired to set up the charity after helping a couple with catering for their wedding in 2011 and realising there were no other charities in Scotland that offered this support. Since officially launching in 2020, Suzanne and the team at Wedding Wish Makers have helped 16 couples plan and fund their weddings. Alongside her job as a Wedding Coordinator, Suzanne spends hours of her own time finding and organising suppliers across Scotland to enable the couples she is supporting to have the day of their dreams.
Employee of the Year (sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire) – Kirsteen Jamieson
Kirsteen works for Renfrewshire Council’s Adult and Family Learning service, delivering learner-centred, lifelong and accessible training to people across Renfrewshire. Kirsteen, who was formally a learner herself, is truly passionate about her job and loves nothing more than seeing people progress and achieve things they would never have dreamed possible. Her colleagues credit her exceptional work ethic and say there is no limit to the amount of support she gives to their learners.
Sports Award (sponsored by Acre Industrial Services Ltd) – Michael Shearer
Michael is Chairman of Renfrew FC Youth & Girls community football club. He has been pivotal in growing the club through recruiting volunteers and bringing in sponsorship and funding that makes the club more accessible to young people and children in the Renfrew area. Michael is passionate about the club and the young people who attend and goes above and beyond to make sure everyone feels special and acknowledged – organising awards events to recognise achievements and thank volunteers for their commitment to the club.
Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Community Awards recognises those who really go the extra mile to make Renfrewshire a better place without looking for reward or recognition.
“As the Provost, I meet hundreds of inspiring people and groups every year and it never ceases to amaze me that there is so much fantastic work going on throughout Renfrewshire.
“These winners were all nominated by their own communities, and I’m honoured to be able to reward them for their dedication and commitment.
“Congratulations to all our winners, your hard work does not go unnoticed.”
The Provost’s Community Awards were first established in 1997 by former Provost Nancy Allison and have been continued by each subsequent Provost, recognising more than 100 deserving community members for their commitment and devotion.
For more information on the 2023 Provost’s Community Awards, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards.