IT WAS once a "forgotten part of Glasgow" but the people who live and work there reckon Ruchill is finally starting to blossom.

"The place has changed for the better," says resident and Ruchill Community Council chairperson Kate Mulgrew. "It still has its challenges, but there is a marked difference. Crime and anti-social behaviour has reduced and people feel prouder to live here."

The change is down, in no small part, to a committed band of community workers who invest a great deal of time and energy into supporting local people.

Kate is one, Jill Mackay - chief executive of North United Communities, which runs 20 youth groups every week, plus mental health sessions for adults - is another, and Diane McKendrick, who runs Acting Up drama classes, is a third.

There are many more, but these three women are determined to ensure Ruchill's heart continues to beat.

The Evening Times Streets Ahead campaign, in conjunction with Glasgow City Council, City Building and City Charitable Trust, first supported the Ruchill community in 2015, when a fantastic group called Little Roots of Ruchill helped to transform a derelict space at the back of the community centre into a beautiful garden.

With the help of a £2000 Streets Ahead grant, the area quickly became a horticultural hotspot, where neighbours and friends could come together to grow food and flowers and hold community events.

The garden has grown into a fantastic community resource, as Jill Mackay explains.

"It's like an extra room for the centre, and there is always something happening," she says. "There are gardening groups, such as the Grafters, who support people with mental health issues, and kids' activities, and recently there have been opportunities for the community to come together for barbecues and festivals."

Lord Willie Haughey, who supports Streets Ahead through City Charitable Trust, paid a visit to find out how the grant money helped to transform the project and to hear about other groups working hard to improve Ruchill for the better.

"This is an excellent garden and it's great to see the funding being put to good use," he said.

"There are people in this community, like many others across the city, who have put heart and soul into delivering fantastic services for the people who need them most.

"Without them, who knows what this community would look like? I'm delighted City Charitable Trust continues to support Streets Ahead."

Read more: Litter can't just be someone else's problem

This year's Streets Ahead campaign kicked off this week and we want to hear all about the great work being done in communities across the city.

It does not have to be a gardening project - improving streets, parks and gardens is just part of our campaign.

At the root of it all is a desire to change something about your community, which will make life better for others.

It could be an innovative project for older people; groundbreaking youth work; or something that brings your neighbours together.

Read more: Glasgow groups benefit from Streets Ahead

Perhaps you work for a "green business" or social enterprise that cares more about the people and environment around it, than just making money? Maybe your school is working hard on a community initiative? We would love to hear your stories - email

STREETS Ahead grants are available - you can find out more at to get a copy of the application form.