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Renfrewshire Inspirational Awards 2024 honours local champions

on 5 July 2024 0

The Specsavers Paisley Renfrewshire Inspirational Awards 2024 honours amazing local people, groups and charities at a ceremony in Paisley’s Mill & Brae

Unsung heroes are everywhere around us, even if we don’t necessarily take the time to notice them. They’re people who go out of their way for others, even when things aren’t always the rosiest for themselves, or perhaps individuals who have used the position that they’ve garnered within a community to effect real change in the lives of others, rather than see their status as honorary.

For the third time, the Specsavers Paisley Renfrewshire Inspirational Awards have recognised these heroes, thanks to the local people who put them forward for recognition.

A concept which was derived from Leah Canning’s excellent work in her own area with the Inverclyde Inspirational Awards, the Renfrewshire edition debuted in an online format during the pandemic, last year they held the first in-person event.


This time around, the awards were formally marked with a ceremony in Paisley’s Mill & Brae, with nominees and their families invited along to join the celebrations.

The event was hosted by Mill Magazine’s editor, Robert Blair, with entertainment on the night coming from the excellent right2dance and DJ Stevie Rodger.

The Specsavers Paisley Renfrewshire Inspirational Awards 2024 winners are as follows:

Renfrewshire inspirational Awards 2024

Emmany-Beth Bayley

Inspirational Renfrewshire Young Citizen
Emmany-Beth Bayley
Sponsored by Thomson Heating Group Ltd

Emmany-Beth is a 15-year-old girl from Bishopton. She is on the autism spectrum and has partial deafness. She has been fundraising from the age of three and competes in UK-wide pageants, raising over £11,000 in five years. She campaigns to raise awareness of females on the autism spectrum. New York designer Marc DeFang named a shoe after her. She is a finalist for Miss Teen Great Britain in October and has just been accepted for college. Despite being bullied for being ‘different’, she is the one who has truly made a difference.

Renfrewshire inspirational Awards 2024

Stephanie Thomson

Inspirational Renfrewshire Citizen
Stephanie Thomson
Sponsored by OneRen

Aged 34, single mum Stephanie Thomson has been fighting cancer for 16 months. She raises awareness for rare cancers through Facebook, TikTok and television interviews. For patients at the Beatson, she arranges personal driver bags, Christmas wish lists and care packages.

Patricia Doherty

Inspirational Renfrewshire Senior Citizen
Patrica Doherty
Sponsored by MJC Law

Aged 78 Patricia Doherty walked 23 miles for the Kiltwalk and helped raise £1,000 for the Brain Tumour charity. She has also raised money for the Beatson and Marie Curie. Every day she collects elderly friends that are unable to travel alone and takes them to St Charles Church and drops them home afterwards. Pat also cares members of her family and ill friends.

Ferguslie Seniors

Inspirational Community Organisation
Ferguslie Seniors
Sponsored by Pacitti Hamilton

Ferguslie Seniors hosts a thrice-weekly lunch club in partnership with The Tannahill Centre for over-55s to alleviate food insecurity, fuel poverty, isolation and loneliness. Members are offered a nutritional two course lunch. Other activities included bingo, flower arranging, tea dances, beauty therapy, excursions and seasonal parties. Relationships, friendships and support networks have been the result.

Renfrewshire Inspirational Awards 2024

Rays Of Hope

Inspirational Charity Organisation
Rays of Hope
Sponsored by Mill & Brae

Rays of Hope, a cancer support charity based in Elderslie, was founded by Linda O’Malley eight years ago after her sister was diagnosed. Membership now tops 150 members. Open four days a week, it provides mental and physical support for cancer patients and their families. All services are free and supported by fundraising.

Renfrewshire Inspirational Awards 2024

Jeanne Chalk

Inspirational Community Volunteer
Jeanne Chalk
Sponsored by Specsavers Paisley

Jeanne Chalk has served Renfrewshire for decades. A minister’s wife, she helped those in need of shelter. Now nearly 84, Jeanne was the first volunteer to support Sewing2gether All Nations, a refugee assisting organisation launched in 2018 in Paisley. She volunteers two days a week, and takes the lead in processing donated clothing and textiles and supports English language learners at a weekly language café. A great listener she demonstrates patience and understanding, and builds relationship and trust despite cultural and language barriers.

Jonatan Schmidt

Inspirational Photographer
Jonatan Schmidt
Sponsored by Paisley is

Jonatan Schmidt created precious memories especially for families affected by terminal illness. He brings the whole family together and creates a joyous atmosphere at a very difficult time. He also does charity work through his photography business.

Grace Neill

Inspirational Community Contribution
Grace Neill
Sponsored by C Allan & Son Accountancy Services

Grace Neill’s involvement with Slimming World has provided a supportive environment for individuals striving to improve their health and well-being. She actively fosters a sense of unity and camaraderie among group members. She raises funds for Cancer Research UK. She demonstrates a deep-rooted sense of responsibility towards group members.

Thank you to everyone who nominated for Renfrewshire Inspirational Awards 2024. Photos by David Stevenson from Lights Camera Action Photography, visit the website here.

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