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Community / New chairperson for COPE

LOCAL social enterprise COPE Ltd has elected Neil Jamieson as its new chairperson.

Incumbent chairperson John Tait is standing down after five years in the position.

Directors of the six-strong board said they were extremely grateful for the hard work, dedication and leadership Tait has put into the organisation over the years.

New chairperson Neil Jamieson.

He is to remain on the board as joint vice-chair alongside fellow director Jacqui Birnie.

Jamieson is a long-serving member of the board, who has previously served in the role.

One of his first tasks as chairperson will be to launch a nationwide recruitment drive to find a replacement for outgoing chief executive Ingrid Webb.

“COPE has long been an organisation that is close to Shetland’s heart, but we really need people to remember what we do and why it’s so very important, now more than ever,” he said.

“We look forward to getting a new CEO in place and building on the great successes we have already achieved.”

Debbie Main also joined the senior management team back in May as the new finance manager, while Derek Hart has been recruited to a one-year post as the business manager for the Home Co and Garden Co ventures.

Osla Jamwal-Fraser has also joined the team as their new marketing manager.

Meanwhile COPE’s soap company shop received a visit from Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick today (Wednesday).

It works with adults with learning disabilities to produce various handmade products, including skincare and soaps.

The SNP MSP said: “It was a joy to see a focus on ability and an example of an inclusive work environment; where people thrive and create wonderful local products, free of stigma and discrimination.

“It is clear their creations are all very much inspired by the abundance of beauty and scenery that the Shetland Islands have to offer.

“I loved hearing about the team’s ambitions for the future and am ready to help them in any way I can.”

Emma Roddick (third from right) made a visit to the soap company earlier.