Age Peterhead celebrates 50 dedicated years

Age Peterhead chair, Joyce Clark with Carole Anderson, community development officer from Age Scotland, and guest speaker for the event, Dr. Fiona-Jane Brown.
Age Peterhead chair, Joyce Clark with Carole Anderson, community development officer from Age Scotland, and guest speaker for the event, Dr. Fiona-Jane Brown.

Age Peterhead celebrated its 50th birthday with a special party at the town’s football club recently.

Specially invited guests were treated to a delicious lunch to mark the occasion, with guest speaker for the event, local historian Dr Fiona Jane Brown.

Members enjoyed a slice of celebratory cake at the 50th birthday event.

Members enjoyed a slice of celebratory cake at the 50th birthday event.

Also present, was Carole Anderson, community development officer with Age Scotland, the umbrella organisation. Carole brought a card with congratulations from the head office in Edinburgh.

She said they didn’t know of any other organisation in Scotland which had contributed to help the elderly local population for 50 years and was pleased to help fund this special milestone.

A host of raffles were on sale as the committee continued its fundraising efforts.

Welcoming the guests Joyce Clark, Age Peterhead chair, said: “ Our world is changing at an ever-increasing pace and our present volunteers are coming to terms with new technology and legislation which will be a challenge.

“But hopefully we will continue onward and upward to our next 50 years.

“Today we look at how far we have come and remember those who made a contribution over the years, like the legacies from farmer John Robertson and bank manager Bill Mcdonald - they enabled us to buy the caravans we have at present.

“Walter Allan donated our office furniture and an office at the Masonic Club was our base for many years.

“All of you here, and those no longer with us, sitters, drivers, escorts, representatives of local organisations, churches and businesses too numerous to mention, are all noted in our minutes.

“Citizens of Peterhead and district have shown true community spirit of able people helping their less able counterparts and long may we continue to do so,” she added.

Founded in 1967, the organisation quickly became involved in the town’s commmunity life. In the early years Peterhead Academy pupils helped with visiting old people and a luncheon club was started in 1971, serving 1,900 lunches per year at its height.

The first minibus was purchased in 1979 and in 1980 the first caravan appeared on the scene.

In the early 1990s a sitter service was started under the able leadership of Jean Thom MBE, one of the group’s longest serving volunteers who retired in 2014.

The Peterhead group was named ‘Group of the Year’ in 2003 by Age Scotland in Edinburgh, being congratulated on the numerous ways it helpd the elderly.

For many years until 2005 it organised the highlight of the year for u to 100 residents from care homes and sheltered housing - spending an evening Christmas shopping courtesy of Woolworths, supplying tea/homebakes and a present from Santa. The local Scouts and Guides attended to help those less able.

Several people have occupied the chair over the decades, driving the organisation forward, including Jeannie Lamb, Charlie Kelman, Ian Buchanan and James Brown.

In recent years, as changing economic conditions and legal requirements took effect, the organisation has felt the need to adapt to new circumstances and with that in mind has changed its legal status to that of a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, with its name changed to Age Peterhead.

Under the chairmanship of Joyce Clark, the committee continues at its Thistle Street premises to operate two residential caravans at Fochabers, a 12-seater minibus, a sitter/befriending service and an information centre at the office.

These services are still appreciated by the public in the area and there is still a need for additional volunteers to help the existing team to maintain and expend these services.