Margaret wins hero award

Margaret Gibb (centre) with actress Clare Crogan (left) and Caileigh Mitchell who nominated her for the award.
Margaret Gibb (centre) with actress Clare Crogan (left) and Caileigh Mitchell who nominated her for the award.

Margaret Gibb, from Bellshill, has been hailed as a true hero at a star-studded awards ceremony hosted by Carol Smillie on STV.

Margaret won the Community Champion of the Year category at the RBS Scotland’s Real Hero of the Year and accepted the award from actress Clare Grogan.

Margaret Gibb with Carol Smillie

Margaret Gibb with Carol Smillie

Margaret was also selected by the judging panel to be the overall winner and was also presented with this award by Ms Grogan, joined by Chris Wilson from sponsors RBS.

Margaret has given nearly 40 years of her life to the young people of Bellshill with her playgroups and play-schemes, which were born out of necessity to help young parents in her community.

Now with 300 plus playschemes across the west of Scotland she helps many more people than just those in her home town.

Earlier this year, the Scottish public were asked to nominate friends, neighbours or groups who they thought deserved to be recognised and the judging panel revealed a shortlist of nominees after an overwhelming response.

Each week six nominees in two categories were showcased for the RBS - Finding Scotland’s Real Heroes series in which the viewers were invited to vote for the candidate they believed most deserved to collect an award.

Elizabeth Partyka, deputy director of channels at STV, said: “Congratulations to Margaret for winning a much deserved RBS – Scotland’s Real Heroes Award.

“The STV series has been a fantastic celebration of remarkable Scots who go the extra mile to improve the lives of others in their community.

“The awards ceremony was a truly befitting way to reward and recognize the hard work of these inspirational Real Heroes.”

Uddingston and Bellshill MSP Michael McMahon lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament to congratulate Margaret on her award.

He said: “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Margaret for over 25 years since my eldest daughter, Siobhan, who’s also an MSP, attended the North Road Play Group when she was a toddler.

“Many other children and families have benefitted like mine from the commitment and dedication she has given to the provision of play groups in Bellshill and across the West of Scotland.

“I also know from personal experience as the local MSP how hard Margaret fights for young people and I’ve had my ear bent on numerous occasions when she has sought me out for assistance in pursuit of more support for her group or wider community issues.

“Margaret thoroughly deserves the accolade given to her as she is a real hero to so many people in Bellshill and beyond.”