Meet our magnificent seven

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As we enter 2019, we take a look back at the stand-out locals who made a difference last year.

The Southside has a strong sense of community spirit – even a fighting spirit in some cases – and it is something that is always a pleasure to report on and to be a part of.

Well done on your achievements and thank you for sharing your stories with us.

1. Russell Macmillan, founder of ERGood Causes

The hard work that Russell and the team at East Ren Good Causes do never ceases to amaze us here at the The Extra.

For more than a decade Russell has helped so many people in need in the community – his way of giving something back following his life-saving double transplant in January 2007. To date, the organisation has helped more than 2000 individual beneficiaries, by giving out over £300,000 worth of goods to good causes as identified by frontline staff in East Renfrewshire. The kindness and sense of community spirit shown by Russell is very heart-warming and we enjoy covering the work of East Renfrewshire Good Causes.

2. Kirsti McGinlay – Save Shawwood Greenspace

The issue over green space is a hot topic across East Renfrewshire with many vital areas under threat from development.

Kirsti first contacted us over the possibility of Shawwood park being built on. She has spearheaded the campaign to make sure people are aware of the possibility that the vital area may be lost and has been vocal on social media on how vitally important green space is to residents. She has taken part in various events in protest, most recently the peaceful protest at the last full council meeting. Kirsti’s passion and determination is definitely something to be admired.

3. Euan MacColl

Giffnock youngster Euan (8) received the all-clear after a year-long battle with cancer, which included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation last year.

And to celebrate being given the all clear, he decided to host a special party for all his friends and family.

Euan was even given a very special present and shout out on Twitter from his hero Bear Gryllis, who also sent a signed portait of himself with a message to stay positive. The brave lad is now back at Giffnock Primary School in primary four.

4. Cormac O’Hara

Cormac O’Hara (17), from Newton Mearns, overcome the challenges of autism and epilepsy. He was recently named as Cosgrove Care’s first Young Ambassador. The Williamwood High School Deputy Head Boy hopes to represent Team GB at the Paralympics and has already won a host of gold medals at disability events across Scotland and, most recently, became a British Champion at 800m and 1500m. Cormac’s performances have been noticed by British Athletics and it’s hoped that he will represent GB in either 2024 or 2028.

5. The Busby community

fter a fundraising campaign was started by Independent Councillor David Macdonald, the Busby community rallied round. They helped raise £230 to make sure its elderly residents were able to get about safely when the cold weather arrives. The money helped buy two rotating broadcast gritters, an electric handheld gritter and snow shovels. Four local volunteers, including Councillor Macdonald, are now standing by to do the gritting when freezing conditions arrive. Such a great show of strong community spirit.

6. Ronan Macaskill

Five-year-old Ronan raised more than £100 for the Auldhouse Community Foodbank. A keen artist, Ronan, who lives in Newlands and attends Tinto Primary School, spent most of September this year painting and drawing and sold off his artwork, producing more than 25 pieces which were quickly snapped up. Ronan’s aunt Joanna Boyle got in touch with us in October about his kind-hearted gesture, and we were happy to let people know about his fundraising. No wonder is family are all so proud of him! Well, done Ronan.

7. Adam Black

The Eaglesham teacher has helped raise the profile of stammering. As part of Stammering Awareness Day on October 22, he held by an assembly at Eastmuir Primary School, where he teaches. In 2007 Adam used the life-changing McGuire Programme to help control his stammer.

Adam recently received a Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for services to raising awareness of stammering.

As Adam said: “Everyone has their own quirks – you just need to embrace them the best you can.”