From entrepreneurs to glassblowers: Scots honoured in 2017

Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn, pictured with actor George Clooney on a visit to Edinburgh, will receive an MBE. Picture: Phil Wilkinson/TSPL

Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn, pictured with actor George Clooney on a visit to Edinburgh, will receive an MBE. Picture: Phil Wilkinson/TSPL

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Andy Murray was far from the only Scot to be named in the New Year Honours list.

An entrepreneur who set up a successful sandwich chain which helps the homeless said he is “honoured” to receive an MBE as he dedicated the award to people “marginalised” from society.

Rhona Ritchie, a lollipop lady in Uphall for 40 years, will receive a British Empire Medal. Picture: Greg Macvean/JP Resell

Rhona Ritchie, a lollipop lady in Uphall for 40 years, will receive a British Empire Medal. Picture: Greg Macvean/JP Resell

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, receives the honour for services to social enterprise and entrepreneurship.

The chain he helped found offers “suspended coffee and food’’, which means customers can pay in advance for a coffee or any item of food from the menu and a homeless person can go into the shop to claim it. About a quarter of its staff have experienced homelessness.

The organisation has received backing from various high-profile figures. George Clooney visited Social Bite’s Rose Street shop in Edinburgh in November last year, while Leonardo di Caprio visited its sister restaurant Home in the Scottish capital last month.

Glassblower ‘overwhelmed’

A master craftsman who has been glassblowing for more than 60 years has said he is “overwhelmed” to receive an MBE.

Tom Young, 79, is recognised for services to glassblowing in the New Year honours list.

Mr Young began work as an apprentice glassmaker aged

16, learning the technical skills to create scientific glassware and working for firms which supplied scientific instruments.

He worked in universities before setting up his own business and a few years ago came out of retirement to found Angels’ Share Glass with his daughter.

Commenting on his MBE, he said: “I’m overwhelmed, humbled and very grateful for this award, which I never expected to receive and had no idea I had been nominated for.”

Mr Young, who lives in Bridge of Allan near Stirling, worked for Loughborough University before returning to his native Scotland to take up a post at the newly-opened Stirling University in 1967.

MBE for helping businesses

One of the founders of business accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark has received an MBE in the New Year honours list.

Scotsman columnist Professor Jim Duffy is being recognised for services to entrepreneurship in Scotland.

The organisation he helped found aims to encourage entrepreneuring through the development of entrepreneurial mindset and behaviours.

It offers a six-month programme for entrepreneurs looking to either start a business or expand their existing business free of charge.

Prof Duffy has announced that after five years at the helm he will be leaving the company in the summer.

Co-founder Lucy-Rose Walker will continue in her role as chief entrepreneuring officer.

Mr Duffy is a Professor of entrepreneurship with Glasgow Caledonian University.

Lollipop lady Rhona wins recognition from Queen

A lollipop lady of over 40 years has joined join tennis ace Andy Murray on the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Rhona Ritchie, 69, will receive a BEM (British Empire Medal) for her services to education after a 43-year stint as lollipop lady for pupils at Pumpherston and Uphall Station Primary School.

Mrs Ritchie, who retired in August, received a letter from the Cabinet Office about a month ago with the good news but has had to remain tight-lipped until now.

She said: “I was shaking like a leaf – I was pretty stunned. Obviously I’m very honoured, I’m getting quite jittery now.”

A mum-of-three who lives in Uphall Station with her husband James, Mrs Ritchie explained she was only ever meant to be a temporary lollipop lady while her predecessor, Mrs Wardrope, was on sick leave.

However she quickly grew to love the job and after two years standing in, took on the role full time in 1975.

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