THE husband-and-wife team behind a Barrhead-based charity for people with disabilities have been named the recipients of East Renfrewshire Council’s Provost Award.

Ashley and Paul McIlvenney are founders of the Include Me 2 Club and both were nominated for their sterling work in the community.

With more than two decades of experience as support workers between them, the couple saw the need for something to improve opportunities for people with learning, physical or mental health disabilities.

Established in 2010, their social club now supports 150 members every week, with around half of all disabled adults in East Renfrewshire attending.

The charity is supported by a team of more than 30 volunteers and will soon move to a new home in the James McGuire building, in Barrhead’s Main Street.

East Renfrewshire Council’s Provost Award honours people who have made a positive contribution to the local community – giving residents the chance to say thanks.

Announcing the winners, Provost Jim Fletcher said: “We had a fantastic number of entries for this year’s Provost Award, which made it all the more difficult to choose the winner. 

“The dedicated work of our winners Ashley and Paul really struck a chord with the judges. They have helped hundreds of local people since setting up the Include Me 2 Club.

“Their work is exceptionally commendable. Well done and keep up the fantastic work.”

Ashley said the couple are “totally overwhelmed” to win the honour.

She added: “We were unaware of being nominated but it’s lovely and makes everything we do feel more worthwhile.

“From the minute we set the club up, it has just been a joy. We’ve got a lot of opportunities ahead and I know 2019 is going to be a great year.”

Paul said: “We think people with disabilities should be at the heart of the community, not hidden away. You can’t get much more central to Barrhead than the James McGuire building, so I think it has huge potential for us.”