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Letters / Responding responsibly

It is hard to read of the impending closure of Shetland Youth Information Service (Staff shocked as SYIS funding withdrawn, SN, 28/3/13) and not fear a little for the future direction of Shetland’s “reformed” charitable trust.

Where previously the trust was dominated by one public body – the council, now it is dominated by two – the council and the health board, but is it any more representative or responsive to the actual needs?

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What is missing, as shown by the SYIS decision, is any direct engagement with those people most in need of charitable assistance in Shetland.

Shetland Charitable Trust has a responsibility to Shetland’s youth, particularly those on the margins who may be suffering most from the rapid changes to society brought by the oil wealth, but how is anyone to know it is meeting this responsibility?

It would be wonderful if there could be a user body Shetland Charitable Trust could work with to help it achieve the best use of these funds.

Proposed cuts could then be consulted on and the impact fully considered. What policies are in place to ensure the ethical distribution of Shetland’s charitable funds and how can the vulnerable be protected from kneejerk policy making?

Peter Hamilton
Berlin

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