CIVIC AWARDS: Team behind food bank are named Provost’s Citizen of the Year

Provost William Hendri with Mollie-Rose Shields; Mark Morrison; Julie and David McGowan and Gordon Cummings.

By Lauren Crooks

The team behind a new food bank set up at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to help ensure vulnerable residents had essential supplies has been named as Citizen of the Year at the Provost’s Civic Awards.

Maureen and Gordon Cummings had the idea to create Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels after volunteering their time to pick up shopping and prescriptions for neighbours when Covid hit.

After distributing excess food donated by local shops, the pair felt a local collection and distribution food service for residents who were unable to leave their homes would be a useful addition to supplement existing provision.

They sourced spare food and donations from a wide range of local stores and were able to offer their first food parcels last May – benefiting 24 families.

Since then, the organisation has grown, with multiple collection points offered, donations received from a wide range of supermarket chains and  storage facility established to provide emergency food 7 days a week.

The couple, who work in partnerships with other local food banks, were also winners of the Community Champion Team award at the Awards after being nominated for their energy, effort and enthusiasm in the 12 months since the charity was formed.

Provost William Hendrie said: “The selfless dedication and commitment shown by Maureen and Gordon in the face of one of the most challenging periods we have experienced in recent times is extremely inspiring. They reacted to a changing situation, and after volunteering set about making a more permanent resource for their community. In the past year, Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels has supported hundreds of our residents and has become a lifeline for many vulnerable people in our community. They are extremely deserving of this recognition.”

The awards also saw Mollie-Rose Shields named as Youth Champion for a number of charitable acts including spreading cheer during the first lockdown by purchasing Easter eggs and delivering them to people in her community. As news of her Easter egg project spread, businesses began donating eggs and in total she delivered 660 eggs over the period.

Schoolboy singer and piper Mark Morrison was named as Arts and Culture Champion after using his talents to raise money for a huge number of worthy causes and putting on impromptu concerts at care homes and sheltered housing complexes to bring cheer to the most isolated residents during lockdown.

Footballer Rebecca McAllister won Sports Champion for her drive and determination  which has put her on a path of success, going from playing as a youngster at Mini Kickers in the Meadow Centre in Dumbarton, to now playing for Celtic FC and the Scotland U-19 women’s national squad.

Kind-hearted Julie & Davie McGowan were named as Community Champion (Individual) for providing supported lodging placements for the past 23 years, welcoming over 45 young care leavers into their home and showing them warmth, compassion and consistency as well as helping them onto a positive pathway for their future.

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