Through our work with local community groups, employers, education facilities and charities we’ve met some exceptional people. The kind of people who think nothing of giving up their free time to help others, look out for the vulnerable in their community, make their area a nicer place to live, and bring a smile to others during difficult times.
We think it’s time to celebrate these people who go above and beyond. Which is why we’re launching Glasgow Credit Union’s Heart of Glasgow.
The Heart of Glasgow will be awarded throughout the year and will recognise individuals of all ages who have given their time and effort to make a positive difference in the Greater Glasgow area.
If you know someone who deserves recognition, we’d like to hear from you! It could be a friend, family member, work colleague, volunteer, teacher, pupil, or neighbour who has gone the extra mile to help others stay safe and well, improved an area, or built community spirit.
Nominations can be made by members and non-members, and the nominee doesn’t need to be a member.
To nominate someone for an award download our application form and send by email to [email protected], or post to our office address.
You do not need to be a member of Glasgow Credit Union to nominate someone for an award
The nominee must make a positive impact in the Greater Glasgow (G postcode) area
The nominee does not need to be a member of Glasgow Credit Union
There are no age restrictions for nominees (children and adults can be nominated)
We want to hear about one-off acts of kindness and about people that make an ongoing positive impact in their community or to others
Here are the recipients of our Heart of Glasgow awards:
Congratulations to Alan Dodd, who recently received a Heart of Glasgow award.
Alan has been recognised for his care and empathy towards helping animals in need across the city. Within the last year, Alan has helped numerous animals that have been injured or have required assistance. He has helped wildlife with broken wings, rescued birds from traffic, and has even taken injured animals to the vets when the RSPCA has been closed to make sure they get the care they need.
His dedication to looking after animals in need deserves to be recognised and we’re delighted to provide him with this award.
John Brown was our last Heart of Glasgow winner for the year 2022.
He was nominated by his brother, Ken Brown, who said “John would give you the shirt off his back and nothing is too much trouble for him to help anyone.”
John served our country during the traumatic times in Northern Ireland, working six years in the R.E.M.E, carrying out dangerous duties. On leaving the army, he then spent the next 40 years as an HGV Driver, a job he loved but had to give up due to ill health.
However, despite enduring many health problems, John has volunteered for the last 13 years in the Salvation Army Charity Shop in Springburn. He travels from Paisley 6 days a week, spreading his unique style of caring and humour to customers and staff.
We’re delighted to present John with this award.
Amanda Smith was recently nominated for a Heart of Glasgow award by Courtney Thomas.
Amanda created Glenlora Wild Garden, situated in Pollok.
Prior to its creation, the grounds were mainly used as a dumping ground or for fly tipping. However, Amanda decided to take matters into her own hands with the help from community volunteers. They created an amazing community garden after two years of hard work and determination. The garden is also being used by the community, local organisations, and school groups.
Everyone is welcome and the garden has made a big difference to the local community. It provides a safe space in the heart of Pollok where people can reconnect with nature, children can play, and adults can socialise which has a positive impact on their mental health.
Amanda truly deserves the recognition of this award.
Our last Heart of Glasgow winner of 2021 is Natalie Quate, who was nominated for her fundraising work.
In the last few years, Natalie has raised over £20,000 for various cancer charities by organising events including Santa dashes, and kilt walks.
In November this year, despite having just lost her own mother to cancer only the day before, Natalie still helped set-up a fundraising event that she’d organised in aid of Marie Curie. She had promised her mum that the event would go ahead – and she made sure it did!
Angela Kerr, who nominated Natalie described her as ‘A wonderful, selfless human being who is a tower of strength for her family and the local community’.
Natalie’s story really touched us, and we were delighted to present her with this award.
When we created our Heart of Glasgow awards, it was with people like our latest winner, Liz McWilliams, that we had in mind.
Liz is Chairperson of local community group, People’s Past People’s Future (PPPF). The group supports older people through a range of activities – helping to combat social isolation.
Geraldine Baird, from PPPF, who nominated Liz told us ‘Liz is the glue that keeps us together and motivated to keep going in these challenging times.’
