Daughter holds medal ceremony at Johnstone Care Home so mother Cathy Cusack could be part of her special day Daughter holds medal ceremony at Johnstone Care Home so mother Cathy Cusack could be part of her special day
A proud daughter chose to receive a prestigious award at a Johnstone Care Home so she could share the moment with her mother. Colette... Daughter holds medal ceremony at Johnstone Care Home so mother Cathy Cusack could be part of her special day

A proud daughter chose to receive a prestigious award at a Johnstone Care Home so she could share the moment with her mother.

Colette Cunningham, 50 was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to business and Public Service in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

However, rather than opting for the glitz and glamour of an awards ceremony, Colette chose to have her award presented to her at Cochrane Care Home on Quarrelton Road so that her mum, Cathy Cusack, who has dementia, could be part of the day.

On Sunday, Cochrane held a special ceremony which was attended by Colette’s family and friends and Renfrewshire’s Lord Lieutenant, Guy Clark, who presented the award.


Photo: Colette Cunninghham MEB receives her medal from Guy Clark, the Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire
Photo Credit: Lainey Begley

Colette, a mother of two, is the Director of Scottish North American Business Council and an Events Manager with CBI Scotland.

In June she celebrated 30 years with CBI. During her tenure she has organised large trans-Atlantic conferences in both the UK and America.

Colette said: “To have mum here is just amazing – because without her I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and my kids wouldn’t be who they are. She is an awesome mum and grandmother and I am sure my brother, kids and nephews would agree.”


Colette Cunningham (third from the right) was joined by family and friends including her mother, Cathy (centre)
Photo Credit: Lainey Begley

Catherine Cusack, who is known as Cathy, even by her grandkids, has been a resident at Cochrane since March.

Cathy, 84 was a bookkeeper but left her career to bring up her children, working in a local pub so she could be at home with them.

Colette says her mum always found time to help her children. Cathy could do all sorts of calculations in her head in seconds and loved helping her children with their homework.

Colette said: “Mum was the centre of our world – no problems were ever too much, she helped us as much as she could and even now with her having dementia we still love being with her and try to make sure we are there every day if we can.”

In her role, Colette has been responsible for arranging the CBI Scotland Flagship event annual dinner and annual Lunches, attended by thousands of businesses since 1998.

She added: “I have organised events for every prime minister since 1998 and Chancellor of Exchequer and USA Ambassadors to the Court of St James’s over the last 30 years.”

Despite her hard work and success for the nonprofit organisation, Colette still couldn’t believe it when she found out about the nomination.


Photo: Cathy chats with Renfrewshire’s Lord Lieutenant, Guy Clark
Photo Credit: Lainey Begley

She said: “It was so surreal. It felt amazing that someone appreciated all the work I have done over the years and amount of money I have raised to allow all those events to happen.”

Donna Neill, Home Manager at Cochrane said: “Silverline prides itself in offering peace of mind for our residents and their families – we want to make our homes feel like their ‘home away from home’. So, when Colette asked to have the presentation here, we were delighted to do our best to help.

“We congratulate Colette again on receiving this prestigious award and hope that she, Cathy and all their family and friends, had a lovely afternoon with us.”

Cochrane Care Home is one of eight care Homes operated by Silverline Care. Since 2014, Silverline has built a reputation as a top class care provider for the elderly.