Liz Thomson, the Huntly care home worker who is older than many of her residents, is in the running for a national award.
Liz, 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 just been nominated for a Great British Care Award 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 bed and breakfast in the rural village of Rayne 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 next week.