I WAS immensely proud to speak at the opening of the new Glasgow Central Gurdwara, the first purpose-built Sikh temple in Scotland.

Glasgow is home to the largest Sikh population in Scotland, more than half of all Scottish Gurdwaras are in our city and the new central Gurdwara is the country's biggest.

Last Sunday, more than 3000 people came to Pollokshields for an opening ceremony which included a loud and colourful procession and the raising of the 18metre long Nishan Sahib flag, before a fireworks and lanterns display.

To welcome the guests, volunteers had worked tirelessly to prepare 10,000 chapattis, 3000 vegetarian samosas and 15,000 cups of tea for the crowd.

I have been closely involved with the Gurdwara and the wider Sikh community for many years and they are among the most impressive community activists I have had the pleasure of working with.

In particular the young activists work tirelessly not only to encourage a greater understanding of Sikhism but also to take a stand against all forms of injustice and intolerance in the UK and around the world.

With an active and welcoming community and a talented and driven youth movement, they will continue to contribute to our multi-cultural city for many years to come.

One of the reasons that David Cameron's attempt to create a "Big Society" has fallen flat, particularly in our city, is because that community spirit he allegedly wanted to instil has existed in our communities for decades.

It's something he would have known if only he had bothered to look at the impact his policies have had on cities like Glasgow, rather than simply plucking soundbites from his advisers.

He would have seen religious organisations, community groups and individuals right across Glasgow who give up their own time, their own money and often a much easier life to help and care for others.

These groups often provide a service to their communities that politicians and local authorities cannot, and demonstrate the best of our city in the selfless work that they do.

I recently visited a foodbank in my constituency, a local community organisation working to help ensure that their neighbours and local families do not go hungry.

THE need for foodbanks shows the worst of our politics; but the foodbanks themselves show the best of our communities.

Each one of Scotland's 20 foodbanks tell tales of individual tragedies, of people and families living on the breadline, relying on food parcels.

Where governments and economics have failed families, it is Scotland's community groups that ensure the most vulnerable are looked after.

That is why we should celebrate Glasgow's volunteers and community groups and why it would be better if David Cameron and the Scottish Government looked at ways to help these groups rather than cutting the funding on which many rely.