As well as her Chairperson duties, Liz is very much hands-on, visiting members who live alone, doing shopping for those less able, driving people to and from appointments, and organising a walking group.
Geraldine continued ‘Liz is so kind. She is the first to give physical support to members who are unsteady on their feet, and when she drives people home she gets out of the car and takes them to the door – it’s the small things that make a big difference to people.’
Well done Liz – a very deserving Heart of Glasgow winner.
Glasgow based entertainers, Robert and May Miller, were presented with a Heart of Glasgow award in recognition of their fundraising on behalf of the Kilbryde Hospice.
They were nominated by staff at the hospice who explained that Robert and May regularly give up their time for charity and have raised an amazing £130,000 for the hospice over the last 8 years.
Pre-Covid, the couple organised hugely successful annual charity event ‘The Gay Ball on behalf of the hospice, as well as volunteering to entertain at Kilbryde Hospice’s many balls and ladies’ lunches.
Even throughout lockdown, Robert and May continued to fundraise, hosting weekly online performances for their followers to watch and donate.
The couple are pictured here receiving their awards with Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire, Lady Susan Haughey, and Lesley Wiggins – hospice fundraising manager. (Left to Right: May Miller, Lesley Wiggins, Robert Miller, Lady Haughey).
Kilbryde Hospice provides specialist palliative care to patients over the age of 18, with life limiting progressive illnesses. When fully operational, the hospice costs around £2.6 million per year to run.
Meet Skye Honest – our youngest Heart of Glasgow award winner yet!
Thirteen year old Skye was nominated by her Dad, Andrew who told us that Skye went above and beyond for her community when the country went into lockdown.
As well as looking out for her neighbours, by helping with shopping and handing out home baking during the 8pm clap for the NHS, she also raised a massive £2,200 for critical support workers.
Despite lockdown being over, Skye still continues to do shopping for some neighbours and is always looking for ways to help others
Her Dad told us that her family are incredibly proud of her – and we couldn’t agree more.
One of the things we love about Glasgow is the way that a bad situation can often bring out the best in our people. This is very much the case with our latest Heart of Glasgow award winner, Christine Ashcroft.
Christine was nominated by her niece, Laura, who told us how her Aunt had really stepped-up during the pandemic by coming out of retirement, not once, but twice!
Christine’s skills were used to head up one of Glasgow’s NHS COVID assessment centres, and she’s still working there now, helping to ensure that our city stays safe.
On receiving her award, Christine said she was very touched, and wanted to dedicate it to her ‘amazing team at the assessment centre, who all work so hard.’
Our latest Heart of Glasgow winner is Julie Bradley, who volunteers as a Helper Befriender for Marie Curie.
Julie was nominated by Katie Wardlaw, volunteer coordinator for the charity. Katie told us ‘Julie has been invaluable to the clients she supports. Before lockdown she would visit her clients regularly and provide emotional support and companionship, and during lockdown she continued to support clients virtually.’
Julie was overwhelmed to receive the award, and told us that she became a volunteer after losing her own Mum to cancer. This sense of giving back is exactly what our Heart of Glasgow awards celebrate.
Mrs Carol Rafferty, Principal Teacher of Pupil Support and PE teacher at All Saints Secondary, is our latest Heart of Glasgow award winner.
Nominated by former pupils Lucy, Abbie and Beth, the trio noted the impact she has made on so many pupils with her endless dedication. She has been particularly encouraging and enthusiastic in getting others involved in sport, giving up her spare time to drive students to competitions after school and at the weekends.
Commenting on the nomination, Lucy, Abbie and Beth noted, “We truly believe there is no one more deserving of this award than Mrs Rafferty, and feel this would be a great thank you from everyone she has helped at All Saints as she retires after 46 years.”
Trisha Urquhart has been a volunteer for Marie Curie for over 5 years, and was nominated by Marie Curie Community Fundraiser, Amanda Casey.
Amanda told us ‘Trisha comes every week to help, and no task is ever too much – she just rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck in. She is a valued member of the team and a joy to work with.’
During the pandemic, Marie Curie volunteers were unable to volunteer in person, but this didn’t stop Trisha and she found ways to volunteer from home to support the team.
