The Big Society


Local volunteers are the magic ingredient that makes Inverclyde a community.


Whether it’s those who care for our elderly, help out at the food banks or manage the local youth and sports clubs, they all make Inverclyde a great place to live.


They act as a reminder that in an increasingly sceptical world, there are still many good people out there doing a power of work for the better and that Inverclyde would be much poorer without them.


It’s important, therefore, that we recognise and congratulate their work in the community.


The Inverclyde Community Awards recently held at the fantastic new Beacon arts centre were designed to do just that.


It was appropriate that the ceremony was held at the Beacon, because without the hard graft and commitment of our local volunteers this superb venue would never have been built in the first place.


Judging by the sell-out crowd who came to cheer them on, it’s clear that the community really appreciates the important work that they do.


I also had the pleasure last week of attending the Victims Support event at Greenock Sheriff Court, which awarded the long serving volunteers who have provided practical and emotional support to victims and witnesses of crime.


Indeed, on my way to the event, I passed the hospice, yet another volunteering service which is highly respected locally.


With the recent passing of Margaret Thatcher I was reminded of that famous phrase she coined; ‘There is no such thing as a society’.


Well, if the long-term commitment of our local volunteers is anything to go by, it’s clear that she was wrong then and she is wrong now.


The big society is still well and truly alive in Inverclyde and we are all the better for it.