Six West Lothian community heroes have received awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020.
The locals have all been praised for their hard work and dedication with gongs from Her Majesty.
One of the recipients singled out for praise was Elaine Nisbet, manager of West Lothian Council’s Anti-Poverty Service.
She was appointed Member of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of her team’s excellent work to help communities.
Modest Elaine insists the award is reward for the whole of the anti-poverty team for their work to help West Lothian residents affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, rather than her individual efforts.
Elaine, who has worked for the council for over 20 years, said: “I am delighted to receive the MBE award from the Queen on behalf of the council’s Anti-Poverty service.
“The award is not just for me, it’s really for everyone in the team who has worked to support West Lothian residents during this challenging time.
“Thanks to everyone in the Anti-Poverty service who has made an amazing effort to help the local community during this time.”
Knightsridge Primary School headteacher Allison Kennedy has been awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire award (OBE) for her services to education and literacy in West Lothian.
Allison has had a hugely positive impact on the Livingston primary school and early years centre since she arrived in 2013, reducing anti-social behaviour and increasing attendance and attainment by pupils.
She has led her school community to believe in her inspirational values of kindness, perseverance and success, turning Knightsridge into an award-winning school.
In recent years, under Allison’s leadership, Knightsridge have been named a National Best Practice School by Education Scotland, won a West Lothian Council Stellar Award for promoting a reading culture and Scottish Book Trust national winners.
They also won prestigious national accolades in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge School Award in 2018 and Raising Attainment in Literacy Award at the 2019 Scottish Education Awards, against stiff competition from other schools.
She also assists colleagues looking to make improvements in their school communities, and returns to Sri Lanka where she grew up to carry out voluntary work in schools and community projects.
Allison said: “While this is an unexpected and wonderful honour to have been recognised in this way, the credit belongs firmly with all of the staff, parents and community supporters who work so hard every day to improve the lives of children and their families in Knightsridge.
“Their continuous efforts make positive differences every day and it has been a privilege to work in such a supportive environment.”
“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my family, who continue to be so supportive, and to all the amazing people who have motivated and inspired me throughout my career. I would like to dedicate this award to them too”
Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) awards were also presented to Network Rail employee Simon Constable from Philpstoun for services to the Rail Industry during the pandemic, Linlithgow’s Donald Macleod for services to Music and charity due to his work as chairman of Nordoff Robbins, Scotland’s Fundraising Committee and Sibbald Training Ltd founder David Sibbald from Bathgate for services to Business and charity in West Lothian.
Pumpherston’s Karen Rogers and Addiewell’s Lee Anne Steel were both given Order of the British Empire Medals (BEM) for services to the community in Pumpherston during the pandemic and services to Rugby and the community in Livingston respectively.
Lee Ann siad: “I feel very unworthy of receiving such an accolade. I was definitely blown away to find out I was receiving it.
“I have loved working with Livingston Rugby Club and seeing the game grow so much. We truly feel part of the community and are a family based club.”
“I couldn’t have achieved what I have without the support of my family and the amazing team of volunteers we have at Livingston RFC.
Provost Tom Kerr said: “Huge congratulations to all the West Lothian residents on receiving an honour from Her Majesty this week.
“It’s fantastic to see so many local people who have made a positive contribution to West Lothian and Scottish life honoured with these accolades.”
Her Majesty the Queen’s representative in West Lothian, Lord Lieutenant Moira Niven added: “I’m delighted to see so many worthy West Lothian residents recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
“I’d like to thank them all for their amazing efforts, which have a real benefit of our communities and society as a whole.”