Thornliebank resident crowned as East Renfrewshire's Citizen of the Year

A Thornliebank resident who goes the extra mile to support her local community has been honoured with the 2020 East Renfrewshire Council Provost's Award.

Provost Fletcher and Alison McGown

Published: 21 December 2020

The Provost's Award is an annual opportunity to thank a dedicated volunteer for their hard work, which makes a difference to the lives of many others in East Renfrewshire.

Alison McGown, was crowned Citizen of the Year for her wide range of volunteering work within her local community.

As the driving force and founding member of Thornliebank Together, Alison played a key role in supporting the local community during the Council's Participatory Budgeting project in 2019.

Throughout Covid-19, Alison has also worked tirelessly to tackle food inequality in Thornliebank, working with partners to operate Thornliebank Foodshare from Thorntree Hall.

Provost Jim Fletcher said: 'I am delighted that Alison has been named as Citizen of the Year 2020. It has been great to hear about her invaluable work supporting the community of Thornliebank - it's clear she has made a difference to the lives of many people. A record number of people put forward nominations for Citizen of the Year 2020, so the judging process was extremely difficult. But the judging panel agreed that Alison should be recognised for her dedication to continue helping others during what has been an incredibly challenging year. Congratulations Alison!'

Alison, who has lived in Thornliebank all of her life, added: 'It came as such a shock to me that I had been awarded with this year's Provost's Award - I never even knew I had been nominated! I'd like to thank everyone in Thornliebank who has supported me over the years. It really is a joint effort, I wouldn't be where I am today without the support of the Thornliebank Together team. I look forward to continuing to work with the group over the coming years and help play our part to make Thornliebank a fairer and stronger community.'

Alison has also been prolific in securing funding for other smaller projects during the pandemic, and has worked closely with the Council to ensure that local people living in food poverty were included in the Humanitarian Hub project - with extra funds allocated for toiletries and nappies as well as baby food.

As secretary of Linking Communities, Alison also ran a Scottish Government trial initiative to tackle food inequalities with 60 households and over 190 people benefiting monthly from the project.

Alison also worked to secure funding from Barrhead Housing Association, for a knitting project for people with dementia, as well as securing tablets and laptops for vulnerable people in her community through the Scottish Government's Connecting Scotland scheme.

Working with young people from Woodfarm High School, Alison also encourages and supports their understanding of food poverty issues within their community.

Last modified on 15 January 2021