She was one of the many worthy winners at the Evening Times’ Community Champions awards, which celebrated those who have worked to help people around the East End.
Margaret first volunteered for the Women’s Voluntary Service in 1939, just before the outbreak of the Second World War.
After that, she founded the Lightburn WRVS Harmony Stroke Club in Shettleston, which has now offered help to stroke victims for more than 35 years.
Margaret played down her Senior Award win and added: “To be honest, I’m not sure why I’ve got the prize. I wouldn’t like to get big-headed.”
Evening Times editor Tony Carlin opened proceedings with the words: “Tonight is about the people who make this city great. It’s an opportunity to honour and thank all those individuals and groups who selflessly work to make Glasgow a better place.”
Guest speakers at the event presented awards to the winners.
Lord Provost Bob Winter presented the first ever Health and Wellbeing Award. He said: “I think you’ll agree there is some fantastic work taking place to ensure the health of East End residents.”
He also praised the Evening Times’ Glas-goals campaign for helping to get the city healthy and reminded the audience that Glasgow needed to pull together to chance its citizens’ health, just as it once did to rid the city of industrial pollution.
The prize went to Silver Deal Active, which helps elderly citizens stay fit and healthy.
Neil Haig, 24, is an instructor with the scheme. He said: “This is a fantastic achievement. We have had 2000 members join us over the past five years and have worked very hard. We hope to grow and expand over the next five years.”
The next generation stepped forward to show that young people too could become community champions.
At only 12 years of age, Chelsea O’Neil has already committed herself to working for the benefit of the East End. Last night she was given the young Individual Award.
She is a young ambassador for Save the Children and a volunteer at Playbusters. As well as this, she has visited the Scottish Parliament to raise awareness of child poverty and visited an old folks’ home to make sure they had a happy Christmas.
Chelsea said: “I am amazed. I think everyone should volunteer and try to make lives better for other people.”
Some other young people celebrating last night were the team from Representing Young People’s Issues, joint winners of the Young Team Award. The group helps make sure young people’s voices are heard in the local community.
Debbie McGowan, support worker with the group, said: “This will enhance our reputation in the East End.”
They shared the prize with Young Voices, a group of youngsters who produce a quarterly magazine in the East End.
Medics Against Violence were commended for their work to put East End kids off joining gangs or engaging in violence. They were given the Public Service Team Prize.
Christine Goodall, who founded the group, said: “It’s great to be awarded this prize, because Medics Against Violence really is a team effort.”
One of the most selfless individuals of the night was John O’Hara, 48, a concierge at the Baltic Street Flats in Bridgeton.
He goes out of his way to make sure lonely or vulnerable people in the area know they have a friend. He visits elderly people in hospital or drops by their houses, going out his way to ensure no-one feels forgotten.
He was given the Public Service Individual Award by Bailie Catherine McMaster.
After being given his prize, John said: “I didn’t expect to get an award. I’m delighted and gobsmacked.”
Another individual celebrating was Jane Boyce, who has spent 20 years volunteering in the east of Glasgow. As well as serving on committees she has run a children’s garden club to encourage young people to learn the skills of gardening.
She won the Individual Award after being described as “caring, compassionate, hard-working and tenacious” by Robert Scott, assistant chief officer of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue. She said: “This is a nice honour. I have been very proud to help the kids.”
Superintendent Eddie Smith, from Strathclyde Police, presented the Team Award, after describing how community policing had transformed the fight against crime in the East End.
The winner was PEEK, which stands for Possibilities for East End Kids, which offers youngsters arts or drama activities.
Melodie Crumlin, 32, is project director. She said: “I love seeing kids develop confidence and skills. The best part of this job is watching adults who were part of PEEK come back to become volunteers.”
Now you’ve seen the champions helping to make the East End better, will you follow in their footsteps? See you next year.