Glasgow's Covid Heroes: 100 incredible people making a difference in their community

Publication Date27 November 2020
AuthorGillian Loney
The city rallied when coronavirus hit in March, and throughout 2020 we've tried to cover as many positive stories as possible, to counteract the bad stuff we've all been forced to read this year.

Of course, we can't shout about all those good deeds without you telling us about the unsung heroes of 2020 - the everyday people and groups keeping Glasgow going throughout the pandemic.

At the start of November and in partnership with Amazon, we asked you to nominate your local Covid Heroes - and Glasgow, you haven't disappointed (not that there was ever any doubt!)

We received more than 600 nominations and, while we couldn't shout about every single one of them, we've picked out 100 of the best stories, from those going above and beyond to help fellow Glaswegians in need to those everyday acts of kindness by neighbours.

If you're feeling down about recent events and in need of a boost then have a read at some of these inspirational wee tales.

We'll be picking out a few favourites to write about in the coming weeks so keep an eye out for more of Glasgow's Covid Heroes in the spotlight.

And to everyone on the list, thank you for everything you've done. You really are our heroes ...

Please note: we couldn't possibly rank them, so the top 100 are in no particular order!

1. Sarah Louise McNee

Kevin and Deborah said: "She is my hero, as she went above and beyond for me and my partner, who has health problems. We couldn't go out so she did everything for us and all while working for the NHS, helping the local community by taking meals to people who had no food, and her own family."

2. Drew McCutcheon

"Drew was an auxiliary nurse and a colleague of mine in Glasgow Royal Infirmary. He was amazing at his job, great with patients, had a heart of gold, always smiling, had a wicked sense of humour and was a great support to all our team. He never moaned about anything and just got on with it all throughout this horrific time. Very sadly Covid-19 took his life on November 2 and left everyone absolutely devastated. He was fit and healthy! It was so sudden. We are all overcome with grief. He is going to be sorely missed. He lost his life taking care of others and he truly is a hero!"

3. Leanne Reid

Leanne has kept us all entertained in Lanark since the start of the outbreak by doing live singing on Facebook. She also visited local nursing homes to sing for them (from a distance) and sang outside our local Tesco to help raise money for the NHS, including for a staff member who sadly passed due to covid recently."

4. Kindness Homeless Street Team Glasgow

"From scratch Kindness reacted to the effects of Covid on homeless people by providing daily food, clothing, footwear, toiletries, bedding - and recruiting volunteers and including everyone in Glasgow to donate and spread kindness. They enable homeless people to create a home when offered a tenancy by organising and delivering free donated furniture; beds and all kinds of goods. The success of this project shows how kind we are in Glasgow when faced with adversity."

5. Michael Burns

"Michael and his husband Stephen have made over 500 birthday cakes for the elderly in nursing homes, who have been unable to see their families since lockdown began. He delivered the cakes and for many families it was the last time they got to see a photo of their loved one before they sadly passed away. Michael himself suffered a heart attack during lockdown but still keeps going. His company has postponed 800 weddings but the boys keep giving back to the community in Bothwell."

6. Janey Godley

We had a number of nominations for Janey, thanks to her zany Nicola Sturgeon voiceover videos. Here's just one example: "Have been at home since March, I live with a mental health condition that is very debilitating. Her videos make me laugh every day, her live streams shows she cares, and she deserves to be acknowledged as a shining light for me in all my darkness."

7. John Lyons

Tracey Pettifer said: "John and his team run Carntyne and Riddrie non-referral food bank. I am a Community Links Practitioner and John has helped so many families struggling through lockdown and beyond. People are always treated with dignity and respect. Nothing is ever a problem for him and he will go above and beyond to help. He is a true local hero."

8. Jamie Kirk

We had a few nominations for Hangman enthusiast Jamie, including Ewan Eadie who said: "Off his own back Jamie relieved the boredom of lockdown by coming up with the idea of doing a nightly, live hangman game on Facebook Live. We're now nine months into this trying time and Jamie is still keeping morale high with hangman live 4-5 nights a week. He has a core of hangmaniacs who play along as well as guest presenters from the Scottish comedy circuit and tv. He also collected raffle prizes and held a live charity raffle. He does all this while juggling a full time job as a bus driver and family time."

