Blanche Nicolson, MBE
Last updated: 11.16am, Tuesday 5th January 2016
Our very own Blanche Nicolson was awarded and MBE in the New Year Honours list! We are delighted (and very proud!) that her lifelong commitment to people with learning difficulties and their families has been recognised in this way.
Blanche was just 14 when Hansel was founded by her parents, Isobel and Tom Murdoch, in 1963. She remained close to Hansel in the ensuing years, joining the Board of Governors in 1981, and taking on the lead care management role in 1987. Sharing much of her life with her sister Lindy who lived with Down’s syndrome resulted in a depth of understanding of the challenges often faced by people living with a learning difficulty. She has been instrumental in shaping the development of care and support in Ayrshire, and championing the integration of people living with learning difficulties in the communities in which they choose to live. In 2014 Blanche received the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award, becoming the first Ayrshire citizen to receive this global recognition.
Commenting on the announcement Blanche said, “I am completely overwhelmed. To receive such an award alongside so many extraordinary people is just quite unbelievable. With my sister, Lindy, and my parents’ commitment to Hansel’s early years, working with people with learning difficulties has been a huge part of my life and what a joy it has been. I am truly touched to be recognised in this way.”