Sunday, 21 April 2024
Sunday, 21 April 2024

Dancing gran, 84, raises £10k for north-east charity

An 84-year-old grandmother has raised more than £10,000 for a north-east charity by leading keep fit dance sessions.

Dot Bremner, who is partially sighted and suffers from hearing loss, raised the money for North East Sensory Services (NESS) over the past five years.

The grandmother-of-four, from Elgin, travels almost 100 miles a week to teach the over 60s and people with learning difficulties and mobility issues.

Dot works with local health services and visits Be Active Life Long (BALL) and Sing Exercise and Tea (SET) groups across Moray. The retired administration worker has been raising funds for NESS through her ‘dancercise’ classes since April 2018.

She has now hit a milestone after donating a total of £10,010 to the charity, which helped with her visual and hearing impairments.

Dot only became a fitness instructor at the age of 75 when she returned to education.
She is a lifelong dancer and choreographs her own routines including the Drunken Cowboy’s Pub Crawl, the Cheating Charleston, and the Football Hooligans Dance.

During Covid restrictions, Dot entertained people from around the world with an online series of videos filmed in her back garden. NESS supports thousands of people with visual and hearing impairments across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Moray and Angus.

The charity’s main objective is to help people with sight or hearing loss live as independently as possible. This includes social work, employment support, rehabilitation, support for young people, social and activity groups for the elderly, equipment to support daily living, British Sign Language services, lipreading classes, and many more services.

In Dot’s case, NESS trained her in the use of a ‘long cane’ and helped with fitting a vibrating smoke alarm under her pillow and special lighting in her home.

Dot, who lives with her 95-year-old husband Jim, said:

“I’m over the moon with what we have achieved with the dancercise classes and really pleased to have raised so much money.

“NESS has given me invaluable support and I’m glad I’ve been able to give something back. I’m doing two classes a week and find it immensely rewarding.

“I’ve always danced. I think I was dancing in the pram. I’ve tried all kinds. Highland, ballet, Scottish country, Latin American – even pole dancing at one stage.

“It gives me a repertoire to work on and it’s fun coming up with the routines. People don’t realise they are exercising when they are enjoying themselves.

“I’ll never stop. It’s vital to keep ourselves going and stay active as long as we can because that’s what makes life fun.”

Graham Findlay, chief executive of NESS, said:

“Dot is an incredible lady, not only for her fundraising achievements but for her zest for life to help keep others active.

“We are extremely grateful for all the money she has raised, which has helped our work in supporting people of all ages with sensory loss or impairment to live as independent a life as possible.

“Our sincere thanks go to Dot and all the members of the Moray BALL and SET Groups.”

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