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Community / New charitable trust chairperson to be appointed next week

Dr Andrew Cooper has been at the helm of Shetland Charitable Trust. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

SHETLAND Charitable Trust will appoint its new chairperson next week.

It was announced last month that current chair Dr Andrew Cooper would be standing down after completing his latest four-year term with the charity.

A new chairperson will be elected from among existing trustees when they meet next Thursday.

Dr Cooper has spent four years as the chair, and eight as a trustee.

When he started in 2015, trust funds were worth £207 million – now they stand at £374 million.

During that period the trust has spent £99 million helping to improve quality of life in Shetland, and also decided not to pursue the potential for community shareholding in the Viking wind farm.

Charitable trust chief executive Ann Black said: “It has been a genuine privilege working with Dr Cooper – for the staff and, I’m sure, for the trustees as well.

“He has proven extremely capable and a tremendous asset to the trust.”

During Dr Cooper’s period in office, the trust achieved its aim of returning its funds and its spending to a sustainable financial footing.

In 2021 this stability meant the charitable trust was able to double the number of organisations receiving grant aid.

Last year £8.6 million was paid out to 32 local charities on top of a round of small grants.

A new strategic plan agreed during Dr Cooper’s tenure also placed more emphasis on tackling inequality and promoting social inclusion.

The retired medical GP also presided over the trust’s gift of £500,000 to the community appeal to buy an MRI scanner for Shetland.

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