Congratulations are in order for a local man who has been honoured by The Queen with a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours list.

Bruce Harris, a former Auchinleck Academy pupil and Cumnock Academy teacher, who now lives in South Ayrshire, has received the recognition for the hard work he put in supporting the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Scotland.

He offically received the BEM: “For voluntary service to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in Cumnock, Ayrshire.”

The 61-year-old grew up in Auchinleck in the 60s and 70s

In the early 80s he began working at Cumnock Academy and then moved to Marr College in Troon, before

landing a job working with South Ayrshire Council in their education department.

Most recently he has been working as the Health and Wellbeing Coordinator in the department.

As part of his job, Bruce looks at ways to get kids to do more outdoors learning, he has long been involved with the DofE project, a programme that seeks to teach kids life and work

skills through a series of awards.

Bruce said: “I’m very privileged to be nominated. I still don’t know who it was that nominated me, but thank you.

"It’s been a surprise, I don’t think anybody ever expects to receive an honour of this type.”

Bruce has had to keep the award a secret from family and friends, with the information under an embargo until officially announced last Wednesday evening (December 30).

In normal times there would be a ceremony at which Bruce could expect to formally receive the honour.

However, owing to coronavirus it is understood that any such ceremony will be postponed.

Bruce joins five other people from across Ayrshire in this year’s birthday honours list.