WHEN a community’s heart stops beating, it takes an exceptional group of people to kick-start it back into life.

Meet the stars of Streets Ahead, exceptional men, women and children who go the extra mile to make Glasgow a better place to live, work and play.

Year eight of our award-winning community campaign was a whirlwind of clever and creative projects and people, all doing their bit to improve their neighbourhoods one street at a time.

The last 12 months have been jam-packed with stories from every corner of Glasgow, showcasing the fantastic work being done by community-minded people in the north, south, east and west.

Backed by our partners Glasgow City Council, City Charitable Trust and City Building, we have awarded almost £9000 in Streets Ahead grants, helping a raft of brilliant projects get off the ground.

Our Streets Ahead year began in September with a visit to the fantastic Heart of Scotstoun, a community project being kept alive by an incredible bunch of local residents and families.

Read more: Meet the volunteers who are putting the heart into Scotstoun

The Balmoral Street building is home to a vibrant community café, a large garden complete with mini-allotments, and an array of classes and clubs reaching out to people of all ages. Run by a board of six, 24 volunteers and five staff, the centre organises weekly food collections, monthly community meals and a senior lunch club, called the Hearties, who turn up every Friday in all weathers.

Local councillors hold their surgeries there, and it also welcomes kinship carers and young parents while its own raft of clubs – everything from knitting groups to children’s dance – are always busy.

We also told you about great community projects like Street and Arrow and Govanhill’s Rags To Riches.

The former is a catering team, part of Braveheart Industries, a forward-thinking programme which aims to create jobs and opportunities for those with a history of offending or at risk of committing crime.

It began life as a social enterprise food truck in Partick, where trainees learned skills in cooking and hospitality with the aim of getting them back into work; and it is now inside Glasgow Dental Hospital, dishing up tasty modern street food to students, staff and the general public.

Rags to Riches is the award-winning Govanhill Baths project helping to transform this area of Glasgow.

With the support of Streets Ahead, which has provided the group with £800 towards materials, seating and planters, it has been consulting with local people to design a whole new streetscape on sections of Victoria Road.

Rags to Riches has been working with locals schools, nurseries, other businesses and charities for many years, running a bunch of innovative projects tackling some of the big issues on their doorstep, from flytipping and waste reduction to integration and isolation.

Examples of their work are scattered throughout Govanhill, from the artworks on the lampposts to the range of upcycled goods available inside their own store on Victoria Road and nearby Govanhill Baths.

Read more: Govanhill group ready to transform city street

Our campaign’s roots are in community gardens and environmental initiatives, but its remit has extended over the years to other projects which reach out to the whole community in a variety of exciting and inspiring ways.

Southside Fringe Festival is the perfect example and we were delighted to tell you their story back in February.

The power of arts, music and culture to bring people together is undisputed but nowhere in the city has it been harnessed to such fantastic effect than at the Southside Fringe.

The 16-day May celebration takes place in venues, businesses and locations across the south of Glasgow and this year, there were more than 150 events with art, drama, cabaret, comedy, music, literature, spoken word, health, lifestyle and food and drink all on the menu.

Entirely self-funded, community led and volunteer-run, it is a brilliant event which sums up what Streets Ahead is all about – bringing people together.

Evening Times Editor Donald Martin said: “Our Streets Ahead campaign, supported by our brilliant partners Glasgow City Council, City Charitable Trust and City Building, continues to go from strength to strength.

“Here at the Evening Times, we know how hard the people of Glasgow work for their communities. There are hundreds of individuals, clubs, businesses and charities out there who share our aim of making a positive difference within our city.

“Streets Ahead gives us a chance to share their stories and to support and celebrate those who work together for the benefit of all of us.”