THEY may be small, but they make a big difference to Glasgow – St Joseph’s Primary’s Litterless Superheroes summed up what our Streets Ahead campaign was all about in 2021.

In addition to regular litter picks in and around the school ground, the young people carried out a whole range of carbon-busting, community-boosting plans.

Primary five pupil Bobby told us: “Our school looks better with no litter.”

Streets Ahead, supported by Glasgow City Council, City Building, People Make Glasgow Greener and City Charitable Trust, marked its 10th anniversary this year and it was jam-packed with activities and events despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.

Glasgow Times: Streets Ahead feature on Lochend Community Allotment in Easterhouse, Glasgow. Pictured are children from Lochview nursery nursery tending their own raised bed. From left- Ruaridh, Aleeya and Laughlin

Photograph by Colin Mearns

We launched with stories of inspirational pupils – like the mighty superheroes at St Joseph’s – and garden makeovers, such as the brilliant scheme organised by Ready Steady Grow Pollokshields which transformed tenement front gardens in the area.

With the help of a Streets Ahead grant of £900, five winners were selected and the work went ahead as soon as pandemic restrictions allowed.

Thanks to the ongoing generosity of our partners, more grants were up for grabs this year.

READ MORE: Meet the Glasgow children on a litter-picking mission ahead of COP 26

Pupils at St Clare’s Primary in Drumchapel received a Streets Ahead grant of £700 to help clean up local streets ahead of COP 26, the world’s biggest climate change conference, arriving in Glasgow.

They purchased litter-picking equipment and materials to allow them to carry out regular mini-clean-ups to the delight of local residents.

Schools were also at the heart of plans to rejuvenate a community garden in Easterhouse.

Glasgow Times: Young members of Denmilne Community Action Group in Easterhouse (l-r) Piotr Slizowski, 8, Mason Watson, 9 and Filip Slizowski, 6. Pic: Colin Mearns

Led by FARE, six nursery, primary and secondary schools, and community gardener Susan Wilson, and with the help of local businesses and a £500 grant from Streets Ahead, the Drumlanrig Avenue site has been transformed into a cheerful growing space

Susan said: “This is a really special place. It nurtures people. I know many people who come here for comfort, just to get away from what’s going on in their lives.”

Our Streets Ahead campaign brings neighbours together to improve the city for the benefit of all.

This year marked its 10th anniversary of supporting projects across Glasgow, bringing neighbours closer together, breaking down barriers and reducing isolation, kickstarting vital projects and making Glasgow a greener, brighter, safer and friendlier city.

This year, there was added emphasis on environmental projects as we headed towards COP26.

We told the stories of some inspirational COP26 volunteers – like Maggie Paterson, a member of Partick’s ‘hot-pink-hi-vis rubbish army’ PAL (Partick Action on Litter) and Bob Alston, a Woodside grandfather who helped drive forward Claypits Nature Reserve in the north of the city.

Maggie and her fellow litter-pickers persuaded comedian and actor Sanjeev Kohli, and Scot Squad actors Louise McCarthy and Jack Docherty (who plays Chief Miekelson) to provide voiceovers for a series of hilarious tongue-in-cheek awareness videos, made with support from Partick Housing Association.

READ MORE: 'Hot pink hi-vis litter army' signs up stars to clean Glasgow streets

“Take pride in the ‘hood,” instructs Sanjeev, while Louise adds: “Don’t be a rocket, keep it in your pocket.”

Bob and fellow members of the now-defunct Friends of Possil Greenspace volunteer group were instrumental in transforming a piece of derelict land into the Claypits Local Nature Reserve.

The Claypits was an old clay quarry, used when the Forth and Clyde Canal was first built in the 1700s.

It was also the site of a foundry, glassworks and boat-building yard - all now long gone, although the historic canal buildings, the oldest in Scotland, are still visible along the banks.

It is now home to roe deer and peregrine falcons, white- throat warblers and elusive waterfowl and a new bridge links the communities on either side of the canal.

“That’s the real joy of a project like this, it brings people together,” said Bob.

We also celebrated our annual awards in June - albeit in a slightly different format. The virtual ceremony allowed us to pay tribute to the hardworking individuals and groups going the extra mile to improve communities for the benefit of all.

Life in our city may have changed completely but Glaswegians still have plenty of heart. Now, more than ever, people are pulling together - and Streets Ahead is here to help.

Tell us how your community is responding to life during the pandemic - and share your stories of the superheroes helping others in need.

We would love to hear about the community projects your school has up and running, and we also want to hear about community projects designed to encourage people to think more carefully about the environment.

Perhaps you are a ‘green business’, doing your bit to help the planet through sustainability schemes?

“It has been a fantastic 12 months for Streets Ahead,” said Glasgow Times Editor Callum Baird.

“With the support of our brilliant partners, we have been able to celebrate some of the most inspirational people in the city, and highlight the great work being done in our communities.

“Without them, Glasgow would be a much poorer place.”