COMMUNITY stalwarts were honoured for their work to make Renfrewshire a better place at a glittering awards ceremony.

The Provost’s Community Awards celebrated groups and individuals who have gone above and beyond in to make the area a great place to live and work in.

Provost Lorraine Cameron was joined by compere Libby McArthur to help present the awards at the Lynnhurst Hotel in Johnstone.

READ MORE: Drumming group are making noise to change lives

There were more than 60 nominations submitted, but there could only be six winners, which Provost Cameron said showed how inspirational Renfrewshire people were.

She said: “The Community Awards outline the talent, the enthusiasm and the determination that we are lucky to have in Renfrewshire and every one of this year’s winners are an inspiration.

“It is a privilege to work through the applications with my fellow judges and I never tire of seeing the outstanding work going on in our communities.

“Congratulations to all our winners, you deserve to be rewarded for your fantastic work to make Renfrewshire a better place and I’m delighted to be able to recognise you through these awards.”

The Gazette: The Provost (middle) congratulated the Buddy Beat members on their award The Provost (middle) congratulated the Buddy Beat members on their award

Receiving the Arts and Culture Award was Johnstone percussion group The Buddy Beat, which aims to improve people’s mental health and promote social inclusion.

The group meets 50 weeks a year and uses music to boost self-confidence, self-belief and self-worth, and it has empowered many to move onto further education, volunteering and employment.

Meanwhile, the Carer’s Award was given to Jamie-Louise Murray, who cares for her parents with mobility issues.

Jamie-Louise created a Buddy bench at her old primary school using her own money to help children who are feeling lonely or struggle with friendships.

The Community Group prize was awarded to Pals of the Privies, a group which has been behind the transformation of Glencoats Park in Paisley from a wilderness to a thriving family spot.

The Gazette: Heather Clisset won the Community Volunteer AwardHeather Clisset won the Community Volunteer Award

All members have embraced Renfrewshire Council’s Team Up to Clean Up initiative, and community events and primary school classes can now be held in the park.

Litter-picking champion Heather Clissett was handed the Community Volunteer accolade after leading efforts to clean-up the community for nine years.

She has worked closely with Keep Scotland Beautiful to carry out pilot projects, and her creation Erskine Community Garden received the second highest ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ award from the environmental cause.

Employee of the Year went to the Good Shepherd Centre’s Tracey MacNab, who has worked for the Bishopton service for vulnerable children for 12 years. 

She developed the tenancy and citizenship award, which is now an SQA qualification and works with external agencies to provide young people with the opportunity for training, work experience and employment.

Finally, Joanna Butterfield was given the Sporting Achievement prize, who helped form the only wheelchair rugby team in Scotland after being diagnosed with a spinal tumour that led to paralysis from the chest down.

READ MORE: MSPs praise the positive impact of Johnstone drumming group

She also started Club Throw, the Paralympic version of the hammer, as part of her rehab and was selected for Team GB at the European Championships in 2014, where she won gold and set a new European record.

The Gazette: Jim Price of ACRE Industrial and Joanna ButterfieldJim Price of ACRE Industrial and Joanna Butterfield

Preceding the presentation of the awards, Fèis Phàislig Ceilidh Trail entertained the invited guests with a selection of traditional tunes and songs.

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond