Unsung hero is a true Great Scot
Rutherglen’s Grace Lamont didn’t win an award at the recent Great Scot awards - but she reckons it was still the experience of a lifetime.
The 57-year-old was nominated in the prestigious Specsavers’ Community Champion category for her 33 years of work with the Jeely Piece Club in Castlemilk.
Grace, who stays in Spittal, attended a glitzy ceremony earlier this month at Hilton, Glasgow, and even got to meet the mum of pop star Paolo Nutini, who was playing at the show.
She said: “It was a fantastic night, really special.
“There were lots of really interesting people there and some very deserving winners.
“Paolo Nutini was absolutely brilliant, he’s such a great guy, a really nice fellow.
“My son ( River City star, Gary Lamont) knows him to say hello to. Gary had met her before and had written about her saying it would be great to meet your mum, and I just though ‘aye, right’.
“It was such a thrill to meet her. We’ve been promised free fritters for life.
“The Bay City Rollers were playing too, and I used to rock and roll to them when I was young.”
The winners in the Unsung Heroes category was Hamilton-based Ups and Downs, a fun-filled group for children and young adults with Down’s Syndrome.
They got one of the biggest cheers of the night when they took to the stage.
And Grace, who sat at a table with Gary (31) and his River City co-stars, was delighted for them: “I met one of them at the entrance, a wee girl about nine or 10, and she was really nervous but really excited, all glammed up. I was so thrilled for them. “They were worthy winners. “It was just such a thrill to be nominated, I never thought for a minute I would win.
“It was a night I will never forget. The transport for me and my husband, John, was a big white limo, and he pointed out the last time we had been in a limo was 36 years ago when we were married. “I woke up on the Sunday after it with a big smile on my face.”
Grace began attending the Jeely Piece Club when her first child Chris (33) was a baby.
She went on to take son Gary and daughter Gillian (26) to the club and became a volunteer. Her devotion to Jeely Piece and her enthusiasm for its work earned her the role of session worker and she is now employed as head of play services.
She now hopes the nomination will be a boost for the group: “It’s onwards and upwards for us, hopefully it will raise our profile a bit.
“We are still going through our 40th anniversary celebrations, we’ve still got a few things going on.
“I just can’t thank people enough for the votes, best wishes and support. It was such a positive experience.”
Run by our sister title, the Sunday Mail, the Great Scot Awards honour ordinary people whose stories of courage, determination and selflessness make our nation proud.
Since the first ceremony in 1991 more than 200 awards have been handed out to deserving Scots from all walks of life who have achieved the extraordinary.
Cash raised at this year’s awards ceremony will go towards the Sunday Mail Centenary Fund, which aims to raise £1million for 17 of Scotland’s top charities.