Royal approval for Sheila’s memoirs

Sheila Ferres is delighted with the reaction to her life story
Sheila Ferres is delighted with the reaction to her life story

Banchory woman Sheila Ferres waited until she was 93 to publish her first book.

But the UK’s longest practicing physiotherapist’s memoirs have been given Royal approval.

I was lucky to have parents who, to my mind, had the most wonderful outlook

Sheila Ferres Author

Prince Charles has described ‘A Life of Giving’ as “delightful”.

Some of the highlights of her life include helping at the first hip replacement operation, the rehabilitation of ex-prisoners of war of the Japanese, the establishment of one of the first clinics for non-whites in South Africa under apartheid.

Sheila, awarded the MBE in 1999 for services to physiotherapy, went on to have her own battle when she contracted polio from a patient at 30.

She established Bennett House in Banchory - named after her family - which is a leading dementia clinic, and also donated £250,000 to Aberdeen University for a scanner.

And today Sheila, whose other great love is painting, remains as active as she can be - still starting each day at 4am.

She gave the Piper an insight to what formed her thinking about others.

She said: “I was lucky to have parents who, to my mind, had the most wonderful outlook.

“They were determined we were not going to be spoiled. Every day we had to tell them what we had done for somebody else. At night we had to say what we had done and that is the whole theme of my autobiography - a life of giving. I am so grateful to my parents for that.”

Sheila added: “There is never a day that someone from some other country rings to see how I am and what I am doing.”

She has give more than £200,000 to charity from painting, explaining she never realised she had a talent for it.

The Queen is now among those who buy her work.

Sheila was particularly delighted to hear that the Prince of Wales had read her life story.

She said: “It was a source of pride to receive a letter from him describing it as ‘delightful’.

“I have had a remarkable life. I seem to be getting so many surprises that I just sort of accept it - this is what’s going on as part of my life.

“People seem to have appreciated all that I have done so much, there seems to be no end to it. They seem to find the book totally fascinating.”

All proceeds from her memoirs will go to her own charity Chart, which covers three of her causes Glen O’ Dee, Forget Me Not and Thursday Group.