Trisha’s passion and commitment to Marie Curie was clear to see when she received her award and we’re very pleased to recognise this with a Heart of Glasgow award.
We first met Mags Monaghan when Giving Glasgow made a donation to the Tuesday Friendship Club, a charity that Mags set up to help support adults with learning disabilities and additional support needs.
Mags’ Mum, Wilma, also volunteers at the Tuesday Friendship Club, nominated her daughter for a Heart of Glasgow award to recognise the tireless work she does for the community.
She was chosen for an award due to her commitment to ensuring that vulnerable individuals have the same opportunities as everyone else. This was demonstrated during the height of the pandemic, when Mags waited in queues for hours to purchase devices to help their service users stay connected throughout lockdown.
Mags received her award, surrounded by her family who had nothing but praise for the work she does.
Dr Thelma Okey-Adibe is a mentor to many women in Glasgow. She was nominated by for a Heart of Glasgow award by her mentee, Adebimpe Ademosu.
Dr Thelma works with DAWSUN (The Diaspora African Women’s Support Network), and has invested her time and skills to support the lives of many women in Glasgow and beyond. She uses her knowledge and skills in financial literacy to provide weekly workshops and mentorship to help women overcome debt issues.
Adebimpe told us ‘Dr. Thelma is passionate about helping others become the best version on themselves and for this she deserves the Heart of Glasgow Award.’
Nominated by his colleague, Rose Philippi, our latest Heart of Glasgow award winner is Munir Emkideh.
Rose works with Munir at the Maryhill Integration Network, and she told us ‘We feel very lucky to have Munir as part of our team. He and his family are inspirational, and make a huge difference to the community.’
Munir helped set up the Family Nest Group which engages with diverse families in the Maryhill area, most of whom are seeking asylum or who have been granted refugee status. Munir has provided vital support throughout the pandemic to families who are new to Glasgow and he uses his skills as an Arabic interpreter to assist them with vital advice, as well as delivering food parcels.
Munir, originally from Syria, came to Glasgow in 2013 and has been volunteering since the moment he arrived.
Donna Foote received her Heart of Glasgow award in recognition of all the time and support she provides to her local community.
Donna is a voluntary youth club worker in the southside of Glasgow, and provides support to young people to help them find alternatives to underage drinking, fighting and gang culture.
Donna was nominated by Stephanie Morris who met Donna in 2019 when they were both involved in a community arts project. Stephanie told us that when the recent COVID pandemic hit, Donna sprung into action helping the vulnerable in the community by delivering prescriptions, food parcels and linking people with access local support services.
Stephanie describes Donna as “Truly astonishing”, and we’d have to agree!
Just before Christmas, another well-deserving recipient received our Heart of Glasgow award. Audrey Wadsworth volunteers for Shelter Scotland and was nominated by Emma Jackson, Shelter Scotland’s Regional Community Fundraiser for Glasgow.
Emma, pictured on the right, told us “Audrey might be 80 years old, but she has never let anything stop her from working, volunteering and supporting Shelter Scotland. She is one of the charity’s brightest stars, continuously looking for ways to help. She has run fashion shows to raise funds, and as a career-long seamstress, Audrey put her amazing sewing skills to good use during lockdown to make masks, raising over £3,000!”
Audrey was very happy to receive the award when asked her secret to looking great and being so active Audrey said, “I’ve not stopped working since the age of 15. My passion for work and volunteering is what motivates me”.
The first ever Heart of Glasgow award was presented to Julie Toal, Assistant Operations Manager at the Brunswick Centre in the north of Glasgow. She was nominated by her colleague, Ashton, who told us about the incredible work Julie does on a daily basis within the community. As well has her tireless work providing support to hundreds of young people and families, Ashton also highlighted Julie’s amazing response to help people throughout the pandemic. Ashton told us “Julie is a true inspiration to many children and young people, always offering support and encouragement. She puts others first and is such a great role model to her team.”
When receiving her award, Julie said “I’m just doing what I love – providing children and families with vital support. It’s very much a team effort and everyone at the Brunswick plays their part.”
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