An 80-year-old woman who has helped her fellow sheltered housing residents stay active has been nominated for one of Aberdeen’s Sports Awards.
Janice Hutchison, who lives in Seaton’s Lord Hay’s Court, has been put forward for Volunteer of the Year at the annual ceremony.
She has been lauded for the wide range of activities she has helped organise for the elderly and disabled residents of the tower block.
These include a weekly singing group, development of the communal garden and brightening up the area around the building, as well as sporting pursuits like an exercise class and table tennis session.
Janice – who has lived in the building for more than three years – said: “I like to lead a useful life. As you get older that gets harder to do.
“When I moved here there wasn’t a lot on. I’d worked at Ladysbridge Hospital in Banff with people with learning difficulties. I worked in music therapy.
“I know the benefits for people who are physically or mentally disabled of getting together for music or physical exercise.
“That’s what my motive is and I’m still able – thank God!”
Janice has worked with several bodies to organise the activities at Lord Hay’s Court, including Aberdeen City Council, Sport Aberdeen and Aberdeen Sports Village.
The nomination describes Janice’s enthusiasm as “remarkable”. She has been required to fill out multiple forms, send emails and attend meetings to help fellow tenants.
Janice said: “It was a little bit difficult (to start with). I started with the garden and I raised the subject that it might be nice to have flowers instead of just grass. I said I’d ask the council for help and was told “the council won’t do anything to help you”, but they did, they were great.
“Unfortunately, there’s not quite been the number of people I would’ve liked involved in that. But from that my email address and telephone number went to other departments. I started to get contact from them, community services or something, and it all snowballed.”
She added: “The table tennis came from the initial stuff. Aberdeen Table Tennis approached me and asked: would we be interested?
“I always put it to the group and they said it would be good.
“Well, they (Aberdeen Table Tennis) came along and supplied us with a table tennis table.
“We don’t play the rules of table tennis – it’s a knockabout!
“But you hear the laughter, which is so healthy.
“Folk who are stuck in their houses day after day can manage down in the lift.
“We gather round, and drink juice and eat biscuits at the end.”
The Sports Awards will be held at P&J Live on Thursday October 3.
Visit aberdeenssportsawards.co.uk to nominate an individual or club.
Nominations close on August 4.