We held our 2023 STAR Awards recently at the Apex Hotel in Dundee to celebrate the significant achievements of our colleagues and the amazing people they support across the country.

Almost 70 colleagues from across the country were recognised for either their ten, twenty or thirty years long service, representing a cumulative 980 years of dedication and commitment! Presentations were also made for Colleague of the Year, Team of the Year, Learner of the Year and Fundraiser of the Year. A number of very special Mary Williamson Awards were also presented to the people Cornerstone support by the Lord Provost of Dundee, Bill Campbell.

The Mary Williamson Awards were founded in memory of the late Mary Williamson, who was supported by Cornerstone for over 23 years and left a generous legacy to the charity. Mary enjoyed dressing up, holidays and parties and she was much loved. The awards pay tribute to her zest for life and are designed to recognise the personal goals and achievements of the people Cornerstone support

These goals include;  

  • A personal health challenge or fitness goal 

  • A fundraising event  

  • A training course or employment opportunity  

  • A new craft, hobby or activity  

  • Facing a fear 

  • An act of kindness to others 

The winners, runners up and highly commended for the Mary Williamson Awards 2023 were; 

Shared Lives

  • Winner - Kerryann Meehan (and baby Lily), pictured
  • Runner-up - Duncan Murray  

North Aberdeen and Shire 

  • Winner - Wayne Eddie
  • Runner-up - Rosheen Martin  

South Aberdeen and Shire 

  • Winner - Lindsey Telfer
  • Runner-up - Sheena Marwick 


  • Winner - Jon Wylie-Quinn
  • Runner-up - Shannon Brannigan 

Dundee, Perth, 
Fife and West Lothian

  • Winner - Ryan Cormack, pictured left
  • Runner-up - Michael Norton, pictured right

Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire 

  • Winner - Eric Nicholson
  • Runner-up - James Smith

North Lanarkshire Community Support 

  • Winner - Paige Donnelly
  • Runner-up - Martin Devine 

North Lanarkshire Supported Living

  • Winner - Liam Cairns, pictured middle left
  • Runner-up - Alan Thomson, pictured middle right
  • Highly commended – Claire Sim 

Scottish Borders

  • Winner - Megan Bilsland, pictured middle left
  • Runner-up - Scott Goodfellow, pictured middle right

West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute  

  • Winner - Sophie Taylor, pictured middle right
  • Runner-up - Aspen Bennet, pictured middle left
  • Highly commended – Alan Meehan

Hazel Brown, Chief Executive of Cornerstone commented:  

Huge congratulations go to all our award winners, runners up and those awarded highly commendedWhat a wonderful day, with a very apt, ‘Superhero’ fancy dress theme! It was great to be able to gather everyone together and celebrate the great work that Cornerstone does across the country, providing vital care and support to people with learning disabilities, autism and complex care needs and helping them to live their best possible lives! 

Many thanks too to our sponsor CNR International for their very generous donation and to Chief Executive Barry Duncan for presenting our Fundraiser of the Year award. 

The Fundraiser of the Year award went to the amazing team at Craigewan Court in Peterhead whose recent fundraising effort resulted in the purchase of a minibus to help transport people they support on trips and outings. Their nominator said: 

Craigewan are well known for fundraising in their local community, when they have a prize bingo it is often sold out within the first week! The families of people Cornerstone support and staff all get involved and the people supported make craft items throughout the year to sell. When an event is announced they are inundated with prizes, baked goods, offers of help and local businesses give generously too. The level of dedication to help raise funds for the people at Craigewan Court is inspiring and they deserve recognition for all the hard work they do. 

Five other prestigious awards were also presented: 

  • Colleague of the Year (Operations – North) to Lynette Hay, Support Practitioner from Cornerstone’s Pollaine Service in Aberdeenshire 

  • Colleague of the Year (Operations – South) - Fiona Gregory, Lead Practitioner, Jigsaw Children’s Services in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute, pictured middle left

  • Colleague of the Year (Business Support) - Yvonne Kelly, Culture Lead 

  • Learner of the Year – Julia Smith, Public Fundraising Manager 

  • Team of the Year - Shared Lives


Colleague of the Year (Operations – North) Lynette Hay’s nominator said:

Lynette has worked for Cornerstone for over 20 years and embodies Cornerstone’s values. Having retired in May from her role as support practitioner, she remains in the relief pool and endeavours to help her colleagues and the people we supportShe is highly thought of by her fellow support practitioners and has been described as caring, professional, and kind - not only showing this level of care to the people she supports but also to her team. 

Lynette arranged for one of the people we support's bedroom to be redecorated whilst this person was away on a short break from the service. Lynette went out of her way to make all the arrangements for the decoration and to upgrade the wash basin unit. Lynette even donated the wallpaper as she had some which matched the rest of the decorations. Lynette even came in on her days off and switched shifts to ensure the room was ready and welcoming for when the person we support returned. 

Colleague of the Year (Operations – South) Fiona Gregory’s nominator explained:

Fiona came into her position with our Jigsaw service during a transition period and quickly learned the ropes. She worked as a solo lead practitioner for several months during which she formed relationships with the people we support and their families which resulted in excellent Customer Feedback forms.  Her prior knowledge of working with children with additional needs has been invaluable, and she has overseen purchasing equipment and sensory toys designed for children with autism.

Fiona is a supportive and caring manager of staff. She understands the "bigger picture" of why a person may struggle emotionally and shows great insight into mental health needs. She is fair and rational in her decision making and works to find the best resolution to benefit all. 

Colleague of the Year (Business Support) Yvonne Kelly’s nominator shared: 

Yvonne is one of our Culture Leads at Cornerstone who continuously encourages positivity and kindness. In addition to this role in late 2022, Yvonne became the Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire Interim Branch Leader. She made instant positive relationships with her Service Leads, who were impressed with her skills, hard work ethic and empathy for others. During this period, she spent time finding new and innovative ways of doing things better. She offers support to her colleagues inside and outside of work and consistently provides expert guidance and strategy to Service Leads to take forward to the people we support. Yvonne is very passionate at giving the people we support the best possible care so they can live their best lives possible. 

Learner of the Year, Julia Smith, is Public Fundraising Manager at Cornerstone and achieved her Diploma in Fundraising (with Merit) by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising in April 2023, after 13 months of hard work, commitment, and dedication. Julia's nominator shared:

Not only is Julia's qualification a significant personal achievement, but it also adds strength to Cornerstone’s fundraising team as a whole. Branch colleagues can be assured that best advice and support is available and the people we support can be assured that she always has their best interests at heart.  Even though Julia has a young family with two energetic boys she sacrificed many weekends to complete this qualification, juggling work, school commitments, holidays and more. 

Julia recognises the importance of fundraising and what it can mean to the people we support. Through having this qualification available within the team, Cornerstone's fundraising is strengthened, risk is reduced, and more money can be raised for the people we support, helping them to live the best lives possible! 

Team of the Year - Cornerstone’s Shared Lives team cover eight local authority areas across central Scotland and the Scottish Borders and have been operating for over 23 yearsTheir nominator shared:

Shared Lives contracts have been extended due to the quality of service, financial benefits and outcomes achieved through this model of care. The support given has diversified to include support for adults with learning difficulties, autism or additional support needs, young people transitioning over from foster care as well as two parent and baby arrangements.  The team are passionate about their work reputation and have developed positive relationships with carers, families, and professionals. The team adopts a solution-focused approach to support and empower both the carers and supported people to achieve their goals and ambitions. Everyone is very much consulted and involved in the entire process. 

Congratulations go to all of our amazing 2023 Star Award winners, runners up, highly commended and nominees. You are all stars!