MEDIA RELEASE Monday April 18, 2022


Octogenarian care worker Liz Thomson, a rising media star, has added to her growing list of accolades with a national award win.

Liz, 81, Activities Coordinator at Balhousie Huntly in Aberdeenshire, won the Shona McKenzie Shine category of the s1Jobs Recruitment Awards. The award recognises those who “go above and beyond their call of duty, offer excellent service and take pride in their work.”

Believed to be the oldest care worker in the country, Liz was honoured at the glittering awards ceremony in Glasgow last week. Hosted by comedian Jo Brand, they honour some of the country’s top employees.

Liz was joined by colleague Jen Aitchison, who was commended in the same category. Jen is Manager at ASC, Balhousie’s specialist services arm.

This is the latest in a line of accolades for Liz. She was recently a finalist in the Great British Care Awards and appeared on STV for being what is believed to be the oldest care worker in the country.

Liz leads the events calendar in the Aberdeenshire residential home for dozens of residents, organising daily activities, from afternoon teas and coffee mornings to knitting clubs and card games – and all with a spring in her step.

Born in Portsoy, Liz worked in hospitality for many years and even ran her own hotel in the rural village of Rhynie before joining the Balhousie Huntly family when the home opened in 2012. In that time Liz, who lives in Huntly, has built friendships with many of the residents, some of whom she is actually older than.

Liz is humble about her impact at the care home. It’s all just ‘every day’ to her. “I have tried retiring before,” Liz explains, “but I like working!” Liz has worked in many roles at Balhousie Huntly including in the laundry team, kitchen and domestic teams, but she loves her role in the activities team most. “I really enjoy the time I spend with the residents. I’ve known some of them for years now, so organising and leading activities is always enjoyable.”

Jen was praised for strengthening and growing ASC and improving grades at the service, which supports adults with complex needs including challenging behaviour and learning disabilities at its Perthshire locations.

Jill Kerr, Group Chief Executive Officer at Balhousie Care Group, said: “It’s wonderful to see Liz and Jen’s achievements recognised. They are both an absolute credit to the company and represent everything our staff stand for: commitment, exceptional work and going above and beyond.”

Pictured: Jen Aitchison (L) and Liz Thomson receiving their awards; Balhousie Huntly care home; Liz with resident Jean Strachan

For more information on Balhousie Care Group visit

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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, a 2021 Great British Care Award, a 2022 s1Jobs Shine Award, 2019 Growth Business of the Year at The Courier Business Awards and 2019 Growth Business of the Year in the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce STAR Awards.