Horrified by the homelessness which was becoming apparent in her hometown, Mary Nelson decided to try and help the most desperate of people.
The 77-year-old from Forres has been donating immense amounts of her time assisting previously homeless people to take their first steps into substantive accommodation as part of the Moray Fresh Start charity.
The tireless campaigner has now been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours with a BEM.
She said: “I was extremely surprised and had no idea.
“This is really for all our brilliant volunteers, past and present. That is what is important.
“And the people of Moray have been fantastic in supporting us.
“The charity has been working extremely hard this year. Initially, in the first lockdown, the figures were quite low, but then it rocketed after that.”
The former nurse, originally from Croydon in London, moved to the north after marrying Scottish husband Peter, now 83, and worked for some time at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.
Moray Fresh Start was formed 10 years ago.
The charity provides a simple starter pack which contains sheets, towels, plates, cutlery and other basic items.
Each pack is worth about £200 and over 150 are delivered each year with numbers currently increasing rapidly.