A FORMER Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

Dr Margo Whiteford, who is chairwoman of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland, said she was delighted to receive the award (Commander of the British Empire) for services to charity and health.

She said: “I found out in November so it was a huge secret to keep.

“My mum and dad will be coming with me to receive it so I’m so pleased they are here to see it.

“I hope it will also mean parents of children recently diagnosed with spina bifida will be inspired to see beyond the often gloomy diagnosis they receive.”

Dr Whiteford, who was named Evening Times SWOTY in 2009, was diagnosed with spina bifida at birth and has spent most of her life in a wheelchair.

Her parents, Mae and Ron, were founder members of SBH Scotland, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 and Dr Whiteford has supported the charity for more than three decades.

She added: “This award is great for the charity and hopefully it will help to raise our profile and encourage more businesses to make us their charity of the year.”

Dr Whiteford is a consultant clinical geneticist at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, where she has diagnosed, and supported hundreds of children and adults who are affected by genetic conditions.

She is also a board member of the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and was elected president of the organisation in 2013.

Chief executive of SBH Scotland Andrew Wynd said: “Dr Whiteford’s support of SBH Scotland over the past 30 years has been indispensable.

“She is an incredible woman whose achievements demonstrate that physical disability does not have to be a barrier to success.

“She is a tireless campaigner and an inspiration to all of us.”