NOMINATIONS are currently open for The Greenock Telegraph’s Community Champion awards 2018. 

The aim of the awards is to recognise, reward and celebrate the people who make our communities a better place.

Last year’s event, pictured, was a fantastic night and I look forward to reading more uplifting stories of the good going on locally this time around.

Regardless of your political leanings, one thing I think most of us agree on is our love of our local communities. 

Protecting, enhancing and improving communities across Inverclyde is something that all Inverclyde councillors would hope to do.

The council cannot do this alone though and we need to accept that.

Inverclyde receives millions of pounds each year from the Scottish Government to help improve our communities, but even then it is the people of Inverclyde that do the most to improve our community. 

I had the pleasure on Saturday night of attending the fifth anniversary dinner of Morton in the Community. 

Since the inception of Morton in the Community in March 2013, the team have been committed to the mission statement of being ‘The Heartbeat of Inverclyde’.

They use football and Greenock Morton  as the hook to engage our community in Inverclyde to impact and change lives for the better.

The four key areas of focus are to encourage mass participation and enjoyment in sport, to develop creative educational programmes, to develop employability programmes with special engagement with those furthest from the labour market and to tackle health inequalities through health and wellbeing projects.

They are currently delivering 22 projects and, within a typical month, see approximately 7,800 engagements with participants across these four focus areas. This equates to around 1,400 unique people on a weekly basis.

Their team of eight full-time, three part-time, 10 sessional workers - and over 80 volunteers - has delivered 65,000 sessions with people from all walks of life and all ages, from 18 months to 99 years.

As a Morton fan, I know first hand that from one week to another we don’t always get the results we hope for.

However, Morton’s community work is seeing continued success and I can’t wait to see what further successes the next five years bring. 

I would like to thank Brian McLaughlin, Gordon McKillop and their team for the great work they are doing in delivering positive outcomes for our community. 

I’m sure many readers will have young relatives enjoying the Easter football camps over the holiday period.

Next week the the initiative has teamed up with River Clyde Homes, who are funding places at a week long camp (with lunch provided) thanks to a grant received from Radio Clyde’s Cash for Kids.

You will be able to complete a form and hand it into the customer hub at Broomhill or 6 Clyde Square in Greenock. 

Finally, if you’d like to get a bit fitter and raise money to support Morton in the Community, as well as a charity chosen by you, their 50 day 5k challenge starts this week. 

The challenge begins tonight with a 5k walk or jog around the Cappielow pitch. Fundraisers are encouraged to walk, swim, jog or cycle 5k a day for five of seven days per week for 50 days. 

If you’d like to sign up you can do so by contacting