New community fund launched in memory of Easterhouse housing activist Cathy McCormack

New community fund launched in memory of Easterhouse housing activist Cathy McCormack

Legendary Easterhouse anti-poverty campaigner Cathy McCormack has been commemorated with a new £10,000 fund aimed at building local communities.

The Cathy McCormack Community Activism Fund was launched this week by Glasgow Community Energy, with the aim of supporting local groups to deliver projects inspired by her work.

McCormack was an activist who travelled the world to confront fuel poverty and poor housing. She brought up her three children in the Easterhouse area of Glasgow during the 1990s, in housing that was so damp she had to regular throw out mouldy furniture. At the time tenants were blamed for the problem and told to turn up their heating.

McCormack, a former factory worker who was born in Cranhill, took on the council and won.  She died in 2022 after years of living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and has left a legacy of pride in the city.

McCormack’s son Gary was at the fund launch. He spoke of how his mother had developed post-natal depression when he was a baby, which was exacerbated by bringing up her young children in a cold, damp home.

“She told me that one day, she saw me reach my hand through my cot and decided that if no-one would change this, then she would,” he said.

Welcoming the launch of the new fund, Gary added: “We’re absolutely chuffed and honoured – as mum would be too. In the final years of her life, she got so much joy from seeing the next generation of community activists take up her fight for social, economic and environmental justice in Glasgow and across the world. We hope this new fund will inspire and support more local people to get involved.”

All the money for the fund has been raised by the sale of energy generated by solar panels that Glasgow Community Energy has installed on two schools, Glendale Primary in Pollokshields and Ashton Secondary in Easterhouse.

Glasgow Community Energy treasurer Ellie Harrison said the fund would be rolled out to projects close to the two schools where their solar panels are installed. They include the Pollokshields Trust, St Paul’s Youth Forum, Connect Community Trust, East End Flat Pack Meals and Fuse Youth Café. From 2027 the fund will open to community groups across the city.

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