MEDIA RELEASE Monday November 22, 2021


A Huntly care home worker who is older than many of her residents is in the running for a national award.

Liz Thomson, 80, is Activities Coordinator at the 60-bedroom Balhousie Huntly in Aberdeenshire where she organises everything from coffee mornings and visits from local artists and community groups, to knitting clubs and card games.

She has reached the finals of the Great British Care Awards for her hard work at the home.

Far from thinking about slowing down following her big birthday celebrations this year, Liz is just getting started – and she is keen to bust many myths about care homes and older people along the way.

Born in Portsoy, Liz worked in hospitality for many years and ran her own hotel in the rural village of Rhynie before joining the Balhousie Huntly family when the home opened in 2012.

She has formed many friendships with residents over the years, some of whom are younger than she is. And the fact she has worked in several areas of the home – including a spell in the laundry, the kitchen and as part of the domestic team – only adds to her bonds with the care home and its staff.

Operations Support Manager Arlene Woods said: “Every time we see Liz, she is always on the move, doing something great with our residents. She’s very caring and empathetic. Being older, she has a wonderful understanding and rapport with our residents.

“She’s tremendously hard working too – and at 80 years young, it is very inspiring. She always has a spring in her step. Balhousie staff are ‘everyday heroes’ – and Liz certainly lives up to that.”

Liz, who lives in Huntly, is modest about the impact she has had at the care home. “It’s just what I do every day,” she says. “I have tried retiring before, but I like working.”

The Great British Care Awards winners will be announced this week.

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Notes to Editors

About Balhousie Care Group

Balhousie Care Group was formed 30 years ago to fill a gap in quality residential care in North East Scotland. Today, with 26 homes in the area, it is one of the leading providers of care for the elderly in Scotland, providing care to over 900 residents.

Balhousie Care prides itself on its person-centred approach to care. Putting people right at the forefront of everything they do; it’s inclusive of everyone. They capture this philosophy through the roll out of ‘Together We’re Great’, an initiative which recognises the skills, talents, attributes and support areas for each and every person involved in the organisation. Together We’re Great aims to value individuality and promote excellence across the organisation.

A Participation Charter – a first-of-its-kind in the care home sector – commits to residents getting a bigger say than ever in the care they receive, from writing care home policies to recruiting staff.

Balhousie Care Group is the recipient of numerous awards. These include three Scottish Care Awards, 2019 Growth Business and 2018 Service Business of the Year at The Courier Business Awards, 2019 Growth Business of the Year Perthshire Chamber of Commerce STAR Award, and SME Scotland Business Man of the Year 2019 for Chairman Tony Banks.