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NOT everyone managed to take home a coveted Evening Times Streets Ahead Awards trophy at last night's ceremony but everyone left with a smile.

 

The sun was shining as a number of finalists were recognised for the difference they have made in their local communities and to the environment.

Evening Times editor, Tony Carlin, was the host for the night and opened the awards with an inspirational speech stressing that "People Make Glasgow".

The tropical Winter Gardens provided a stunning backdrop as finalists milled over a delicious buffet before taking their seats for the glittering ceremony.

Bailie Allan Stewart was also present to show his support for the winners and runners up.

The awards were presented by a number of well known figures including Brian Devlin, Executive Director of Land and Environmental Service and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for ScotRail, Elaine Bell.

The humble nominees were thrilled to have the opportunity to promote their achievements throughout the year and show off their fantastic methods of boosting morale throughout their neighbourhood.

The crowd, which was filled with hundreds of delighted friends and family members of finalists, roared as each nominee got their moment in the spotlight.

Luke Evans, from Action Hillhead a group who are a community led initiative involving students, residents, businesses and schools to take action against litter dropping in the Hillhead ward, said: "It is really great to be recognised for all the work we have put in.

"It is an amazing opportunity for us to be able to publicise the work that we do and we are hoping that might encourage others to get involved with our work."

One finalist, Bernadette Brown has put a lot of time and effort into her beloved garden, spending many an afternoon plotting plants, weeding, arranging different flower designs and laying down pebbles and was recently awarded the GHA garden competition overall winner, for the local office great Western Tenant Partnership.

And last night, her garden took centre stage as Bernadette came runner-up in this year's Best Garden category.

She said: "I am very humbled that I was even considered.

"I did not know anything about it and I was really surprised and shocked to find that I had been nominated.

"It has been such an interesting experience meeting everyone involved in the Streets Ahead Awards."

Fellow contender, Gordon Kendall, was also surprised to discover he had made it to the finals.

He said: "It's exciting but it's really surprising.

"I was nominated previously in 2013 so it's to be back. It is a great experience.

"I'm really proud of the garden, it brightens the place up and it gets everybody else involved."

Youngsters also had the chance to show off the great work they have been doing throughout the community and even managed to help Tony out with a garden themed joke.

Three different groups were recognised for their outstanding achievements throughout the year, including Malawi Young Leaders of Learning, which consists of 20 young people from two different schools who came together as part of a one year clean up initiative - an accomplishment that will be celebrated by a two week visit to Malawi this September - and St Ninian's Primary School, also known as "The Ninnovators", who are a group of school pupils looking to make a difference in the surrounding area.

The pupils identified that The Blairdardie Pavilion was in need of an upgrade.

They forged partnerships with parents, councillors and local groups to highlight these issues and formed a children's community council.

As a result the children have claimed back their now improved Pavilion and have made a positive impact on improving their community.

School head teacher, Mary McLachlan, said: "We are delighted to receive this recognition for the children.

"It is a great way of promoting the kids confidence.

"The children have been working with special needs adults daily and they have been great with them and have helped the school garden to improve a lot more.

"It is now much more attractive and has a lot better facilities."

Tony also joked he had 'recycled' his jokes from last year.

The awards were rounded off by East 40 Choir who has seen a number of successes over the past few years.

The choir have a CD available for purchase and have collaborated with Franz Ferdinand.