Big cash boost for COPE

Some of the COPE participants working at the Shetland Soap Company. Photo: Rosalind Griffiths

Some of the COPE participants working at the Shetland Soap Company. Photo: Rosalind Griffiths

Social firm COPE Ltd has been awarded a financial boost of £112,312 from the Scottish government’s Enterprise Ready Fund.

COPE runs a variety of businesses providing employment and skills development for adults with disabilities, and the funding will enable the company to take on more people, refurbish some premises and take on a temporary member of staff.

The organisation provides around 120 skills development sessions and 43 supported business sessions every week for adults with mental or physical disabilities. Thanks to the extra funding, between 10 and 15 additional placements will be available. These placements help participants to move on to secure employment within other local businesses within the islands.

COPE Ltd has 32 full-time staff, three part-time staff, one sessional worker and two volunteers. It will now recruit a temporary member of staff with a view to helping the organisation to achieve an award endorsed by the Charity Commission.

In addition, the cash will allow the business to make a number of improvements to its premises.

COPE general manager Ingrid Webb said: “We are delighted that we have been awarded funding through the Enterprise Ready Fund, as it will assist us to fill long term plans in working towards sustainability and developing organisational excellence throughout our social enterprise.

“Funding will allow us to introduce improvements to the physical structures of our business units, while implementing quality frameworks for staff and participants. Most importantly the funding will allow COPE Ltd to provide formal recognition of each participant’s employment skill development and therefore assist individuals’ longer term employability prospects and within the local community.

“Being able to move ahead confidently with these improvements is key to underpinning COPE Ltd’s future and longer term sustainability. We are delighted to have been successful in attracting this funding to our company.”

The funding is part of £2.1 million in grants being distributed to 28 voluntary organisations across Scotland to help them deliver services to vulnerable people.

Finance secretary John Swinney congratulated the organisations, and said: “Each and every one of the recipients are working in their own unique way to become more self-sufficient but more importantly for me, they are creating change at a local level.”

The fund is being delivered by a group of organisations led by Foundation Scotland, whose chief executive Giles Ruck said:

“We have been impressed with the wide range and quality of applications, which showcase the innovative ways organisations plan to use their awards to make a real difference to the people and communities they serve.”

The Enterprise Ready Fund will distribute £6 million during 2013 to 2015 to help maintain and develop enterprising voluntary sector organisations.

About Rosalind Griffiths

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