BIG-HEARTED West Dunbartonshire residents who champion their community have found themselves as finalists for the upcoming Provost’s Civic Awards.

The awards, which run annually to showcase West Dunbartonshire’s heroes who go the extra mile to overcome life’s challenges and help those around them, will be held digitally this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s nominations for the five categories were received from grateful friends, colleagues, neighbours and family members who wanted to highlight the person or group for their significant contribution.

In the arts and culture section, local Skylark IX volunteer Jade West has been named a finalist after her community work.

Singer and piper Mark Morrison, 15, has been chosen for his musical fund-raising exploits.

And local Lottie Francis has been nominated for her efforts making the arts more accessible for all.

For the sports champion category, Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland has been nominated.

Former Vale FC player-turned-coach Ross Young has been given the nod as well after he set up and trained a disability football team.

And Rebecca McAllister, who started her career at Mini Kickers in Dumbarton and now plays for Celtic FC as well as the national team, has been nominated.

Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels, West Dunbartonshire Youth Council and the Children’s Hearing System West Dunbartonshire Support Team have all been selected as finalists in the community/voluntary champions team section.

In the community/voluntary champion individual section, council joiner Drew Smith, who saved a man from the brink of suicide has been nominated as well as Julie and Davie McGowan who have provided supported lodging placements for the past 23 years for more than 45 young care leavers at their home.

Kathleen Smith has been nominated for her role improving the lives of vulnerable and isolated West Dunbartonshire residents by introducing them to a more digital world.

Finally, in the youth champion section, youngsters Hayley Paku, Alex Grace and Mollie-Rose Shields have all been nominated for their contributions to the community.

Provost Hendrie said: “I am so thankful to our residents who took the time to highlight these exceptional people for an award.

"Every nomination we received was worthy of recognition and praise for their hard work, which made choosing these finalists a very difficult task.

“We felt the group chosen embodied the spirit of community, with each person going above and beyond to help.

"Their selflessness and kindness will no doubt have made a huge difference to the lives of many in our communities during what is undoubtedly one of the most challenging years in recent history.

“It is their commitment, devotion and drive which gives the rest of us hope and reminds us how important it is to look out for one another.”

The finalists will each receive a letter from Provost William Hendrie, with overall winners announced via video content.

"Provost Hendrie will also select one overall winner who will be named West Dunbartonshire’s Citizen of the Year.

All winners will later be invited to attend a physically distanced presentation to receive their award.