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Letters / Where is the charitable trust?

It is heartening to see the Shetland Partnership set such laudable goals (Partnership plan a platform for innovation; SN, 04/09/2018). Shetland News also does the community a service with the reminder that Shetland Charitable Trust is a member of the public planning partnership.

However, when it comes to innovation and community partnership it should perhaps be remembered that Shetland Charitable Trust has previously been criticised by the SIC’s convenor as disengaged (Trust must “actively support” partner agencies; SN, 30/06/2016).

The culture of the organisation has also been criticised, with its engagement with the voluntary sector characterised as patronising and paternalistic by former Citizen’s Advice Bureau manager, Les Irving. Perhaps this explains why Shetland Charitable Trust was missing from partnership organisations listed in the press release.

Has there been any update regarding Shetland Charitable Trust’s capacity to innovate and work in genuine partnership with the community it serves?

If not it still clearly require fundamental restructuring and further fresh faces onboard capable of reimagining what partnership and community engagement should actually mean.

Democratic selection of trustees has been suggested as a means of promoting partnership, innovation and community engagement. The notion has received support from the council and Shetland’s MSP but as of yet the trust has not been able to put forwards any arguments against.

Peter Hamilton