Scottish Covid volunteers and scientists awarded New Year Honours

Coronavirus volunteers, scientists and politicians are among the Scots named in the New Year Honours list.

University of Stirling of Professor Gerry McCormac, who has received a Knighthood in the New Year's Honours list. Picture: Ben Hassett/PA Wire
University of Stirling of Professor Gerry McCormac, who has received a Knighthood in the New Year's Honours list. Picture: Ben Hassett/PA Wire

Coronavirus volunteers, scientists and politicians are among the Scots named in the New Year Honours list.

Long-serving former Labour MP Tom Clarke is one of two Scots to be awarded a knighthood, along with Stirling University's vice chancellor, Professor Francis Gerard McCormac.

The former Coatbridge MP, who was appointed film and tourism minister in Tony Blair's first Cabinet, served in Parliament between 1982 and 2015.

Cllr Francis McGlenshy being presented the 'Starthkelvin Ward' trophy by MP Tom Clark

He has been made a knight for his public and political service, while Professor McCormac received his knighthood for services to education and the economy.

Dozens of people who have volunteered during the coronavirus pandemic have also been recognised in the honours list, including individuals behind a new method of reaching vulnerable people and providers of practical and emotional support to NHS staff and infected patients.

Jamie Kinlochan began preparing for a lockdown weeks before it was announced by the Prime Minister in March.

The 35-year-old of Paisley is being awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his work with Who Cares Scotland? in which he set up a helpline for vulnerable people who could not get access to the support they need.

Captain Emma Henderson who has been awarded an MBE for services to Charity during Covid-19 in the New Year's Honours List, pictured on Findhorn Beach near her home in Moray, Scotland. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

It saw around £150,000 given to needy people through cash and supplies between March and July.

Mr Kinlochan said: "For me, this is really important and it feels really validating.

"I just had an idea but it took a massive team of people to get it off the ground."

Emma Henderson is being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her support for the wellbeing of NHS staff.

University of Glasgow of Professor Sheila Rowan, director of the Institute for Gravitational Research at the University of Glasgow and chief scientific adviser for Scotland, who has been made a CBE for services to science in the New Year's Honours list. Picture: University of Glasgow/PA Wire

The 47-year-old air captain of Kinloss, Moray, founded Project Wingman in March initially as a way to offer "tea and empathy" to medics.

She galvanised her industry to facilitate wellbeing lounges in hospitals across the UK.

Since the first lounge at the Whittington Hospital in April, there are now facilities at more than 80 hospitals nationwide - with support from 5,500 volunteers.

Captain Henderson told PA: "I'm completely overwhelmed, frankly.

"I burst into tears when I found out - it's an amazing thing to be receiving and I feel so grateful for it.

"It's down to the hard work of volunteers, so I hope this reflects on them as well."

Nicola Stove has also been awarded a BEM for services to remote communities of Northern Scotland during Covid-19.

The 42-year-old British Red Cross manager from Lerwick, Shetland, helped provide food parcels, medication and financial aid - even sourcing a fridge for a vulnerable couple.

She also co-ordinated welfare visits, patient transport, PPE distribution, as well as assisting several councils and food banks.

Ms Stove told PA: "The impact this pandemic has had on people's entire lives has been massive.

"Being able to support them in any way we can has been a real experience.

"We wouldn't have been able to do it without our amazing volunteers and amazing team."

Scotland's former Auditor General, Caroline Gardner, has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to the Scottish public sector.

After stepping down from the role earlier this year, Ms Gardner was appointed to an advisory panel by the Scottish Government to examine and set out options for the creation of a National Care Service.

Professor Sheila Rowan, director of the Institute for Gravitational Research at the University of Glasgow and chief scientific adviser for Scotland, has also been made a CBE for services to science.

Prof Rowan's research helped first identify gravitational waves by developing optical materials for use in detectors.

Her recent work has been a "crucial part" of the Advanced Laser Interferometry Gravitational-wave Observatory (Ligo) upgrades, carried out between 2010 and 2015, that contributed to one of the "most significant scientific breakthroughs of this century", the first detection of gravitational waves announced in February 2016, according to her biography on the University of Glasgow website.

Prof Rowan, who is also chair of natural philosophy at the University of Glasgow's School of Physics and Astronomy, said: "I'm surprised but delighted to be included in the New Year Honours list for my work at the University of Glasgow's Institute for Gravitational Research and as the chief scientific adviser for Scotland.

"During my career I've been lucky enough to work with hugely talented people, in the UK and from around the world, as part of the LIGO scientific collaboration which made the historic first detection of gravitational waves in September 2015 and established gravitational wave astronomy as a new way of understanding our universe."

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