New Year's Honours: Edinburgh and Lothians residents land awards from Queen

A youth charity chief, a climate change activist and an animal rights campaigner have led the charge of Lothians residents who have been recognised in the New Years Honours List 2021.

By Scott McCartney and Anna Bryan
Friday, 31st December 2021, 10:51 pm
Paul Reddish has been recognised for his services to the voluntary sector.
Paul Reddish has been recognised for his services to the voluntary sector.

A number of people in Edinburgh who have made positive changes in their community have been highlighted for awards in this year’s list.

Among those is Paul Reddish of ProjectScotland who was given an OBE for services to the Voluntary and Community Sector during Covid-19.

Also recognised is Sandra Kinnear, who has transformed the University of Edinburgh’s approach to climate change mitigation.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Lesley Winton, with her rescued labrador named Mr T.

And there was an award for East Lothian’s Lesley Winton – a founder of two charities that aim to tackle animal abuse.

Meanwhile Jacqueline Scott, the head teacher at Trinity Primary School was given an OBE for services to Education, as Dr John Ruthven Mitchell, principal medical officer for the Scottish Government, was awarded for services to Improving Mental Health.

And the Capital’s Norman Loch Murray FRSE, chairman, Scottish Ballet, was highlighted for services to the arts.

City businessman and former pub owner Jimmy Sinclair has been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to charity.

Sandra Kinnear has been warded a BEM.

Since beginning work in 1978, Jimmy Sinclair has helped countless charities, providing aid to the homeless, people living in poverty and those living with extreme disabilities – in Scotland and across the world. His actions have helped raise millions of pounds, and a conservative estimate of the funds he has personally raised and contributed stands at £1.4 million.

Jimmy, who ran Winston's bar in Corstorphine said: “We raised the money through our pubs. Lots of people helped us – all friends and customers”.

Jimmy is currently an Ambassador for Alzheimer Scotland, and has raised a vast amount of money for them, including over £70,000 at a single event.

He has also been an ambassador for Capability Scotland, for whom he spearheaded a campaign to build a hydrotherapy swimming pool to assist in the treatment of children living with Cerebral Palsy.

He stressed that the work he’d done was not an individual effort, and said: “There’s so many people I’d love to thank for all the help they’ve given since 1980, up until now.

"I’ve got a crowd that helps me and we all help each other. So the honour will be for everybody”.

Jimmy, who was unable to celebrate his golden wedding anniversary due to Covid restrictions, hopes he will be able to mark the honour by throwing a party for everybody who has helped him raise money over the years.

And there was reason to celebrate for Sandra Kinnear, 61, from Edinburgh – she works for Edinburgh University as a Health, Safety and Sustainability Adviser, and has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to environment and charity work.

Sandra, who has worked for the University for more than 40 years, has championed a number of charity initiatives in her work.

She was the driving force behind a recycling programme, which raised money for Syrian refugee charities and British Heart Foundation. This programme raised £350,000 and resulted in 20 furniture donations points being installed at 18 locations across the University.

She was also involved in work that helped the Pollock Halls residential campus be awarded ‘Zero Waste’ status in 2014 – which it has retained.

When Sandra received the letter notifying her that she’d been honoured, she said: “I was really shocked and amazed. I just never would have thought that I would be put forward for any kind of award like this”.

However, she stressed that her achievements were not hers alone, and added: “It’s all done through teamwork, and people helping me”.

While Sandra has already done so much for the environment and different charities, she is motivated to make even more progress. She said: "We’ve done a lot of thing as a department, but there’s an awful lot more we can do, so I'm just looking forward to taking that forward with all the different teams that I work with”.

Meanwhile Lesley Winton, 67, from Tranent in East Lothian, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to animal welfare.

She said she “couldn’t believe it” when she received the letter notifying her of the honour.

She said: "Animal welfare is my first love and my true passion, so when I read it was for my services to animal welfare, I just burst into tears.”

Lesley is the founder of both the Winton Foundation for the Welfare of Bears, which was set up in 2010, and Fostering Compassion, which became a charity in 2013.

The Winton Foundation aims to fund and raise awareness in order help bears worldwide who are at risk of exploitation, while Fostering Compassion works with vulnerable children and animals, seeking to end animal cruelty by helping children to learn to empathise with animals.

The latter, which runs days out, activities and workshops for children – who may have been abused themselves – has helped over 1000 children.

Lesley, who has worked in the voluntary sector for over 35 years, said: “For myself personally, and for my charities, it's a huge honour to be given this award and recognition for the work”.

She hopes that the honour will help raise the profile of her charities, and said: “I hope we’ve proved that even small charities that are built from the ground up from a simple idea can make make a difference and make a big difference”.

An OBE went to Bonnyrigg’s Rohini Sharma Joshi, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Trust Housing Association for services to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Edinburgh’s Dorothy Tarrant, the founder of Veritas-Sighisoara was given an OBE for voluntary service in Romania, while Nadia Nasreen Ahmed, community champion at Morrisons was awarded for services to the community in Edinburgh.

And there was also an OBE for Margaret Worsfold in Edinburgh for services to British Ice Skating.