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I noticed that COPE’s latest accounts (2015) are on the Companies House website.




I see that the number of participants has dropped from 31 last year (2014) to 24 this year - bear in mind that there were 50 participants in 2013.

Management increased from 3 to 4, ( not sure why as there seems to be a lot less ‘charity’ work to be done with the drop in participants) other staff remained the same.  There are 30.7 full time staff of which 7 have disabilities.  COPE is providing a minimum of 100 skill development sessions a week - each of which is 3.5 hrs long and spans each of the (at my last count - 7)  business units.


 I am wondering if the full time employees with disabilities count towards the sessions, if so they would account for 98 placements alone.


The wages of the participants is £6,670 down from £8,468 last year The wages and salaries of the rest of the staff is an eye watering £612,038 up from £550,527 last year. I am beginning to wonder who benefits most from this charity.


It would be nice if COPE paid the ‘living wage’ to its very poorly paid participants. I did note in the accounts that "no employee received emoluments greater than £60,000"  - I wonder which employees are the lucky ones!


Related party transactions :

 N Jamieson who is a director of COPE Ltd, was also a director of Westside Landscaping Services Ltd during the year. Purchases made from Westside Landscaping Services Ltd during the year were £7,880 with £5,543 included in the creditors at year end.

I Johnson, who is a director of COPE Ltd was also director of Shaw Marketing and Design Ltd during the year. Purchases made from Shaw Marketing and Design Ltd during the year were £6,721 (£17,939 in 2014) with £233 (£9,278 in 2014) included in the creditors at year end.

All transaction between the above related parties and COPE Ltd were at normal market prices.


I think it would have been better if the work had been advertised and given the other businesses in Shetland a chance to earn some money, otherwise it all seems to be too cosy, and not even ‘mates rates’ for being given the work by their fellow directors!

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There is no ‘moving on’ to other employment from COPE, most of the participants have been employed full time for the pittance they are paid for over 10 years, and they are expected to work hard, and I do mean work.  I doubt if the Kitchen, Soap Shop and Garden Centre could survive if they had to employ people on the living wage to do their jobs, and the Scrapstore would struggle too.


They are in fact a very cheap work force.


Seeing as the total wages for all the participants is £6670.00 I somehow don’t think they are anywhere near earning what the Government says they are entitled to earn without affecting any money they get for their care.


You can also do ‘supported permitted work’ and earn up to £107.50 a week. This must be part of a treatment programme, or supervised by someone from a local council or voluntary organisation whose job it is to arrange work for disabled people.

There’s no limit to the number of hours per week or length of time you can do ‘supported permitted work’ for.






The participants that needed supervision have all been ‘let go’. The cynical amongst us might think that rather telling.

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  • 1 month later...

I see that COPE has got funding for another year from The Shetland Charitable Trust for just under £155,000. 


I note with interest that the Chief Executive Officer of COPE  Ingrid Webb’s Father Peter Malcolmson is on the board of trustees of the Shetland Charitable Trust but I also note from the minutes of the meeting that he left the room when the grant was being discussed – all right and proper.


Of interest is the statement from COPE for the grant. Page 16.




Lots of talk about building brands.

Strengthening management.

Increasing sales for the soap shops in Orkney and Shetland.

To develop robust service level agreements with their funding bodies.

To achieve Organisational Excellence.

To redevelop the premises - a new purpose built hub with office, kitchen, café and shop facilities.


But no mention of increasing the ever dwindling number of participants!

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