9. Katie Stirling

Katie's husband Graeme said: "My wife Katie is a teacher in a local primary school badly affected by Covid. Every day she goes in to work and doesn't complain regardless of the massive workload due to colleagues being ill and the constant risk of catching the virus. It's been a thankless job this year for teachers and they all deserve credit. My wife inspires me everyday and she's more than a hero!"

10. Laura and Joe Fletcher

"They have been singing live from Facebook three days a week since March. They are providing laughter and entertainment to us all especially at the beginning when many of us were shielding. We have made new friends and now have social interaction virtually in our homes.They have saved our lives."

11. Mary Mcmenemy

"Mary is a home carer, she is 64 years old and works every weekend night shift since the pandemic. Mary has never taken any time off and works relentlessly to ensure that her elderly clients are cared for."

12. Baillieston T&PSS transport and people support workers

Ryan nominated the team in Baillieston and said: "They have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic ensuring PPE equipment has been delivered to care homes, home care workers, private carers and more while still carrying out their normal daily duty of transport and support of vulnerable children and adults. They take tremendous pride in serving the community of Glasgow and further afield, a true credit among all of the other services provided by Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership."

13. Clare Bell

"Clare and I volunteered three months of our time through lockdown to cook meals daily for the NHS doctors and nurses, funded by Celtic FC, as we are out of work chefs. I nominate Clare as she has previously volunteered in many other projects including feeding homeless on Christmas day for several years. She is a true Glesga Hero and inspirational lass."

14. Maryhill Integration Network staff

Iain French in Springburn said: "The staff at MIN have been supporting the refugee and asylum seeker community throughout lockdown tirelessly. Not only are they still maintaining the essential ESOL classes and social events each week, they have also been delivering food parcels, toiletries, electronics and other essentials each week to over 40 families. This is amazing. The team are small, but have managed to help and connect with so many families and individuals and provide vital support. They don't shout loud about all they do, but they are incomparable in what they are able to do with limited resources and capacity."

15. Fiona Buckmaster

Alison Taylor gave a shout out to her sister, telling us: "My sister Fiona is an optician, so has been a key worker throughout the pandemic. However, as well as working in frontline healthcare (whilst being asthmatic herself) she's raised over £1,300 for Oxfam's Coronavirus Emergency Response Appeal by selling (a LOT of) handmade, cloth face masks. She spent time while furloughed for a few weeks volunteering for The Food Train, delivering food parcels to shielding and vulnerable people in her local community. And on top of that, she somehow found the time to get married in a beautiful, socially distanced wedding ceremony in the forest!"

16. Kieran 'Papa Shandy' Sinclair

Papa Shandy got a few shout-outs for his live Facebook sets every Saturday night. One fan said: "He is someone who we'd regularly go and see playing in the pub so we're happy when he decided to do live shows. His music has helped many people who have been struggling throughout this - myself included - and given us something to look forward to every Saturday."

17. Veronica McGuire at 1051 GWR

"Veronica's husband David got awarded an OBE in the honours list. His wife also worked tirelessly throughout, feeding hundreds of NHS workers every day, free of charge. I would like her to be recognised for her hard work. She also does loads for other charities. Amazing woman. Their lovely restaurant is 1051 GWR."

18. Terry McTernan and the Darkwood crew

Jayne Thomas nominated Terry and co "for everything these volunteers do here in Ferguslie Park, Paisley - including delivering food parcels, shopping deliveries, paths for all, litter picks, community markets too, picking up prescriptions for residents at the local care home as well as some input into special occasions for the residents. These are all local volunteers who are doing their best to improve their local environment and contribute to the wider regeneration of Ferguslie Park whilst also raising awareness of both conservation and the importance of recycling. They are just such an amazing crowd of people, doing it for the good of their local area. I probably have missed out some of the things they do on a daily basis, but without any doubt at all, I would really and strongly recommend these heroes AS heroes. They really are!"

19. G15 Youth Project

Annemarie Cairney said: "During lockdown they were not able to provide normal services and care to local teenagers. The staff of Joyce, Robert and Peter continued...

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