New chief for leading islands social enterprise

He’s a well known figure in the community

A leading charity and social enterprise has appointed a new chief executive.

Shetland-based Cope Ltd announced the appointment of Steven Coutts as its new CEO, following a recruitment campaign over the last few months of 2021.

Steven Coutts

A well-known figure in the local community, Steven is dedicated to public service, serving as an elected councillor for almost 10 years, with the last four as Shetland Islands Council’s leader. Initially undertaking a phased start, Steven will take up the role full time in the spring.

Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, Cope has continued to operate all four of its successful business units.

The organisation provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities and sells a range of goods and services to individuals, local authorities and private businesses.

Cope started back in 1998 with its kitchen department and over the years has grown and developed into the registered charity and social enterprise it is today.

It currently offers 100 skills development sessions weekly to adults with learning disabilities or autism. It also offers various supported employment opportunities across its four business units: Shetland Kitchen Co, Shetland Garden Co, Shetland Home Co and Shetland Soap Company.

It is keen to ensure Cope continues to provide the skills development placements and inclusive opportunities required within the community for many years to come and also hopes to further develop supportive work environments, free from stigma and discrimination, throughout Shetland.

Neil Jamieson, chair of Cope, said: “We are delighted to have Steven join us as our new CEO. His leadership skills and extensive business experience will be key to support us moving forwards sustainably and to ensure we continue to provide the access to inclusive opportunities that Shetland requires for years to come.”

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He added, “Steven’s experience will help us maintain and develop strong ties with local and national stakeholders whilst also developing a vibrant future that ensures more choice of roles for current and future participants”.

Steven Coutts said: “I am delighted to be joining Cope. I am really looking forward to working with the board, staff, participants, and stakeholders to build on the real strengths of Cope and further its social aims. Like many organisations, there are still challenges due to the pandemic, and a degree of stability will be required in the short term. There are significant opportunities out there for the future and working together we will see Cope and the individuals we support flourish and thrive.”


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