King Charles honours the work of three physiotherapists

King Charles has recognised the careers, contributions and service of three physiotherapists in his first Birthday Honours list.

Three physiotherapists recognised in King Charles' first Birthday Honours list
The three award-winning physios (from left to right): Roma Bhopal, Sally Orange and Gail Carreras

Roma Bhopal (MBE)

Roma Bhopal was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to physiotherapy.

Roma, who lives in Scotland and previously worked at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh,  is a retired physiotherapist and specialist hand therapist.

Alongside her clinical work as a NHS specialist hand therapist, Roma spent many years working in voluntary positions, including on overseas projects in countries such as India and Cambodia, in order to help enhance education and specialist knowledge within the field of hand therapy.

Roma Bhopal - specialist hand therapist working in Cambodia
Roma Bhopal, working with physio teams in Cambodia

As part of this work, she took on various key roles for the British Association of Hand Therapists, where she served as chair of the charity; the European Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy, where she served as president; and the International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy.

Speaking about how it felt to find out she'd been included in the King's honours list, Roma said: 'It's exciting and I am extremely surprised because it's not something I would ever have imagined happening in a million years. I’m delighted, of course, and happy that my nomination or my nominees thought I deserved it.

'I got a letter a couple of weeks in advance, but you're told not to share it with anyone until the official announcement. It's something that’s quite difficult to keep it to yourself, and you can’t even tell your own family.

'But my husband knew because he was there when the letter arrived, and he saw me opening it.'

Sally Orange (MBE)

Sally Orange completed seven marathons on severn continents in seven days
Sally Organge completed the World Marathon Challenge in February and aims to raise £50,000 for mental health charities this year

Sally Orange was made an MBE for services to charity and mental health.

Salisbury-based physiotherapist and retired army officer Sally is an endurance runner, adventurer, mental health campaigner and inspirational speaker.

She has run over 80 marathons, completed eight ironman competitions and holds multiple Guinness World Records.

Sally is also a military veteran, having served for 22 years in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a physiotherapy officer,  included an operational tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Last month she completed the ESCAPE Aquathlon challege, which required her to take part in a gruelling triatholon that including swimming around Alcatraz  island - the site of the famous fomer prison off the shoreline of San Francisco -  in order to promote mental health discussions.

And earlier this year, she became the first female veteran and only the fifth British female to ever complete the World Marathon Challenge, which required her to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days – raising money for seven different charities in the process.

Sally is aiming to raise £50,000 for mental health charities this year by completing further endurance challenges, and she hopes her efforts will help 'to make the invisible illness of mental illness visible'.

Commenting on how she felt when she found out about her MBE, she said: ‘Last year I was awarded with an honorary doctorate from the University of Nottingham - the same university that turned me down for six years in a row before finally offering me a place! 

‘To receive an email 30 years after I first applied was the biggest honour of my career but receiving an MBE is something I never expected in a million years.'

Gail Carreras (MBE)

Gail Carreras was made an MBE for services to the disabled community in Gibraltar.

Gail is a specialist paediatric physiotherapist who works for the Gibraltar Health Board.

Commenting on her receiving her honour, the Gibraltar-based Special Needs Action Group said that Gail had demonstrated incredible dedication to paediatric physiotherapy in Gibraltar over the past three decades and added that:

Her tireless efforts have positively impacted countless young lives

Number of subscribers: 2

Log in to comment and read comments that have been added