Our annual Star Awards recently celebrated the significant achievements of the people we support and our colleagues across the country. The award ceremony was kindly sponsored by CNR International.

Over 80 colleagues were presented with either their ten, twenty or twenty-five year-long service awards, representing a cumulative 1,135 years of loyal service to Cornerstone! Ten of our Modern Apprenticeship ‘Class of 2022’ graduates were also recognised for achieving their Modern Apprenticeship qualification and a number of very special Mary Williamson Awards were presented to the people we support.

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 was much loved and enjoyed dressing up, holidays and parties. The awards pay tribute to her zest for life and are designed to recognise the personal goals and achievements of the people we support. These goals could include;

• Personal health challenges or fitness goals
• Fundraising activities
• Training courses or employment opportunities
• New crafts, hobbies or activities
• Facing fears
• Building friendships

The winners, runners up and highly commended for the Mary Williamson Awards 2022 were:

North Aberdeen and Shire
Winner - Laura Hamilton

South Aberdeen and Shire
Winner - Tamara Batten
Runner up - Vanessa Finch

Winner - Mary Bleakley
Runner up - Robbie Mark

Dundee, Perth, Fife and West Lothian
Winner - Gemma Britten
Runner up - Heather McNicoll
Highly Commended - Elaine Thomson

Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire
Winner - Ailsa Davison

Winner - Adrian Tilbury
Runner up - John Williamson

North Lanarkshire Community Support
Winner - Ethan Cunningham
Runner up - Deborah Hudson
Highly Commended - Paul Oakes

North Lanarkshire Supported Living
Winner - Aynsleigh Lewis

Scottish Borders
Winner - Lisa Nelson
Runner up - James Lyall

West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute
Winner - Amy McGrandles
Runner up - Cameron Cree

Hazel Brown, Chief Executive of Cornerstone commented:

“Huge congratulations go to all our award winners, runners up and those awarded highly commended. What a wonderful day! It was great to be able to gather everyone together again and celebrate the fantastic 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 Barry Duncan, Managing Director & Vice President Finance for presenting our Fundraiser of the Year award.”

The Fundraiser of the Year award went to the brilliant Beth McPhee from Lanarkshire who, through her amazing baking skills, singlehandedly managed to raise a significant amount of money for Cornerstone’s North Lanarkshire Community Support branch where her grandad, Neil was supported. She wanted to do something to say thank you to Cornerstone, so Beth started selling her cakes and sweet treats. She launched her ‘Fudge Factory’ when she was in her fifth year of high school—right in the middle of studying for her exams and attending school online during lockdown! Beth became a master of her craft, baking batches of fudge, cupcakes and afternoon tea boxes. She has also created special bakes for Halloween, and birthday parties, and her fundraising efforts were even noticed by the Daily Record who wrote an article about her in November 2021!

Two other awards were also presented:


Colleague of the Year went to Maxine Thomson from Cornerstone’s service at Crudenlea in Stonehaven.

Maxine’s nominator shared: “Maxine is a Support Practitioner in Crudenlea who always works tirelessly to give the people she supports an amazing life. During various lockdowns and restrictions throughout COVID Maxine always went above and beyond for the people we support—she was responsible for organising parties and activities. These included creating a ‘National days’ calendar to ensure there was a different themed activity every day to give the people we support a fun and educational experience. Maxine also hosts ‘decade’ parties where everyone dresses up and enjoys food, music and activities from the chosen decade. Maxine’s nature is caring and compassionate. She excels in finding the right way to help support individuals, offering a truly person-centred approach to their care.”

Team of the Year was awarded to the Ally Williamson Team at Baxter View in Dumbarton.

The Ally Williamson team were nominated for “continuously going above and beyond to support Ally. ”They worked together to come up with solutions that best support Ally, trying new ideas every few weeks until they found what worked best for him. He is now a lot happier, talkative —expressing to staff how he is feeling—and is often heard laughing. Ally’s progress was greatly helped by the team’s positivity and determination—never giving up even when they came up with ideas that didn’t work. They all have a good and trusting relationship with Ally as modelled by the fantastic relationship the team have with each other.”

Congratulations to all our award winners!

Check out some photos from the event on our Facebook!

If you would like to read more news from across Cornerstone you can click here.