Un­sung hero is a true Great Scot

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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.

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