MY year has been all about the joy.

From bringing you the stories of world-changing women through SWOTY, to highlighting the outstanding projects driven by community groups around the city for Streets Ahead and Community Champions, I have had a lovely 12 months celebrating all that is glorious about Glasgow and its people.

For the first few weeks of 2018, I got the chance to spend time with the outstanding contenders for the title of Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year.

It was Sally Magnusson who was eventually crowned winner in February – recognisable to most of us as a broadcaster and author, perhaps less well known as the founder of groundbreaking music charity Playlist for Life.

Sally’s vision has helped to change lives and it was an honour to discover more about the inspiration behind the initiative and how it is now helping to change the lives of families living with dementia.

SWOTY also proved you are never too young to make a difference, as the 12-year-old winner of the Editor’s Award demonstrated in style. Grace Warnock has already convinced big organisations – including the Scottish Government – that a toilet sign which recognises invisible disabilities as well as visible ones, is a necessity.

Despite her own battle with Crohn’s Disease, the young girl from East Lothian is determined to change lives and help others. As the youngest ever winner of an Editor’s Award, Grace is also the inspiration behind our new Young SWOTY award which we have launched for 2018.

Our community campaigns - Glasgow Community Champions and Streets Ahead - have been fun to write about this year.

They have given me the chance to catch up with a bunch of brilliant people, all tackling important issues on their doorsteps, inspiring and informing others, and changing the city for the better.

One of the most impressive projects in the city today is Heart of Scotstoun.

This outstanding group of volunteers has transformed the community centre into a vibrant hub, with a whole host of clubs and classes for all ages.

There are hundreds of projects like Heart of Scotstoun out there, and it’s great having the chance to tell everyone about them.

As always, Strictly Come Dancing featured heavily in my working week. Getting the chance to spend an afternoon with 2017 winner Joe McFadden and the cast of the live tour was an excellent start to 2018.

It was great to have the chance to cover some arts features this year. From exclusives on a Glasgow family’s connection to a powerful World War One exhibition and the first ever Sandfest concert, featuring the greats of Scottish 80s pop performing in aid of Down’s Syndrome Scotland, to interviewing

Getting out and about around Glasgow and the west is a brilliant part of my job – especially when it involves gin. Sampling the Gin Afternoon Tea Tour on the Red Bus Bistro, the city’s newest tour bus with a difference, was a proper highlight of 2018.

In April, I caught up with the gents who run East Kilbride Men’s Shed, a fantastic initiative set up to help men beat isolation and loneliness, share skills and make some new friends for life over tea and carpentry; and I have also kept you up to date on what’s new and exciting at Glasgow Women’s Library - one of my favourite places on the planet.

I’ve visited a chocolate factory in the east end (Rebel Chocolate, the less sugary, lactose-free, really-almost-good-for-you healthier alternative, dreamt up by immunologists Neil Robson and Suzanne Graham) and spent a magical few hours delving into Glasgow’s theatrical past in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s fascinating archives.

And finally, wallowing in nostalgia for my Tuesday series, Thanks for the Memories, has been bliss – this year’s gems have included busy drop-in sessions in Dennistoun, Govanhill and Partick, where local people came to share their tales and old photographs of Glasgow’s rich past.

I won’t forget Jean Wright, who was a real star.

The 98-year-old still lives in the Dennistoun tenement her parents moved into more than 100 years ago.

Her tales of sheep wandering along Duke Street had the whole room in fits of laughter, and her modest revelations about life serving in the ATS during World War Two and becoming one of the first Brownie leaders in the city held us all spellbound.

Thanks for reading. Have a happy 2019.