Celebrating the real difference CrossReach makes to real people's lives

Ohana – means family, and in the context of the CrossReach Employee Awards, family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. 

The Awards were a moment to pause and for the Corporate Management Team to say thank you to the employees - the heart and soul of all that CrossReach aspires to be - and what a moment it was.

With feasts of delicious cakes, mocktails and favourite snacks, and bedecked in colourful leis, flowers and clothing, employees the length and the breadth of Scotland joined together via live link to celebrate and to recognise the many and various achievements of the CrossReach Team:  achievements in learning and development; in going the extra mile to support others; in innovating and excellent service; in loyalty and commitment to the organisation, and all this despite the COVID-19 challenges of the past 20 months.

Opened by Viv Dickenson, CEO, we were joined by special guests Sarah Wood, vice convenor of the CrossReach Board of Trustees who formally opened the celebration with prayer; The Right Honourable Jim Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly of The Church of Scotland who delivered the main address and event MC Brian Taylor, political editor and columnist for The Herald

Thanking the whole workforce - each and every one in CrossReach for the efforts they make that improve lives across the country, Brian introduced the segment recognising 47 people for remarkable long service with the organisation (20, 30 and 40 years).  Noting this is extremely rare, he gave special mention to Glen Brady (Morlich House) and Mary Davidson (Cumnor Hall), each for their 40 years of service.

With recognition that social care is more than a job and that it is a calling, 140 qualifications achieved by staff between 2019 and 2021 (all the more remarkable as they were achieved during the significant challenges of the pandemic) were celebrated.

The smiles and achievement celebrations were paused by the lighting of a candle and the reading of a short poem by Claire Hay, Director of HR&OD, as those who had died in service were remembered by name.

After a joke about the special non-moderatorial attire he was wearing (his Lei etc) the Rt Hon Lord Wallace addressed the event attendees, remarking on his own experience of meeting people receiving truly person-centred services from CrossReach and the visible difference this makes.

Lord Wallace said that there was a common theme with each visit, and that was the impact and trials of COVID-19 – different in each service’s setting but all very challenging. Despite this, he noted there was a unity in the clear will and determination to see the service delivery continue through safe innovation.  He noted he was going to say that staff have gone beyond the ‘call of duty’ but chose not to as the word ‘duty’ does not capture the love, compassion and faithful commitment to ensure the high quality of service continues to be provided in the service of others and in Christ’s Kingdom.

Following this, the winners of the special awards were announced, after short videos detailing why each person and/or team were nominated were played:

Volunteer of the Year:
Joint winners – Elizabeth Dalgliesh (Daisy Chain)  Recovery Peer Voluntary Team (CRRS)

Ian Manson Award for Excellence:
Michelle Howard (Erskine Campus)

Adult Learner of the Year:
Miriam Rana (Daisy Chain)

Employee of the Year Adult Care Services:
Heather Peberdy (Morven Day Services)

Employee of the Year Children and Family Services:
Caroline Kerr (Daisy Chain)

Employee of the Year Corporate Services:
David MacPherson (Charis House)

Employee of the Year Older People Services:
Donna Shields (Williamwood House)

Awards were presented to the winners on location, by senior staff.

Special thank you messages from Jason Leitch and Elaine McKenzie Ellis were gratefully appreciated and received.

The vote of thanks was given by Brian before The Moderator thanked him for being an outstanding MC of the event, before he closing in prayer.

Our thanks go to everyone who made this incredible event so special, and in particular to Brian Taylor and Lord Wallace.

The whole event will be available to view soon.

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