Residents have praised an Irvine woman who was awarded an MBE after improving breastfeeding standards across Scotland.

Theresa McElhone was awarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with the UNICEF Infant Feeding Adviser given the gong for her services to healthcare and families.

She said: “I was a bit shocked to be honest. I was very surprised but thrilled at the same time.

“You sort of feel that you are just doing your job, but it is rather nice to have the recognition I have to admit.”

Commenting on the Irvine Times Facebook page Claire Owens said: “Congratulations, well deserved,” while Christine Malcolmson said: “Lovely lady and well deserved;

Julie Teaz wrote: “Congratulations to Theresa. Well deserved, while Lynsé-Ann McAuley added: “Brilliant.”

Theresa joined NHS Ayrshire and Arran at Ayrshire Central as a qualified midwife.

She began working for the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative in 1999.

Then, in, 2009 Theresa became the first-ever Professional Lead for Baby Friendly in Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government.

In this role, she was instrumental in supporting 100 per cent of Scottish maternity units to achieve accreditation by 2016.

Congratulations to Theresa on the achievement.