A dietitian who has dedicated her life to the science of nutrition is to receive the highest honour of her profession.
Helen Davidson, 47, of Livingston, is to be made a Fellow of the British Dietetic Association in recognition of her outstanding work nationally in promoting the dietetic profession and the science and practice of dietetics, after being nominated by her peers.
Born in West Lothian, she attended West Calder High School.
Helen, who will receive her Fellowship at a ceremony in Birmingham on Monday night, said: “It was the 1980s and at that time there was a lot of new evidence on the connections between nutrition and health developing, which really piqued my interest.”
After achieving a degree in dietetics from Queen Margaret College, she took up her first job with the NHS in Leeds in 1987 and spent time working in various hospitals around England, including establishments in Nottingham and London.
She moved back to Livingston in 2003 while taking a sabbatical to raise her two children, Caitlin, now a 19-year-old student of social policy at Edinburgh University, and 15-year-old Ciaran, who attends Stewart’s Melville College.
In 2004, she began working as catering strategy dietitian with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which makes her responsible for ensuring patients are provided with nutritious food during their time in hospital. Alongside this, she is also coming to the end of her second term – spanning four years – as honorary chair of the BDA.
Andy Burman, chief executive of the BDA, said: “What is wonderful about this award is Helen was nominated by her peers, which clearly demonstrates her hard work and dedication to the profession has been recognised.
“Helen has had a wonderful four years at the helm as honorary chairman of the British Dietetic Association. Indeed, it has been many years since any honorary chairman stood for more than one term of office. This shows considerable dedication to the profession and organisation.
“Helen’s selfless commitment to the profession has been inspirational and I know that although she is coming to the end of her term in office, we will still continue to look to Helen for her advice, guidance and expertise in the future.”
Helen, who will be attending Monday’s ceremony with her partner, John, 37, who works as a chauffeur, said she was “delighted” to be receiving the honour, but has no idea who put her forward for it.
She said: “It’s all anonymous so even though I’m the honorary chair I still don’t know. I am delighted to accept this wonderful accolade. This truly means so much to me and marks a wonderful end to my tenure as honorary chair of the British Dietetic Association.”