Kidney transplant athlete and heroic life-saver amongst those on Queen's birthday honours list

A KIDNEY transplant recipient, an author and a lifeboat chief are among the Lothian residents recognised in today's Queen's birthday honours list.

Fourteen people who live in the region were included in the roll call of honours for 2011.

Among them is mother-of-three Lesley Forrest, who becomes an MBE for voluntary service to transplant sports.

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Mrs Forrest, 54, who lives in Newington, received a kidney transplant in 1996 after being diagnosed with genetic kidney disease Alport syndrome.

Just a year after her transplant at the Royal Infirmary, Mrs Forrest, a finance administrator at Edinburgh University, started volunteering for charity Transplant Sport UK.

She has since represented Team GB at Transplant Games around the world, competing in swimming and athletics events and winning gold, silver and bronze medals.

Mrs Forrest is set to compete at the World Transplant Games in Gothenburg next week, and hopes to return with more medals.

Speaking of her award, Mrs Forrest, whose cousin Hamish Barrie, 48, from Portobello, is currently awaiting a second kidney transplant, said: "I'm quite overwhelmed. I know so many people who are doing a lot of good work for transplant sports and we are all doing it to try to raise awareness for organ donation.

"We just happen to do it through sport, which keeps us fit and healthy too."

Grandfather Adam Gray, deputy station officer at Dunbar Coastguard Rescue Service, also received an MBE for services to maritime safety in East Lothian.

The 57-year-old's most memorable rescue came in 1996 when he saved four people from a sinking yacht in the North Sea, for which he received his first chief coastguard commendation.

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In 2003, he was awarded a second when he saved two sailors after a Dutch boat crashed into the rocks at Dunbar Castle.

Mr Gray, who lives in Dunbar and celebrated 40 years' service earlier this year, said of the honour: "I'm very pleased, it's good for the family and good for the coastguards."

A joiner by trade, Mr Gray has been on 24-hour emergency call with the coastguard since he was 16-years-old.

The father-of-three and grandfather-of-four is involved in a variety of rescues and also helps police to look for missing people.

Edinburgh-based author Kate Atkinson now has an MBE to accompany her literary honours and bestseller status.

The novelist, whose book Case Histories - set in Edinburgh - has just been televised on BBC1, has used the Capital as a backdrop for several of her novels. A spokeswoman said the writer would "prefer not to comment" about the honour for services to literature.

Her first novel, Behind The Scenes At The Museum, thrust her to the top of the bestseller charts when it won the Whitbread Prize in 1995.

In 2004, she published her first book featuring private detective Jackson Brodie.

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Meanwhile, Alison Good, 65, the former information services manager for the Scottish Poisons Information Bureau, was awarded an MBE for services to healthcare.

The mum-of-two from Merchiston, who retired last November, said: "It's obviously an honour. I was totally taken by surprise."

Mrs Good, who started working at the bureau in 1985, added: "I was involved with developing the internal database, which provided information to medical professionals in cases of poisoning and overdose."

Jill Pilkington, a research associate at Edinburgh University, has been made an MBE for her services to science.

Mrs Pilkington, 49, who lives in Northumberland, was honoured for her professional and personal commitment to a scientific study of wild Soay sheep on the island of St Kilda, in the Outer Hebrides.

Professor Bill McKelvey, 58, from Peebles, receives an OBE for services to the agricultural industry, The chief executive and principal of the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) said he was surprised but "absolutely delighted".

"I am very aware this honour mainly reflects the hard work of many other people at SAC," he said. "I have been privileged to work with dedicated colleagues. I owe them a great debt of gratitude."

Professor McKelvey recently announced that in January next year he will step down after 10 years in charge of SAC. During that period he has led a major reorganisation of the business.

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Joining him in receiving an OBE is Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) chief executive, Roy McEwan, for services to music. Mr McEwan, 60, who lives in Portobello, said: "I'm delighted and feel very privileged."

Donald MacDonald, chairman of the SCO, added that the award was "well deserved".

Neil Gillespie, director of design at Reiach and Hall Architects, also receives an OBE for services to architecture.

The 57-year-old father-of-two from the Meadows said: "Architecture is a bit of a team game so this represents more than just me."

Among the city buildings that Mr Gillespie has designed is Evolution House outside the Edinburgh College of Art.


Other Lothian residents to receive honours are:


Pauline Elizabeth Adams, West Lothian: formerly Clerk to the Lieutenancy.


Dr John Robert Brown, Edinburgh: for services to science.

Professor Paul William Jowitt, Edinburgh: for services to technology.


Catherine Wendy Goldstraw, Haddington: for services to local government.

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Uriel Jamieson, Edinburgh: formerly head of policy and business support, chief nursing officer directorate, Scottish Government.

Helen MacKinnon, Edinburgh: for services to healthcare.

Thomas William Shearer, Longniddry: for services to local government.