Margaret Symons, Community Champion.
Margaret Symons with three of her eight grandchildren, Lili in front, Reece behind and Josh peeking through at the back.
Margaret Symons is a well-known name across the community of Renfrew, with an impressive record of community involvement over the years. A resident of the town since 1988, Margaret originally hails from Ayrshire.
This mother of three and grandmother of eight is currently Chair of Williamsburgh Housing Association, an organisation she originally became involved with some years ago. Margaret had participated in several committees at the Cherie Centre in Moorpark back in 2001 which worked closely with Williamsburgh who were then planning to regenerate Moorpark. In 2006 Margaret joined the management committee of Williamsburgh and became Secretary in 2010 before becoming Chair in 2012.
Williamsburgh is only one of the many hats Margaret has worn throughout the years. When she originally moved from Kilbirnie to Renfrew in 1988 she took classes in community education at Moorpark Family Centre in order to get to know people in the area. As well as balancing raising her children (Margaret was sadly widowed at a young age) with a career as a buyer for a refrigeration company in Hillington then working for Edbro (Scotland) in Johnstone, Margaret volunteered at the unemployment centre, helping people with welfare rights, something she very much enjoyed. She then joined the committee of ‘Bits & Pieces’ which helped to refurbish and recycle furniture for donation to people in hardship. Margaret was voted Director of Bits & Pieces until it ceased operation.
Margaret has been involved in the Big Lottery Our Place grants for ‘Renfrew West’ from the early days and has participated both in the Renfrew West Steering Group and Renfrew Association of Growers and Gardeners (RAGG), from which she has now retired to focus on her duties as Chair of Williamsburgh.
In addition to all this AND babysitting her younger grandchildren (the eldest is 19 the youngest is 4) Margaret enjoys reading, knitting, computer games and has interests varying from the Titanic to World War II. Without doubt, she is well-deserving to be recognised as a Community Champion.
You can find out more from Engage Renfrewshire.