A LIFELONG volunteer has been made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for her commitment to 1st Lochwinnoch Girls’ Brigade.

Margaret McKinlay has been a dedicated member of the group for more than 50 years and served as captain for a large portion of that time.

From the start of her captaincy - which only ended just over a year ago - Margaret ensured 1st Lochwinnoch girls were involved in all areas at divisional, regional and national level and girls were encouraged to work through the national badge work programme.

Margaret also helped to introduce the Duke of Edinburgh’s award into the company, with girls achieving bronze, silver and gold honours.

And decades of girls have enjoyed company nights, outings and camps under her leadership.

Margaret also took on roles at division and national level, represented GB Scotland at the International Council of Girls’ Brigade in the Cook Islands more than 30 years ago, setting the scene for many other international adventures for members.

Jennie Cochrane, current captain at 1st Lochwinnoch Girls’ Brigade, said: “Margaret is Girls’ Brigade. 

“She’s just so dedicated to everything she does and ensures everything runs smoothly for the girls and they get every opportunity available to them.

“We’ve been on international trips and the girls have had the chance to get gold, silver and bronze Duke of Edinburgh awards.

“She has been an inspiration to all of us and encompasses everything Girls’ Brigade is about. Margaret’s dedication to 1st Lochwinnoch Company and Girls’ Brigade Scotland has been, and still is, outstanding.”

The Gazette: Jennifer Rodgers (left) with First Minister Nicola SturgeonJennifer Rodgers (left) with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Alongside Margaret, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s chief nurse for paediatrics and neonates, Jennifer Rodgers, from Renfrewshire, has been made an MBE for services to healthcare.

Jennifer started as a nursing student way back in 1993 and now works in the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.

NHSGGC has said she has been ‘instrumental’ in bringing strategies to Scotland which enhance patient care, patient flow and people’s experiences of healthcare. Over the past decade, she has become one of the country’s improvement leaders, and has an international reputation for her work.

She is an advocate of person-centred care and her project asking children to draw or write ‘What matters to me’ posters became a key driving force of the Scottish and international ‘What matters to you?’ movement.

Jennifer said:  “It’s really humbling to receive this honour. It’s such a privilege to do this job.”

Thomas Niven, who was a shipbuilding lead manager at Babcock Marine from Renfrewshire, also becomes an MBE for services to naval shipbuilding.