INCREDIBLE local heroes were honoured for the amazing work they do in communities all over Inverclyde at the sixth Greenock Telegraph Community Champion Awards on Friday evening. 

Inspirational individuals and top teams attended Greenock Town Hall for the glittering ceremony which recognised the bravery and generosity of people of all ages. 

More than 200 people gathered together at the venue to see accolades awarded across 11 categories as well as two further special gongs. 

Greenock Telegraph:
Television and radio star Jennifer Reoch welcomed all of the winners to the stage and presented the awards at the event, which this year was sponsored by RCH Group, Arnold Clark, Clyde Eats, A & I Geotechnical, Platinum Paving, Vango, LOCALiQ, and Newsquest Events Scotland & Northern Ireland.

Talented young musicians from Riverside Youth Band won the Live Music award. 

Greenock Telegraph:
The brass stars also provided some of the entertainment on the night, as did fellow finalists, rockers Home For Joy. 

Riverside Youth Band recently won the senior and training competitions at the Scottish Youth Brass Band Championships, and qualified to represent Scotland at the European Brass Band Championships in 2025. 

The band's outreach officer Laura Good said: "The award is such a lovely surprise and is the icing on the cake for a fantastic year. 

"We've been a band for around 12 years and we've seen more than 100 young people come through the ranks. 

"We're really proud to be part of Port Glasgow. 

"The young people work incredibly hard and we push them hard. 

"We couldn't be more proud."

The Health & Care Champion of the Year title was scooped by the Dance for Parkinson's project. 

Greenock Telegraph:
Greenock Telegraph:
The classes, which run at the Beacon Arts Centre, help to develop confidence and creativity, and use dance to address specific issues associated with Parkinson's, such as balance, co-ordination, gait and flexibility.

Spokesperson for the group, Kevin Jannetts, said the project had created a 'beautiful, supportive community'. 

Greenock Telegraph:
Kevin works with Karen Townsend and Jennifer Hunter as part of the creative engagement team. 

He added: "We're totally shocked, this was really not expected at all. 

"We're absolutely delighted to win it and congratulations to all the nominees. 

"The project is really important for people who are socially isolated. 

"It's fantastic to be recognised for what we're doing."

Greenock Telegraph:
Greenock Telegraph:
Charlene Elliott, CEO of CVS Inverclyde, was one of this year's judges. 

She said: "We were very impressed by what Dance For Parkinson's is doing within the community and how it's bringing people together. 

"It was a really difficult category to judge and they were all really worthy candidates."

Community stalwart Sadie Martin took the Senior Community Champion of the Year award. 

Sadie, 72, has volunteered for Ardgowan Hospice for more than 35 years, and also played a pivotal role in setting up Belville Community Garden 10 years ago. 

She continues to serve her community tirelessly despite her own health problems. 

Sadie said: "I am totally shocked. 

"It's good to know that people appreciate what I do. 

"I just get out and do it and don't think about it."

Greenock Telegraph:
Inverclyde Council leader and awards judge Councillor Stephen McCabe said: "It was really difficult choosing the winner in this category. 

"Awards like this are a great way to recognise people like Sadie and honour the commitment of our unsung heroes."

Morton FC chairman John Laird received the Business Champion of the Year honour. 

He said he was 'incredibly proud' to win the award. 

John added: "I'm so shocked to win. 

"It's great to be recognised by the community in this way. 

"I grew up in Bow Road and saw that everyone looked after each other. 

"I've kept the values that my grandparents raised me with. 

"Alongside my wife Michelle, and our sons Stefan and Declan, we give back to the community as family."

James Crawford took the Charity Champion of the Year accolade (sponsored by Arnold Clark).

Greenock Telegraph:  
James raised more than £50,000 for charity in just three years through his own fundraising page on Facebook. 

He has recently been headhunted by Man On Inverclyde and has taken on a charity role with the organisation. 

James, 35, said: "This means so much. I'm totally overwhelmed. 

"I was so grateful just being nominated so to win is a total shock. 

"I just love helping different people and different charities."

Paul McCafferty, general manager at Arnold Clark Volkswagen in Greenock, said: "We're very proud to be sponsoring this category.

"It's so important that we all work together as a community. 

"Everything we do, big or small, makes a difference to people's lives."

Tele editor David Goodwin said: "It was a wonderful night and it's not a cliché to say that you could really feel the love in the room.

"Congratulations to all of our winners, it was an almost impossibly difficult job for the judges to decide on our community champions from the host of outstanding nominees in each category.

"I said it on the night, and I say it again now, every single nominee is community champion, and it is just great to know that Inverclyde is so richly blessed with so many community-spirited people.

"The Tele team is looking forward to bringing you many more good news stories that show our wee corner of Scotland in its best light."