COMMUNITY heroes in Dumbarton are being recognised for making a difference to the lives of those around them as finalists in a new contest.

Artizan Shopping Centre are looking to crown a champion of their “Dumbarton Hero” competition and are asking members of the public to vote online between their four finalists.

Amy Don, Jonathan Rainey, Alistair Ferguson and Melody Whitley were selected after residents were asked to share stories of family members, friends and colleagues who show kindness and generosity towards others.

Photography fan Amy, aged 11, will be holding charity Christmas photoshoots in a bid to help end homelessness by capturing family moments at Loch Lomond Shores in exchange for a small donation.

Amy has already completed one session and raised £381, which went towards buying sleeping bags, hats and scarves for vulnerable people in the town.

Determined to keep the streets and natural beauty spots across West Dunbartonshire clean and tidy, Jonathan, 24, has been voluntarily picking litter for more than four years.

Jonathan, who has high-functioning autism, first started collecting rubbish with a small plastic shopping bag in Overtoun Estate Woods during a family dog walk in August 2014. He often takes part in local clean-up events.

Musician Alistair, owner of Discography Records in the Bell Centre, has been organising and hosting the monthly Dumbarton Acoustic Music Night at St Augustine’s Church. He persuades established musicians and young talent to perform to crowds of people for free, and charges event-goers £5 at the door. And Melody has been described by family friends as “the driving force” behind H4TH Help for the Homeless, a voluntary group which helps the homeless community.

Every Thursday, Melody and her mum prepare meals for about 200 people and with a team of volunteers, deliver and serve it at a variety of locations across the area.

Melody collects donations of food and clothes for people living on the street, as well as for children and their families residing in temporary accommodation for the homeless. She also advises many of the people she meets about form filling and helps them obtain furniture once they are in their new homes.

Stewart Gilmour, operations manager at Artizan Shopping Centre, said: “We have received so many wonderful nominations for the competition and as we suspected, there are many heroes in this great town.

“It’s been difficult to whittle them down to our final, fab four but now it’s up to the public to decide who will take the title. We wish Amy, Jonathan, Alistair and Melody the very best of luck.”