Celebrating East Ren’s local heroes

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THE winners are in for East Renfrewshire Volunteer of the Year awards.

The ceremony, which was organised by East Ren MP Jim Murphy and Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh, took place on Saturday at the Fairweather Hall in Newton Mearns.

“What a brilliant day it turned out to be, celebrating the generosity of spirit of so many local people,” said East Renfrewshire’s man in Westminster.

“Each and every one of those who were nominated were put forward by someone whose life they had touched. Ken and I were amazed by the stories of people who give up so much for others.

“What was also obvious was that everyone nominated was a little bit embarrassed to be put forward and to come onto the stage, because they had never expected to be thanked at all.

“The only downside of the event was that there had to be someone singled out to be a winner in each category. Despite that, it was a really uplifting and optimistic day.”

In crowded categories, Rafique Choudry won the Volunteer of the Year award, while the East Renfrewshire young team won voluntary group of the year.

Kevin Tharumanayagam was named Young Volunteer of the Year while the Campaigner of the Year award was given to Eco Group.

Anne Marie Kennedy won the Betty Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award, while the special award for Carer of the Year went to Tammy Reynolds.

A Newton Mearns netball coach was named The Extra’s community champion. With 83 per cent of the vote, Helen Bailie, head coach for St Cadoc’s Youth Club, ran away with the award.