LIKE all the best ideas, it had simple beginnings.

A group of neighbours in Shettleston got together to grow some healthy food, to save money and improve their diets.

Gradually, the numbers built up, and Shettleston Community Growing Project was born.

The group successfully applied for funds to the Climate Challenge Fund and Glasgow City Council and used the cash to turn a derelict site into allotments, a community garden and a mini-orchard, adding a polytunnel and potting shed.

The group also run a volunteering programme for local people, which has helped many unemployed residents get back into education and employment.

Last week, the project was crowned Best Community Initiative and overall winner in the Evening Times Streets Ahead awards, and the green-fingered group is still celebrating.

Project co-ordinator Marion Bate said: "We can't believe it – we are over the moon to have been recognised in this way. It means such a lot to all our hard-working volunteers."

Two of the project's youngest volunteers, nine-year-old Ben Samuels and 10-year-old Josephine Havlin, jumped for joy when the result was announced.

Josephine said: "Our project is used by everyone, and it's extra special for people who don't have gardens at home. We love it."

Ben added: "It's made our community a better place."

Josephine and Ben are part of the Smelly Welly Club, a gardening project aimed at children.

"We grow carrots, strawberries, potatoes and lots more," said Josephine. "On rainy days we do some weeding, but it's always good fun."

Anne Watson, one of the residents involved in the project , said: "I am East End born and bred, and this project has put the heart back into the area. Shettleston often gets knocked as the 'sick man of Glasgow' but we're changing that. It's fantastic."

Marion added: "As well as creating a safe, positive place for people in the community, the project has done so much to put the heart back into Shettleston.

"Areas like ours often get dismissed because people assume high unemployment levels mean folk are lazy. Here, it is absolutely not the case.

"We held an event recently to celebrate the work of our volunteers and more than 130 people turned up. It is a fantastic project and it has transformed the area."



Glasgow Housing Association's four Area Committees listen to local residents' concerns and act to help communities grow and thrive.

They are made up of tenants, factored homeowners, councillors and community representatives and each have £1 million to invest every year.

There are fantastic examples of their work across Glasgow, from building safe car parking areas in Sandyhills and upgrading paths in Balornock to lockup makeovers in Riddrie and creating garden areas at sheltered housing complexes in the East End.

Robert McCormick, chairman of Glasgow North Area Committee, said: "It's long overdue – the committees do so much for everyone it's fantastic to see their efforts applauded.


More than 70 people have signed up to support Friends of Rosshall Park and Gardens since it started in 2009.

Their aim was simple, but strong – to restore the South Side park to its former glory and protect the environment.

The hard-working volunteers have organised events and activities for the local community, bringing families back into the park which was under-used and neglected.

They also plant, weed and tidy various locations around the area, including Crookston Railway Station.

Treasurer Maureen Maher, 81, said: "It was wonderful to be nominated, we are all thrilled. We think Streets Ahead brings so many people together."

THE men, women and children helping to build a better Glasgow were honoured in style at the Winter Gardens.

Our second Streets Ahead awards celebration, organised in conjunction with Clean Glasgow, was a fantastic success.

Representatives from our high-profile partners, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, City Charitable Trust and Glasgow Housing Association presented the prizes, while entertainment was provided by young singer Lee-Ann Douglas.

Over the next eight pages, we pay tribute to the inspirational individuals, brilliant businesses, fantastic charities and amazing community groups who did their bit to improve Glasgow, one street at a time.

Ann Fotheringham and Matty Sutton report.