THIS week, Craig Borland issues an appeal to community groups and charities in Helensburgh and Lomond as more and more local groups resume their activities.

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WITH case numbers and hospitalisations increasing markedly over the past month, it’s clear Helensburgh – and Scotland – is not yet out of the Covid woods.

And yet, with every passing week there are more signs, here in Helensburgh as elsewhere, of people attempting to get their lives back to some kind of normal.

We’ve known for a long while that, pre-Covid, one of the first bits of the Advertiser that you turned to after buying the paper on a Thursday was our Clubs and Societies section, where you could see at a glance which groups were hosting fund-raising coffee mornings that weekend, who would be the next guest speaker at the ‘Rural’ (or the Scottish Women’s Institute as it’s now known), or when your favourite community orchestra or choir would next be on stage.

For obvious reasons Clubs and Societies was put into cold storage a year and a half ago. Now, though, we think we’re nearing the point where we can bring it back. We briefly asked you last month to get in touch if your activities were resuming, and there’s been a small, but definite, increase in the notices sent to us since then.

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So this is an attempt, following that brief mention a couple of weeks ago, to spread the message a bit wider to all of the groups in Helensburgh and Lomond who have restarted, or are planning to resume, their activities and meetings but who haven’t yet announced, or haven’t yet been able to announce, them in public.

If your group was a pre-Covid contributor to Clubs and Societies – or even if it wasn’t, but you’d like it to be in future – please get in touch, whether it’s a one-off item you want to mention or the return of regular meetings or rehearsals. Just email with ‘Clubs and Societies’ in the subject line. As long as you’re a community group or charity, and not a private enterprise, there’s no charge.

Until we have enough items to properly reintroduce Clubs and Societies we’ll publish your notices in the ‘in brief’ columns you’ll find down the right hand side of most of our news pages. But when we have what we think is a reliable supply of enough items, Clubs and Societies will return. And I suspect we won’t be the only ones breathing a huge sigh of relief when it does.