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Community / Twenty five years and counting for COPE Ltd

COPE's present directors get ready for the 25 year celebration. From left to right: Amy Gair vice chair, Neil Jamieson chairman, John Tait, Jacqui Birnie Vice Chair, Mandy Barclay and Martha Nicolson. Photo: Dave Donaldson

LOCAL social enterprise COPE Ltd celebrated its 25th anniversary today (Saturday) with an event in Lerwick’s Gilbertson Park.

Inside the games hall were stalls, teas and homebakes, whilst outside on the grass were activities like games.

Ability Shetland also had some of its accessible bikes available to be pedalled around the Gilbertson Park track.

There was also a 25-mile relay of walking, cycling and running, while a 25-metre bunting made up of contributions from the community was also on display.

COPE Ltd is a social enterprise and charity which provides employment and skills development for adults with learning disabilities or autism.

Steven Coutts outside the Shetland Home Co. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

Speaking at the event, COPE Ltd’s chief executive officer Steven Coutts said it was a “big day” for the team.

“COPE wouldn’t be what it is without the support of the Shetland community,” he said.

“The really heartening thing here today is so many of the community has turned out to support us.

“It’s been a real fun day – the weather has been nice to us, which has been helpful as we’ve done our 25 mile relay.”

Last month it was announced that COPE Ltd had been awarded nearly £700,000 in Scottish Government funding to expand its Home Co centre.

Coutts said “here’s to another 25 years” of COPE – adding that there is more that the social enterprise can do.

“Next on the to-do list will be the Home Co extension,” he said. “That’s just responding to what the community needs are.”

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