Comment: ‘Chance for us to recognise real stars’

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The build-up to this year’s New Year’s Honours List has been all about who will miss out on a trip to the Palace.

But forget the millionaire sporting stars and celebs for a minute. Today’s roll of honour allows us to celebrate the achievements of some real local heroes.

People such as 83-year-old ­Margaret Collinson.

She may not have come to ­nationwide attention before but her lifetime devotion to charity work is truly inspiring.

Modest Margaret tells us today: “I’m a person who likes to be on the go.

“I can’t just sit back and do nothing. It’s just my nature.”

Another recognised today is Liz MacDonald, a stalwart of the ERI’s A&E department – the busiest in Scotland.

She has given up her free time to support the vital Medic 1 service becoming honorary treasurer – and she has no plans to retire.

“I just love the job,” she tells us today.

And surely that is what the Queen’s honours list is all about.

Recognising those who selflessly dedicate themselves day in, day-out to others and their communities.

We are glad to be able to tell some of their stories today but also recognise they are just a few of the unsung heroes working quietly without seeking recognition in communities across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

There is a whole army of people out there who make a vital ­contribution for no reward.

We may not know their names but we have come to rely on their devoted service every day.

We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude and giving them their moment in the spotlight is the least we can do.

It’s fantastic that people like Margaret and Liz will soon be able to look forward to a day to remember as they collect their gongs.

There may be no Andy Murray on today’s list, but it has served up a host of new stars.