Volunteers, scientists and politicians in New Year Honours list

Former Labour MP Tom Clarke and Stirling University’s vice-chancellor, Professor Gerry McCormac, received knighthoods.

Volunteers, scientists and politicians in New Year Honours list Getty Images

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 in Scotland to be awarded a knighthood, along with Stirling University’s vice-chancellor, Professor Gerry 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.

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.

Prof McCormac, who grew up in Belfast, said: “I feel very honoured to receive this recognition and am indebted to the staff and students at the University of Stirling whose hard work and dedication have made the university what it is today.

“I’m immensely proud of everything that we have achieved over the past decade and the progress that we’ve made.

“The enormous challenges posed by coronavirus over the past ten months have shone a light on the togetherness, resilience and unwavering support of our community – and this honour reflects their efforts.”

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.

University of Glasgow: Professor Sheila Rowan has been made a CBE.University of Glasgow

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, 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.

“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.”

Professor Wendy Bickmore, head of the University of Edinburgh’s MRC Human Genetics Unit, has been honoured for the centre’s work identifying genes that put some people at greater risk of developing the most serious symptoms of Covid-19.

She was made a CBE for services to biomedical sciences and to women in science.

Elsewhere, dozens of volunteers who have helped out during the coronavirus pandemic have been recognised for their support.

Jamie Kinlochan, from Paisley, is being awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his work with Who Cares Scotland?

The 35-year-old set up a helpline for vulnerable people, which 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.”

Salute: Captain Emma Henderson founded Project Wingman.PA Media

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

The 47-year-old airline pilot 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 5500 volunteers.

Captain Henderson said: “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 in 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 coordinated welfare visits, patient transport, PPE distribution, as well as assisting several councils and food banks.

Ms Stove said: “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.”

Champ: Lewis Hamilton received a knighthood.PA Media

Elsewhere across the UK, seven-time Formula One world title winner Lewis Hamilton has been given a knighthood.

Former Tesco boss Dave Lewis was also knighted, while actress Sheila Hancock was awarded a damehood.

Commenting on the award, Hancock joked she felt “slightly miscast”.

She said: “I’ve never felt myself this sort of person. It just doesn’t happen to people like me. 

“I feel I may be lowering the tone. I feel slightly miscast, let’s put it that way.”

Other film and TV stars to make the cut include former EastEnders actress Nina Wadia and Coronation Street stalwart Sally Dynevor.

Wadia, who rose to fame in sketch show Goodness Gracious Me, is made an OBE, while Dynevor, who has played Sally Webster on the soap since 1986, becomes an MBE.

Star: Actress Lesley Manville has been made a CBE.PA Media

Academy Award nominee Lesley Manville is made a CBE for services to drama and charity, and actor Toby Jones, who counts the Harry Potter franchise among his many film credits, becomes an OBE.

One of the big names from behind the scenes to receive a gong is two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins, who is based in California and is knighted in the overseas list.

He has received 15 Academy Award nominations over the course of his career, winning for the films Blade Runner 2049 and 1917.

Screenwriter and producer Jed Mercurio, who held the nation spellbound with TV hits including Line Of Duty and Bodyguard, is made an OBE.

From the world of fashion, ground-breaking make-up artist Pat McGrath – dubbed the “most influential make-up artist in the world” by Vogue – becomes a dame for services to the fashion and beauty industry and to diversity.

Ms McGrath said she was “truly delighted and humbled” to receive the honour, crediting her mother for inspiring her love of beauty and fashion.

In music, Craig David was recognised with an MBE.

Veteran footballers Jimmy Greaves and Ron Flowers have also been made MBEs after a long-running campaign to ensure every surviving member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad gets an honour.

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