Scots recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours list for response during Covid crisis

Covid-19 heroes dominate the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year, with a number of Scots who made exceptional contributions to society during the pandemic honoured.

Friday, 9th October 2020, 10:30 pm
Updated Friday, 9th October 2020, 10:47 pm

This year’s list, published Friday, was postponed from June in order to include people such as medical workers, fundraisers and volunteers who played crucial roles during the first months of efforts to tackle Covid-19.

Among those recognised are David Maguire, 62, from Glasgow, who repurposed his restaurant near the city's Gartnavel Hospital to provide free food to thousands of NHS workers, vulnerable people and school children.

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When told about the honour, Mr Maguire said: "I feel pretty overwhelmed. It took me by surprise and I'm really pleased for everybody in the organisation that I am associated with.

Alison Williams who has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the NHS, for Charitable Fundraising and for Volunteering during Covid-19
Alison Williams who has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the NHS, for Charitable Fundraising and for Volunteering during Covid-19

"It was a reflection of what we all managed to do."

Mr Maguire is made an MBE for services to the community in Glasgow during the Covid-19 response.

Olivia Strong, 27, from Edinburgh, who raised more than £5 million for NHS charities through her Run for Heroes 5km Challenge, said it was "really special" to given the same honour.

She said the MBE is for all the 1.5 million people inspired to run five kilometres, donate £5 and nominate five friends to do the same through the challenge, and the family and friends who helped set up the campaign.

Restaurant owner David Maguire has been awarded an MBE for services to the community in Glasgow during the Covid-19 response.

Margaret Payne, 90, who climbed the height of the 731-metre mountain Suilven on her staircase to raise money for charity receives a British Empire Medal for services to the community in Lochinver, which she said is a "great honour".

She thanked all those who made donations, which started from £1, with the total now more than £434,000 including gift aid.

"All those little donations have built up to an enormous sum," she said.

Mrs Payne was inspired to take on the challenge by Captain Sir Tom Moore, 100, who raised more than £33 million for the NHS by doing laps of his garden.

Alison Williams who has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the NHS, for Charitable Fundraising and for Volunteering during Covid-19, photographed with one of her rainbow boxes.

She said it was also a way of saying thank-you to NHS workers on the front line during the pandemic, and hospice staff who took care of her late husband Jim.

“They have been amazing, each day they are risking their lives,” she said. “My husband died at Christmas and the NHS were absolutely wonderful.”

Two workers at supermarket giant Co-op received recognition for their response to the Covid-19 crisis and efforts to keep communities fed throughout the pandemic.

Liz Mclean, store manager at Co-op’s Brodick store on the Isle of Arran, becomes a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) and Jean Marie Hughes, 34, a trade improvement and response manager on Merseyside was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Margaret Payne, from Ardvar in Sutherland, was inspired by 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore

Mclean was nominated for putting her store at the centre of the Isle of Arran’s community response to the crisis, including working round the clock to ensure deliveries were made to hundreds of elderly and vulnerable members of the community.

She helped liaise with local foodbanks and social services, and played an active role in the Island’s resilience service.

She said: “I love our customers to bits, they are brilliant, and the way the community has responded has been really incredible.”

Hughes, who worked closely with frontline retail workers and the Co-op’s central support centre, said: “It is an incredible feeling to be recognised and honoured in this way.”

Alison Williams, a nurse who helped patients dying with coronavirus speak with their families for the last time, receives a British Empire Medal for services to the NHS, charitable fundraising and volunteering during the pandemic.

The 41-year-old, a research nurse at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, set up her Rainbow Boxes charity at the height of the coronavirus pandemic after noticing many patients who arrived had no way of contacting loved ones.

Through social media she raised tens of thousands of pounds to provide essentials to people who found themselves suddenly in hospital with Covid-19.

Commenting on the medal, she said: “I felt very emotional and overwhelmed. It felt very special because it's been a really hard time for everybody.”

Among those recognised in the non-Covid section of the honours list are Professor Muffy Calder, vice principal and head of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Glasgow, who is made a dame for services to research and education.

Presenter Lorraine Kelly is made a CBE for services to broadcasting, journalism and charity, while Eve Muirhead becomes an MBE for services to curling.

The 30-year-old, a former junior and senior world champion who skipped her team to Olympic bronze in Sochi in 2014, said: “Being a skip comes with a lot of pressure and it’s been tough since I missed that shot for a medal in Pyeongchang, so to get something like this at this point in my career just feels like a really nice cherry on the top.

“I’ve been curling for the majority of my life and I’ve put a lot of time and effort into getting where I am in the sport today, so although I’m very modest about these things it is also very nice to be recognised.”

Ian Beattie, chairman of Scottish Athletics, is made an MBE for services to the sport.

Others honoured include Professor David John Webb, Christison professor of therapeutics and clinical pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh, who is made a CBE for services to clinical pharmacology research and education.

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