INVERCLYDE'S lockdown heroes who helped the community during the pandemic have been recognised with special awards.

Despite the pandemic restrictions, teenage charity champion Leah Canning pulled together her Inverclyde Inspirational Awards for the second year in a row.

This time round many of the local people who were at the heart of the relief effort during Covid-19 were nominated.

Winners included music stars like Reely Jiggered, mental health charity Man On Inverclyde and students from Songbird Singing were all recognised, among others.

Organiser Leah, who lost her much loved nan during the pandemic, said: "It was such a hard decision for our judging panel to pick winners.

"Their work across Inverclyde was outstanding.

"This year has been so difficult but as always the community of Inverclyde came together and were outstanding.

"This is reflected in our awards."

The awards were streamed online thanks to Leah's sponsors Creative Inverclyde, EE/BT and Invincible Grit.

Judges Marion Morrison, a life coach, Chris Chance, from EE, Councillor Lynne Quinn and Jack Morgan from The Chartoom had some difficult decisions to make to select the winners.

Rock band Reely Jiggered, who now have fans all over the world after setting up their weekly 'Live on the Drive' weekend lockdown gigs, landed the community enterprise award.

Alison McNeill, who performs with bandmates sister Fiona and Scott McLean, said: "We were so honoured to accept the award, it is fantastic to see so many deserving people recognised.

"The lockdown has shown us a way to get our music out there to even bigger audiences."

Man On Inverclyde won community organisation of the year.

Dad-of-two Lee Smith, who previously told the Tele how the charity saved his life, accepted the Inspirational Inverclyde gong on behalf of the group.

Lee said: "Man On has changed everything for so many people.

"We don't do this for recognition or awards but we are honoured to accept this."

Senior Citizen prize winner Brian Burt, who cares for rescued dogs as well as doing other charity work, said: "There are so many people more deserving than me, so I am delighted to win."

The full list of Inspirational Inverclyde winners is as follows: Young Citizen - Songbird Singing students; Citizen of the Year - Julie Kavanagh; Senior Citizen - Brian Burt; Community Organisation - Man On Inverclyde; Charity Organisation - Matthew Woodman Foundation; Community Contribution - Stephen Connon; Community Enterprise - Reely Jiggered.