An Inverness woman working to tackle children’s food insecurity has said it is a “great privilege” to be included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Lindsay Graham has spent the past 10 years advocating for children’s rights and has become a leading expert on school food and health promotion.
She has now been made an OBE in recognition of all her work in the north of Scotland and across the UK.
“It was a big surprise,” she said.” It’s very humbling and it means a lot on the Jubilee year.
“It’s the last thing you expect when doing the work, it’s just the right thing to do.”
‘A life’s passion’
Ms Graham formerly worked as a civil servant and a community nurse in the Highlands, and has spent the last decade campaigning and working as a key adviser for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on School Food.
Between 2014 and 2016, she chaired the Holiday Hunger Task Group, and has also advised a Westminster group on childhood food insecurity in the UK.
The 62-year-old said she had an “epiphany moment” while talking to a lady from America about the country’s summer meals programme which provides free meals for children outside of term time.
“I decided I needed to do something about it here – and it became a life’s passion,” the mum-of-one said.
As well as being the founder of two charities for families affected by disability, Ms Graham is a committee member for the National Lottery Community Fund Scotland and was a member of the government’s Social Renewal Advisory Board on Covid Recovery.
“No two days are the same, it’s a really interesting work life,” she added.
For the past two years, she has been a deputy chairwoman for Scotland’s Poverty and Inequality Commission, which provides independent advice to Scottish Ministers.
“It’s a very humbling position to be in,” she said. “The most amazing thing is the people I’ve met over the years. They are wonderful, kind-hearted people.
“I think Covid brought out the best in people who are just doing what they can for their communities.
“They’re real heroes who get out of bed each day to listen and make meals. From the youngsters to those who are retired, they deserve the recognition.”
The work never stops for Ms Graham but she will take a couple days off and celebrate over a glass of champagne with her mum, Betty.
Meanwhile, William John Dingwall, from Inverness, will receive a BEM for his voluntary service to veterans.
Mr Dingwall has been recognised for his roles as a standard bearer and vice-president of the Inverness branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland.