IT was a night of cheers and laughter as the Community Champions in the South Side of Glasgow took centre stage.

Castlemilk Community Centre rung with applause last night as the gongs were handed out to those who go that extra mile to help their friends, neighbours and family.

Rousing cheers and applause greeted each of the finalists as the winners of the eight awards categories were revealed.

It was standing room only at the second event, of the seventh year of the awards, in the South Side.

A police squad, dedicated litter picker and lollipop man were among the worthy winners at the Evening Times' Community Champions awards, which celebrated those who have worked to help people around the area, including Shawlands, Queens Park, Langside, Mansewood, Mosspark, Newlands, Cardonald, Pollok, Govan and Penilee.

The crowd gave a "Champions Drumroll" by stamping their feet and clapping their hands to herald the first winner of the night - Radiant and Brighter Community Interest Company, who were presented with the Team Award.

The group, which is run solely by volunteers, offer training courses for people needing employment.

In the past year, they have supported 250 people from 15 different countries, with some even starting their own business.

Presenting the award, Bailie James Scanlon praised the team for "making such a difference" to the community.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Station Manager, Stephen McGrath, presented the Individual Award.

For more than a year, Edward Kirkwood has spent his free time litter picking and clearing rubbish in the Queens Park area.

Despite his mobility issues, Edward, 23, will work away come rain or shine.

He is a well-known face in the South Side and has had a huge impact on the local area and keeping the park clean and safe.

Edward was nominated by fellow South Side resident Kirsty Moir.

She said: "Eddie does so much for the local community, he really deserves this."

Mr McGrath said: "Edward is an asset to the community.

"He is very much appreciated by the local residents for the amazing work he does every day."

Next, local councillor Soryia Siddique presented the Public Services Award to Crossroads Youth and Community Association.

The association, which delivers youth and community work within the Gorbals and Govanhill area, supports residents to progress within society.

Ms Siddique said: "Without Crossroads many migrants would feel isolated and unsettled, and some of the most positive cases now have successful careers and happy family lives."

The Uniform Services Award went to the Govan Community Policing Team.

Officers said they were "delighted" to be presented with the gong as top cop, Chief Inspector Carole McGuire watched from the audience.

Glasgow Housing Association South Area Director, Jennifer Russell, who presented the award, said: "The Govan Community Policing Team engage with the community to make Govan a safer and better place to live."

The police team were praised for their work on the “We are Listening" project, which has led to a series of successful events, including the Govan Fair.

A tuneful cheer rang out from the Givin’ it Laldie musicians, when it they were revealed as the winners of the Health and Wellbeing Award.

The charity group was set up in 2010 by Gorbals Parish Church.

Group member William Leadbitter(corr) said: "We are all so happy to be recognised for all our hard work."

Organisers aim to use music to improve the lives and wellbeing of individuals in an area that suffers from poverty and unemployment.

CI McGuire, who presented the Health and Wellbeing Award, said: "Givin’ it Laldie's services are free for everyone and include the Gorbals children’s choir, which brings together children from deprived backgrounds.

"They also offer guitar classes known as “Strum for Life” and “Glad Tuesdays” for primary children with autistic spectrum disorders."

Praising all the winners and nominees, Evening Times editor Tony Carlin, said: "I take great pride in our readers, the people of Glasgow, people like those we are celebrating here tonight, people who don’t want hand-outs or pity, but people who see a need for change, a need to help a neighbour, a need to right a wrong or to improve their community and who go out and do it.

"They are simply typical Glaswegians and proud of it."

The Sport Award went to the Cuckoo Basketball Club, which is now known as the Glasgow Rens.

The group, who work children and young people, was set up a decade ago and has the motto "Our Sport is Basketball Our Passion is People".

Also celebrating was Senior Award winner Peter Davidson.

Popular Peter has been one of the School Crossing Patrol Officers at Pirie Park Primary School in Govan since the school opened in January 2010.

The 68-year-old said: "I really didn't expect to win, I'm delighted.

"The award is for everyone at school, the head teacher, all the teachers, children and their parents.

"The community work hard for me and I work hard for them."

And the final award of the night went to a group of fourth year pupils from Castlemilk High School.

They won the Young Award for their tireless efforts to raise funds to help their teacher’s son, Luca, after learning of his severe disabilities and how he needs round the clock care.

Dubbed Luca’s Girls, the group have already raised £500.

Group members Jennifer Lang and Carla Nugent, both 15, accepted the award.

Jennifer said: "We're really shocked to win, but really happy."

Carla added: "It's made us want to keep fundraising and we definitely will."

Evening Times columnist Michelle McManus, who compered the event and provided the entertainment, said she was "truly honoured" to be invited.

She added: "These awards allow us and our partners an opportunity to honour and thank those individuals and groups who have worked to make the South of Glasgow a better place to live, work and play."

The finalists are decided by a judging panel made up of representatives from our awards partners - Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue and Glasgow Community Planning Partnership.