A JOHNSTONE woman who has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours says she can’t get over the “surreal” experience. 

Colette Cunningham, 50, was awarded an OBE for services to business and public services, having spent 30 years working with CBI Scotland and 15 with the Scottish North American Business Council.

And the business leader was one of a number of figures from the area to be recognised in the honours list, with Dr Sadhu-Ram Gupta being awarded an OBE for his services to charity.

Colette, who lives with her husband, Lee, and children Emma and Christopher, said: “I am very proud and it is just really surreal, if I am honest.

“I was actually on holiday with my husband in Cape Verde at the time and only found out about it by reading it in The Herald. 

“But, it is just really great to be recognised for all of the work over the years.

“I have been very fortunate to do so much in my work and to get to travel around the world.

“And for that, I am so thankful to Lee who has spent a lot of time at home to allow me to travel and to fulfill my career.”

Meanwhile, a third Renfrewshire resident to be named in last week’s honours list was Kilmacolm resident Dr Sadhu Ram Gupta.

The 74-year-old was made an MBE for his lifelong work in improving medical services in the local area and his charity work across the world – and in particular for restoring children’s eyesight in countries such as Burma, Ethiopia and India.

He said: “My mother once said to me ‘son, if you can, always be there to help people who are suffering and less fortunate than you’.

“You can always see the happiness on someone’s face when you restore such a gift.” 

Dr Gupta, who moved to the UK in 1974 and studied in Belfast, created the charity Drishti Eye Camp in 1995, following a visit to Bangladesh the previous year.

Since then, using his own money and annual leave, he has taken the charity all around the world, whilst also raising funds for new equipment at Inverclyde. 

He added: “I was so proud of the way that I left Inverclyde, with locals now able to get vital treatment locally without having to go to Glasgow or beyond.”

His last visit to India came in 2015, when Dr Gupta was 72, and he has previously received awards for his services to the community, including from his native India. 

He continues to live in Kilmalcom with his wife.