Tributes paid to retiring West Lothian social enterprise boss

Daily Record, 8th October 2019

Depute leader of West Lothian Council Kirsteen Sullivan has paid tribute to Fiona Pearson, the retiring co-ordinator of West Lothian’s Social Enterprise Network.

Councillor Sullivan, chair of the council’s voluntary organisations policy development and scrutiny panel said: “On behalf of the PDSP, we wish you well. You have made a significant contribution to the development of West Lothian Social Enterprise over many years.”

In a report to the panel Ms Pearson, who took up the job of co-ordinator in 2013 outlined the development of the WLSEN.

It now has 66 member organisations and had a turnover of £19m last year- up 4.5 per cent on the previous year.

It provides work in 265 full-time jobs and 250 part-time jobs, with support from 1219 volunteers offering 2114 hours per week. It has also created 34 trainee posts.

It has had positive input to Anti-Poverty Task Force programme and the Third Sector Funding and Participatory Budgeting Working Group.

In her report to the panel Ms Pearson said: “I have watched the growth of social enterprise in West Lothian in awe of the people on the ground.

“Our communities would be far poorer in every way without them, and the value they bring is far beyond turnover and profit. One of the most pleasing things during my time at WLSEN is the real sense of positive change within West Lothian’s Third Sector.

“I hope that the hard work and determination by all parties to develop renewed trust and respect continues long into the future.

She added: “WLSEN would not exist in its present format if West Lothian Council had not invested commitment and funding.

“Elected members and Council officials have been highly supportive, and I would like to give my thanks to everyone who has supported both me and WLSEN over the years.”