The Cornerstone Star Awards were recently held at the Norwood Hall in Aberdeen, which saw staff and volunteers recognised in a variety of categories and presented with awards by guests including, Frank Doran MP, Councilor Fraser Forsyth and Steve McGregor of CNR International, who kindly sponsored the event.
Our employees and volunteers play a critical role in making a difference to the lives of the people we support, and the event today gave Cornerstone the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the excellent work they do across Scotland every day.
We had over 90 nominations across the different categories and the winners were as follows:
Individual for Business Support - Debbie Masson
Debbie was nominated twice, being called a role model and a ‘heroine' of the team. She has a wealth of knowledge across many discipines and has played a key role in leading the organisation to our Recognised for Excellence award.
Individual for Operations - Diane Millican
Diane runs our Moray Children's service and has quickly adapted from her work as a support worker. Her attitude is fully reflective of Cornerstone's values and aims and has shown innovation with all the extra work she undertook to raise the profile of this new service throughout Moray.
Supporter Award - Kirk Johnstone
Kirk wrote and directed Cornerstone's first ever pantomime "The Guardians of Christmas", this was performed by North Lanarkshire staff and the people we support at Christmas in 2011 and was enormously popular raising over £1000 for Cornerstone.
Team Award - Sherwood Place staff team
The team received two nominations and were recognised for their work on turning the service around since taking over from another provider in 2011. They have vastly improved social activities for the people they support organsing a film club to accommodate one of the residents who has autism and was unable to cope with the noise and 'busy-ness' of a mainstream cinema complex. The film club has been opened up to other people with disabilities living in the area who also found going to the cinema distressing for one reason or another. The staff team have also purchased a hot tub for the residents who enjoy being in water.
Families Award - Quebec Place
Two families nominated this team for a star award. One of the parents said - My son Graham has been supported by Christine Carney and her team at Quebec Place for nearly 5 years, and in that time I've seen him grow up, become more confident and happy, the staff really are like a family to him and I. My friends who have known him all his life see such a big difference in him and he is living a much fuller more active life.
Volunteer Award - Yasmeen Dean
Yasmeen volunteers with our North Lanarkshire art group. The group has been through a time of change and it's future was uncertain however Yasmeen has turned it around, working hard to ensure the people we support have a wide variety of interesting and stimulating activities to do.
Special Recognition - Elaine Thomson
Elaine Thomson has given countless hours of her time to Cornerstone; steering the organisation through a period of rapid change and acting as an ambassador for Cornerstone's work across Scotland. She has been volunteering with Cornerstone for almost 12 years, serving the last 7 years as the Chair of our Board of Directors a position she is stepping down from at our AGM in October, although we are delighted that she is to remain on the Board.
Inclusion Champion- Carol Wright
Carol has worked in the Shortbreaks Service for almost 10 years and is an excellent ambassador for Cornerstone showing a huge commitment to individuals, families and carers. Her common sense, calm and reflective manner mean that she never shy's away from a challenge and can be trusted to offer support that truly enables not only the people we support but also staff members who we have seen grow in confidence and competence under her influence.
CNR International Award for Innovation - Lynn Jolly
Lynn is passionate about developing Cornerstone's work in the area of Community Justice and in ensuring that appropriate support is available to people with learning disabilities who have come into contact with the Criminal Justice system. She has worked extensively with the fundraising team to secure almost £870k of funding for an innovative pilot project called ‘Positive Tracks' aimed at reducing the incidence of re-offending amongst people with learning disabilities on release from short term prison sentences.
Going for Gold
Every year all Cornerstone services are subjected to an internal quality appraisal process as part of our commitment to continuous improvement. Every year, during the course of this process we find services across Scotland who not only reach the ‘very good' standard but who perform at such high a level we consider them worthy of a Gold star. The three winning Going for Gold services this year are:
Springhill Gardens, Dundee
The service has been consistently providing high quality care and support to the three individuals who reside there for a number of years. Effective leadership coupled with consistent and positive support from a harmonious staff team have contributed to Springhill having a warm and welcoming atmosphere which has led to the residents feeling valued and well supported.
Shared Lives, West of Scotland
Our Shared Lives service enables people requiring support to live in their community without having to live alone. Our carers support and include the person in their family home and community life, providing a home for them which often leads to that individual naturally becoming a permanent part of a supportive family.
Our service has been operating across the West of Scotland for more than 10 years and is recognised by local authorities not only as a cost effective way of providing support but also enabling a quality of life and achievement of personal outcomes probably greater than in many other services.
Kyd Drive, Moray
Home to two men with complex support needs, the team under the leadership of Lorraine and Christine really pull together and provide a consistent level of very high quality support. The service is known in the local area for hosting themed evenings, and the team recently undertook a lot of fundraising and managed to raise the funds to purchase a very expensive but specialist bed to enhance the comfort and quality of life of one the gentlemen they support.
Well done to all our staff and volunteers, you should all be very proud of the work you do every day to enable the people we support to enjoy a valued life.