Some right royal recognition

Eileen Lockhead  with husband Jim
Eileen Lockhead with husband Jim

An occupational therapist has been awarded with a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Honours list.

Eileen Lochhead (57), from Townhead in Kirkintilloch, received the honour for work and services to children after working in paediatric occupational therapy for 35 years.

She was recommended for the medal by a colleague at NHS Lanarkshire and she said she is honoured to be nominated by one of her peers.

She said: “When I found out I really was gobsmacked.

“I sent an email to everyone at work because this medal is not just for me, it’s for everyone I’ve worked with.

“It’s for the whole team and they were all dead pleased.

“In the allied health profession it doesn’t always get the recognition that other departments do, so I really think it’s brilliant.”

She first learned of the honour back in March when she was sent a letter from the Prime Minister’s office.

As she was on holiday in Dubai celebrating her sister’s 50th birthday at the time, she came home to the letter on April Fool’s day and was certain it had to be a joke.

“I thought, this must be an April fool.

“I had to keep it quiet but I knew it was coming out and had to wait for the Queen’s honours list.”

Eileen retired last August but still works as a bank occupational therapist.

Throughout her career she worked with newborn babies right up to 18-year-olds and her job was to encourage every child to be as independent as they could and “reach their full potential”.

She is not sure when she will receive the medal but has been told that it will be a local ceremony with a representative of the Queen.

She said she doesn’t mind who it is but she is excited for the occasion.

“It means I can buy a new dress!” she said.