Community / Two new faces at charitable trust

Neil Risk (left) and Jim Nicolson (right).

SHETLAND Charitable Trust (SCT) has appointed two new voluntary trustees – solicitor Neil Risk and retired vet Jim Nicolson.

It completes a recent recruitment process which also saw fisheries scientist Beth Mouat join in May.

The new faces on the £380 million charity start in time to help shape SCT spending plans for the next five years.

Over £9 million is spent each year through its main and small grant scheme to support a wide range of services, including vital funding for 28 voluntary organisations.

The trust said its overall mission is to benefit and improve the quality of life of all people living in Shetland.

Commenting on his new team of trustees, SCT chair Robert Leask said: “We have an impressive array of capable people around the table. Their combined talents will help the charitable trust develop to meet the needs of the community in the coming years as we distribute the earnings from our investments to achieve the best possible outcomes for the community.”


The new trustees replace three who stood down recently – former chair Andrew Cooper, Ian Napier and Ken Harrison.

Risk was born in Glasgow but has lived most of his life in Shetland and stays in Gulberwick. He was director of administration at Shetland Islands Council before returning to private practice as a solicitor.

Currently, he is partner in charge in the Lerwick office of Anderson Strathern.

Risk played a role in the establishment of the new Erik Gray Centre for people with additional support needs and served on the Anderson High School Parent Council during the planning and building of the new school.

He feels he has much to learn about the trust and looks forward to making a contribution. Risk said: “I’m at an age now where I’m starting to look towards retirement and having the time to give something back to the community.

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“I would like to see the trust help with facilities and support to encourage our young people to stay in Shetland rather than moving away.”

Nicolson is from Shetland’s Westside, where he still lives. After training as a vet, he returned to set up practice locally, establishing three branches and employing over 20 people.

He was a keen footballer and sailor and has interests in history, culture and the natural environment.

Nicolson said: “Having established a successful company and raised our family in Shetland, I now have time to contribute to the community. I hope my experience in business and the rural economy will be an asset to the SCT.”

Since forming in 1976 with oil funds, SCT has spent over £350 million improving Shetland community life.

It has funded a wide range of voluntary organisations, museums, the cinema and music venue Mareel, care homes and leisure centres.

The other trustees are vice-chair Ryan Stevenson, Margaret Roberts, Susan Gray, Yvette Hopkins, Ryan Leith, Emma Miller, Aaron Ferguson and Ewen Adamson.

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