EACH month, we feature an inspiring individual who is working wonders in his or her community. Do you know someone who has stepped up to solve a local problem or to create something special? Email ann.fotheringham@heraldandtimes.co.uk with the details. This month, we meet Rob Maslen, 57, from Woodlands, who is one of Glasgow City Council’s Neighbourhood Improvement Volunteers (NIVs).

Why did you become a NIV? To make a difference to my local area and help myself and other residents feel proud of where we live.

What does your role involve? I spend most of my time reporting fly tipping as well as picking up litter. Fly tipping is at its worst at the beginning and end of each academic year as landlords clear out rented flats for a new influx of students. Lots of non-landlords fly tip at other times of year, though; you’ll see heaps of rubbish getting thrown into the lane when work is being carried out on someone’s apartment.

Tell us about Dunearn Lane? In 2013 a few of us decided Dunearn Lane was a disgrace; it was so overgrown with vegetation and rubbish tangled up in the undergrowth the refuse lorries could hardly get down it. We started digging, with the help of our wonderful Green Party councillor, Martha Wardrop, the Community Payback team, Fionna and Karen at GCPP and our neighbours from Dunearn Street and Woodlands Drive. We were so pleased with the result of our work - and had all got on so well - we decided to have a barbecue. This year my friend and neighbour Cara got everyone back together again as the area had become overgrown once more.

Read more: Streets Ahead returns to celebrate the best community projects in Glasgow

Why is it important to step up? It’s easy to adopt the attitude that litter is someone else’s problem, the fly tipping will be cleared eventually by some other sucker, I’m too busy, it’s not my job. If you want to enjoy living in your neighbourhood you’ve got to help keep it in good condition.

Who inspires you and why? My wife Kirsty, who inspires me to be a better neighbour and to take a genuine interest in other people.

Best piece of advice ever given, and who gave it to you? ‘Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom.’ That was my friend Paddy, years ago when I was young, and I’ve never forgotten it.

Worst piece of advice ever given, and who gave it to you? See above. As I get older I begin to think: what’s the point of NOT stuffing a mushroom? I’ve got time.

Read more: Glasgow groups benefit from Streets Ahead grants

Favourite spot in Glasgow and why? Any old building, made of blond sandstone, that’s lit by the sun.

Describe yourself in three words: Dreamy, anxious, enthusiastic.