A 71-YEAR-old woman who devotes her free time to tending a castle's gardens is the latest winner of a volunteering award which was launched by David Cameron.

Jean Jolly continues to volunteer at Castle Fraser near Kemnay in Aberdeenshire despite undergoing knee replacement surgery.

Her work ensures that they are blooming and that visitors receive a warm welcome.

Loading article content

Jean has received a Point of Light award, which is given by the Prime Minister, for outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

Each day someone across the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

The new award has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in America, which was established by former President George W Bush.

It has since recognised over 5000 people and has the support of President Barack Obama.

Mrs Jolly said: "I was very surprised to hear the news and I'm very grateful for the Award and see it as recognition of the contribution made to the work of the National Trust for Scotland by its many volunteers, especially, in this case, to those who help in its gardens."

Her local MP, Sir Robert Smith MP said: "I am pleased to see the recognition being given to Miss Jolly for her efforts in keeping Scotland's heritage alive."

Not content with nurturing her plants, Jean also sees to it that her colleagues - including the castle cat - are well looked after.