Elizabeth Ann Shannon from Dalmellington kept a secret from her family and friends for months after she been told not to reveal the information to anyone.

But she has finally been able to get the secret off her chest – that she has been recognised in the Queen’s Honours List.

She was worn to secrecy until the official announcements released last week on Friday, October 9.

The senior clerical assistant at Ochiltree Primary School was honoured with a British Empire Medal for services to Education and Sport in East Ayrshire.

Elizabeth, otherwise know as Liz, has been a fixture of the Ochiltree school community since November 1992. Her work with after-school clubs within the local community is legendary and she has now been rewarded for it.

She has organised various sports clubs for the students at Ochiltree over the years but perhaps her proudest achievement is the work she has done with the swimming club, which she has organised on Wednesday afternoons.

She started the club in 2004 because of a lack of swimming skills in the community. Since then, she has taken students to Ayrshire Schools Finals and to the Scottish Schools Relay Championships.

She’s seen students improve their skills, win races, graduate from school and return to the pool for their coaching training. She’s influenced the lives of so many with her hard work and dedication.

Liz said: “I’m so honoured they decided to nominate me. I feel so privileged to have been able to help so many people. I had a great relationship with the children and parents and always encouraged them to believe in themselves, to give their best, and never give up on themselves. I have wonderful memories over the years and the achievements of the children. If I have helped even one child over the years then everything I have done has been worthwhile.”

She also wished to thank her family, colleagues and all the parents and children that helped her along the way.