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Community / Four new faces at charitable trust

From top left, clockwise: Ryan Stevenson, Aaron Ferguson, Susan Gray, Ewan Adamson.

SHETLAND Charitable Trust (SCT) has welcomed four new trustees.

The new intake brings extensive experience of finance and project management to the trusts, which has funds worth more than £400 million invested on world stock markets.

Income from the investments helps pay for services in care homes, sport, the arts, heritage and the voluntary sector.

Joining for a four-year term are:

  • Susan Gray, head of finance and corporate services at Hjaltland Housing Association
  • Ewen Adamson, who runs his own civil and structural engineering firm CASE Shetland
  • Aaron Ferguson, working remotely in Shetland as an actuary at Lloyds Banking Group. He is a former adviser to pension scheme trustees and their corporate sponsors
  • Ryan Stevenson is contracts manager at marine engineering and boat-building firm Malakoff and a recent trustee of Shetland Arts Development Agency.

The four new faces take SCT up to full strength with 12 independent trustees, filling two existing vacancies as well as those created by departing trustees Jolene Garriock and Alan Ockendon.

The other current trustees are chair Dr Andrew Cooper, Dr Ian Napier, Yvette Hopkins, Margaret Roberts, Robert Leask, Ryan Leith, Ken Harrison and Emma Miller.

Leask was elected vice-chair at a meeting last week after Roberts stood down from the position.

The SCT board consists entirely of volunteer trustees who receive no pay for providing advice and expertise to the trust board and its committees.

Marking the new appointments, chair Dr Cooper said: “Our public recruitment drive went well and we are delighted such good candidates have taken up the challenge.

“They are all keen to pursue the trust’s key aim of working to reduce social inequality and exclusion in Shetland.

“Also, I have to say it is pleasing to see young Shetlanders wanting to put their energy into shaping their trust’s future.”

Stevenson said: “I think the SCT has done a lot for Shetland and has played a significant role in developing the high quality of life that we all benefit from. I’m interested in learning more about how the trust operates and hope I can bring something to the role of trustee.”

Gray said she was thankful for what Shetland has been able to enjoy in return for hosting the oil industry from the late 1970s.

“I’m passionate about Shetland and its future, having made the decision to move home to Shetland to live and work over 30 years ago,” she said.

“As someone who has benefited from the legacy of the oil industry, I feel I should be willing to contribute my time and energy to ensure this continues for the next generation.”

Meanwhile Adamson said he hoped his skills and enthusiasm could be an asset to the trust.

Part of the reason he came forward was his appreciation of Shetland being a “fantastic place to live and work”.

“This fund has been a tremendous power for good over the years,” he said, “and I hope to work with the other trustees for the benefit of our isles. It is a responsibility which I do not take lightly, but I am excited to get involved and serve the community.”

Commenting on his appointment, Ferguson said: “I’m very glad to have this opportunity to contribute to the local community and to work to maintain the benefits that the trust delivers.”

Since it was formed in 1976 with money from the oil industry, the trust has spent around £340 million on the Shetland community.

Among the most visible achievements from its funding are the network of leisure centres, rural care homes, Shetland Museum and Archives and the music venue and cinema Mareel.