Three people from South Ayrshire were recognised for their hard work and achievements in the Queens Birthday Honours List this year, which were announced last week on Friday, October 9.

Hugh Hill, from Coylton, was honoured with a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to the Homeless in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hugh is the director of Simon Community Scotland, a homelessness charity.

Lorraine McGrath, chief executive of Simon Community Scotland said: "Every member of the team at Simon Community Scotland is absolutely delighted for Hugh to be receiving such prestigious recognition for his leadership of our frontline delivery, for people experiencing the most extreme impacts of homelessness, during the pandemic. 

"Everyone from the people we support themselves, to our volunteers, staff teams and supporting partners were astounding, with so much being achieved in such short timescales. 

"We need all of their commitment, compassion and drive to deliver such incredible impacts but someone must manage and coordinate the realities of time and complexity. That's where the exceptional operational leadership that Hugh brings is critical."

Hugh said: “Thank you everyone for your lovely messages.

“It was always a team effort and [I’m] delighted to receive a BEM recognising the incredible work everyone at Simon Community does every day.”

Head teacher Fiona McAvoy was recognised as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Education in South Ayrshire.

A spokesperson from South Ayrshire Council tweeted their congratulations to Ms McAvoy: “Congratulations to Fiona McAvoy, Head Teacher at Newton Primary School in Ayr, for becoming an MBE! 

“Over her career, Fiona has helped thousands of young people from many different backgrounds realise their potential.” 

They joked: “Does this mean we have to bow or curtsy?”

James Wilson, a retired veterinary surgeon, who previously had a surgery on Mull and now stays in Troon, was also honoured with an MBE for services to Veterinary Practice and Animal Welfare on the Isle of Mull.

Just over the South Ayrshire border, Elizabeth Ann Shannon from Dalmellington, was recognised with a BEM for services to Education and Sport in East Ayrshire.

She is a senior clerical assistant at Ochiltree Primary School and has organised after school clubs for students for the past 28 years. In her time, she has taken kids from her swimming club to Ayrshire Schools Finals and Scottish Schools Relay Championships at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

The honours are normally announced in June, but were delayed until Autumn because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congratulations to all from the Ayr Advertiser.