Anderson's Care Home manager Kathy McGrath-Gunn dedicates MBE to home she has served for 45 years
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ANDERSON'S Care Home manager Kathy McGrath-Gunn said she was in disbelief when hearing she was going to receive an MBE – but insisted the award is for the entire home.
Ms McGrath-Gunn, who will celebrate her 45th anniversary at Anderson's on October 21, received the MBE for services to older people during the coronavirus pandemic.
She has been in charge of the home's 110 staff during the pandemic – and dedicated the award to each and every one of them.
"I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't," she said. "This doesn't happen to people like me.
"I'm just a wee quine from a farm in the middle of nowhere in Glenlivet, with a humble and hard-working background. I found it quite emotional.
"But where would I be without all of the staff? It's them that deserve the award.
"You are only as good as they people you have. And it's not just about care – catering, housekeeping, maintenance, accounts, administration... it's a whole team effort. We can't deliver care without all of these people.
"This MBE is for Anderson's."
Ms McGrath-Gunn said the home's staff were delighted for her, and had a surprise ready when she went into work on Sunday.
She added: "I got a beautiful bouquet of flowers at the home on Sunday and everyone was saying how proud they are. That was really special.
"The residents were so excited, too. That's what it's all about, really.
"I have never seen so many messages of congratulations."
Remembering her humble beginnings, Ms McGrath-Gunn – the cheeriest of characters – allowed herself to get a little emotional.
"I started working here in 1975," she explained. "And there is one woman in particular, named Joan Nicholson, who I remember well.
"We called her Cone. I had a summer job at the home and she phoned my mother when there was a vacancy to ask 'does Kathleen want a job at the home?'
"My mother responded 'Yes, she will be taking the job!'
"And that's how it started.
"Cone sadly passed away with cancer but I think she would be very proud of me."
Former home manager Ben Macdonald was also a big influence on Kathy – who also sent a message to all other home managers across Moray.
She finished: "Every care home in Moray has worked exceedingly hard and we have all done exceedingly well.
"The recognition has to go to every care home manager in Moray, with the stresses we are all under. My heart goes to each and every one of them.
"We are working in worrying and scary times and we can be very proud of how well we have done.
"Let's hope we can continue and come through the other end and continue to support each other."