COPE Ltd. Unveils New Van and Welfare Facilities

Heyleigh Wood, Steve Naulls, Martyn Bruce, Nikki Donaldson, Shaun Williamson, Steven Coutts, Derek Hart, Alison Moar, Osla Jamwal-Fraser, Malcolm Kelly and Kellie Naulls with the new Shetland Home Co van.The new Shetland Home Co van can be seen out and about all over mainland Shetland in its eye-catching new livery by the local company, Maskot. The Home Co will use the van to offer a collection service for those wishing to donate large items of furniture and can also arrange to deliver items purchased from their Revolve certified second-hand store. One of their aims is to offer easy access to affordable, quality second-hand homeware and electricals across the isles. They save as much as possible from landfill through both reuse and recycling.

Angus Morrison, van driver and one of COPE’s supported employees, said “It’s great to have the new van. It’s much better and more efficient than the one we used to have. It means we can help a lot more folk who need to have a clear out or to get the furniture they need.”

The other project covered by the grant is a new portacabin within the Shetland Garden Co business area, which provides a much-needed welfare hub and toilet facilities for staff and participants working in COPE’s garden centre. Given the challenging climate here, a dedicated indoor space will be a great benefit to the business unit.

Aiden Ward has been coming to COPE for skills development sessions for several years and he said, “I really enjoy working in the Garden but it’s so much better now that we have a warm, dry place to get changed and take our breaks.”

Derek Hart, business manager for both the Home and Garden areas of COPE, said “It’s great to have the new van on the road. It is a key part of how we connect with the local community to provide the services we offer. The new garden facilities are a vast improvement. The work COPE does is very much about the social connections that are part of everyone’s working life, so having a clean, dry space to come into in the Garden Co was absolutely necessary.”

Derek thanked the Coastal Communities Fund for backing the projects, Northlink Ferries for transporting the van to Shetland free of charge, and the local contractors involved, such as Irvine contractors, Robertson & Peterson, S. Malcolmson Plant Ltd. and Maskot. “It’s amazing. We so often find the companies we work with going above and beyond. We’re really grateful for that generosity and support. It is crucial part of what keeps COPE going.”

Gina Leslie, Aiden Ward and Heyleigh Wood in the new Shetland Garden Co staff facilities.