Scots from all walks of life have been recognised on the King’s first Birthday Honours list.
Quadruple amputee and sepsis campaigner Dr Corinne Hutton, warzone aid worker Liz Tait and kindhearted hairdresser Jill Lauder are to be honoured for their hard work and service to the public.
Prominent Scots including Rangers star John Greig, Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie and broadcaster Ken Bruce have also received honours alongside footballer Ian Wright, fashion editor Anna Wintour and author Ian McEwan.
More than half (52%) of the recipients are people who showed “outstanding work” in their communities, either in a voluntary or paid capacity, which was a core focus behind this year’s list, according to those behind the selection process.
Aid volunteer’s ‘tireless’ work helping people flee conflict
A British Red Cross volunteer who helped UK citizens escape Sudan when armed conflict broke out earlier this year has been chosen to receive a British Empire Medal (BEM).
Liz Tait, from Lossiemouth, has been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours List for her services to volunteering after spending more than half a century offering dedicated support to people caught up in all kinds of crises around the world.
The 65-year-old, originally from Kilmarnock, was deployed to Cyprus with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in April as part of the British Red Cross’ Psychosocial and Mental Health Team when clashes started between Sudan’s military and its main paramilitary force.
Ms Tait, who works as a professional lead for clinical governance at NHS Grampian, drew on leadership skills built up over her 55-year long volunteering career to help people in distress escape the country where hundreds have been killed during the fighting.
She said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been recognised in the Birthday Honours list for my work volunteering with the British Red Cross.
“As a team, we work extremely hard to help people who face the most difficult challenges in life and it is a huge honour to be recognised for that.”
Ms Tait was first deployed through the FCDO to support people fleeing Beirut in 2006 and has since volunteered during emergencies including the Chinese earthquake in 2008, the Tunisian terror attack in 2015, Hurricane Irma in Dominica in 2017 and the Afghanistan evacuation in 2021.
She was also part of the British Red Cross teams who responded to the Manchester arena bombing in 2017 and the Grenfell Tower fire later the same year – and last year volunteered to help during the week of public queuing in London as the late Queen lay in state in Westminster Hall.
Her colleagues praised her “exceptional” professionalism throughout her time in London as she supported people for whom the Queen’s death triggered memories of grief for their loved ones.
She said: “I’ve had a very varied volunteering career which has taken me across the world in different capacities.
“It is so important to be able to do this work in order to ensure people who are in crisis or affected by disasters can receive the correct support.
“I also have to thank my colleagues in NHS Grampian who have been very supportive of my volunteering work over the years.”
British Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson said: “Our volunteers’ work nationwide is vital to our organisation in delivering the very best support to those in crisis.
“We are thrilled to see Liz recognised for her efforts as a key member of our Psychosocial and Mental Health Team, and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank her for his tireless work as a Red Cross volunteer.”
Chip shop worker turned hospice chief on ‘total shock’ of OBE
A hospice chief who started her career in a chip shop has said being made an OBE “doesn’t happen” to people like her.
Rhona Baillie, chief executive of the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow, said it was a “total shock” to be among the King’s Birthday Honours recipients.
She said: “I said to my husband: ‘This doesn’t happen to people like us.’
“That’s what it felt like at first.
“I’ve been working with an outstanding team and I have done for over 20 years at the hospice and it’s just a job that I absolutely love.
“To be rewarded for that was quite a shock for me, to be honest, but I’m very humbled and very grateful.”
Mrs Baillie has been chief executive of the hospice since 2008 after doing the job on an interim basis since 2005.
She was instrumental in leading a campaign to raise £21m to create a new purpose-built hospice facility in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park in 2016.
But her career started in a chip shop in East Kilbride, having shunned a future in banking, which she said set her up with good people skills.
She eventually went into nursing and trained at the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow, embarking on a career looking after people at the end of their lives.
Mrs Baillie said she was driven to become a palliative care nurse after a period nursing in Canada.
She said: “I was working in communities, which has always been my passion, and there was absolutely a lack of palliative care there at all.
“When I came back home, I had a real passion to come back into that area of work, and that’s where my love for palliative care started, because it was really sad for me over there to see people dying without dignity.
“So that’s what made me want to make a difference and I have absolutely loved every minute of it.
“I’m going to be accepting this award on behalf of my team.
“You’re only as good as the team you are working with. Everything we have built up has been together.”
Big-hearted hairdresser honoured for helping women with cancer
Jill Lauder, 53, from Grangemouth, said the medal came as a complete surprise and she has no idea who nominated her.
She opened her salon Lady J’s in the town in 2011 and started hosting the free pamper sessions three years later after she helped friends who had cancer with their wigs.
She told the PA news agency: “I still would like to know who put me forward for it.
“I don’t feel worthy. It’s just something I do. I don’t get all that starry-eyed way or think, ‘How amazing is that?’
“I live my life to the rule: if you can do it, do it. I never look for anything back. I never want anything back.
“How I feel when I help someone… my heart feels 20 foot tall. To me, you can’t buy that.
“Nothing in the world can give me that feeling and I always think, ‘I was born to do this because of how good it makes me feel’.”
Mrs Lauder, who won the Scotswoman of the Year award in 2019 and was named MacMillan volunteer of the year in 2012, said “teamwork” is to thank for her salon’s achievements.
She said: “It’s not just me. I’m a normal woman. I’ve been a single parent all my days. I’ve worked in cleaning jobs, I’ve worked my fingers to the bone.
“I went about in a bike that couldn’t turn corners that took all the soles off my shoes to get from one cleaning job to another cleaning job.
“I never forget where I came from.
“For me, it’s a great honour. If you’d said to me 20 years ago, ‘Jill, you’re going to end up with this’, I’d have said, ‘Well, what for?’
“Maybe one day I will be able to tell the grandkids about it.”
Sepsis campaigner who had double hand transplant awarded MBE
A pioneering campaigner who almost died after contracting sepsis a decade ago has been made an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours.
Corinne Hutton, 53, is recognised for the years of work she has spent raising awareness of sepsis and amputees.
Dr Hutton nearly died in 2013 after suffering acute pneumonia and sepsis, and as a result she had to have both her hands and legs below the knee amputated.
Six years later in 2019, Dr Hutton became the first person in Scotland to receive a double hand transplant, and in the same year she was named Scotswoman of the Year.
Dr Hutton also received an honorary degree from the Open University in 2019.
She set up the charity Finding Your Feet, based in Paisley, in 2014 to raise awareness of the issues she had faced.
She has since became a well-known motivational speaker, and has broken records such as for walking a mile on prosthetic limbs.
On receiving the news she was to receive a royal honour, Dr Hutton told the PA news agency: “It was completely out of the blue.
“When I read the letter and double read it, it took a wee second for it to sink in.
“I’m very flattered, I couldn’t help but get that wee warm glow.
“I’m only one of a team, but I’m very grateful, very thankful and I think we will use it to make sure it does the charity some good.
“You don’t do this for awards, you don’t get up in the morning thinking: ‘I’m going to be inspiring.’
“It’s nice to get that wee pat on the back but it’s so much nicer that it’s for the team, it’s for all of us and the work that we do.
“It must be laughable to them because they all work harder than me.”