A DEDICATED Barrhead volunteer has been made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for his services to the community. 

William Dougray, known as Willie, has been a volunteer at the East Renfrewshire Citizens’ Advice Bureau for 30 years as chairman of the organisation. 

Although he will celebrate his 81st birthday this Sunday, Willie continues to be one of the driving forces behind an organisation that serves more than 600 people every month in Barrhead and across East Renfrewshire. 

But he says that while he has given his time to the bureau over the past 33 years, those who deserve the credit are his family, as well as the staff and volunteers at the centre. 

He said: “I have been very humbled over the past few days at the number of people getting in touch, and I owe them all a thanks. 

“I was very pleased to accept the MBE after a period of thought, as it was a real shock to get the letter. 

“All my life I have I have enjoyed it [helping the bureau] and haven’t seen it as anything other than helping others along.”

Willie added he owes a debt of gratitude to his wife Eleanor, as well as his daughters Lindsey and Janice, and grandchildren Ainsley, Andrew and Finlay. 

Staff and volunteers at East Renfrewshire Citizens’ Advice Bureau (ERCAB) were quick to point out the importance of Willie’s work. 

Bureau manager Teresa O’Hara said: “He gives so much of his time to the organisation. This award has been the result of two years of work to get Willie the recognition he deserves. 

“I’ve been manager at the bureau for 19 years and Willie has been chairman for 30 years. 

“We have seen the service develop and expand significantly in that time and that is the result of hard work from him, as well as our staff and volunteers.

“When he got the letter through the door he didn’t even tell us, his wife had to talk him into it. 

“But that’s indicative of what he is like. He does things because he wants to, not for the recognition.”

More than 7,000 people were given help from staff and volunteers at the centre in  Main Street, Barrhead, last year and its work has been recognised by parliamentarians and councillors. 

West Scotland MSP Ken Macintosh said: “It was great to hear the news about Willie being honoured by the Queen. 

“So many of us have reason to be grateful for the work of the Citizens Advice Bureau here in East Renfrewshire and, for more than three decades, Willie has been integral to that success.

“I send well-deserved congratulations to Willie and to all his colleagues at the CAB, who will enjoy this honour as much as I hope he does.”

Outside of his voluntary work with ERCAB, Willie is also heavily involved in organising events for former employees of Diageo, where he also worked, as well as donating time to the East Renfrewshire foodbank at St Andrew’s Church, Barrhead, for the past five years. 

Willie is also a long-time member of the congregation at the church, who said on social media that his award was “fantastic news”. 

A former councillor on the Barrhead Burgh Council in the 1960s, Willie says he gave up politics in 1969 to concentrate on his family life after the birth of his second child.