BRAG awards Honorary Presidency role to founding member

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

In the late 1980’s a group of local people came together to form the Benarty Regeneration Action Group (BRAG). The aim back then was to tackle the drastic increase in unemployment within the Benarty area of Fife caused initially by the decline of the coal industry and increased due to the closure of Rosyth Naval Dockyard which was also a major employer in the area. Joe Paterson was one of those local people that stepped up to help.

As a SNP councillor back then Joe worked tirelessly alongside late co-founder Willie Clarke Snr and others to increase the employment prospects of the Benarty Community through the provision of training and support being offered by BRAG Enterprises. Many changes have taken place over the years and many fondly remember attending college courses at BRAG’s Crosshill site as well as many social enterprises being launched from the School of Social Entrepreneurs based in Crosshill Community Enterprise Centre. BRAG has now grown to a team of 30 staff and now works within other areas of high unemployment across Fife and its employment, enterprise and community development teams continue to deliver much needed training and support to those looking for a more prosperous future.

Joe has continued to be a valued trustee helping to mould BRAG into what it is today. As a result of a change in our constitution, 3 long serving trustees stepped down at our recent AGM; Joe Paterson, Mary Nardone and Michael Nardone. They have all impacted who BRAG are as an organisation, and the services that they provide to the growing communities they serve.

BRAG MD Brian Robertson – Fern and Chair David Piper discussed honouring Joe’s commitment and impact by introducing a new role to the organisation’s structure.

The role of Honorary President of BRAG Enterprises was created but reserved for individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to BRAG Enterprises. It is an ambassadorial role – the President will act as the public face of BRAG Enterprises to our members, partner organisations and the public, and ensures that the diverse viewpoints of our members are represented to the remaining Directors.

When presenting the role to leavers at the AGM Brian Robertson-Fern said: “I’d like to thank you for all of the advice you have given me over the years, and it’s safe to say that BRAG wouldn’t be BRAG without your valuable time and input.” Joe graciously accepted the new role and replied: “Thank you, but I don’t think I offer much advice and with a wry smile he said I’d like to say that I wasn’t sure of Brian at first, but he has done well for BRAG.”

If you would like to become a trustee for BRAG Enterprises and help to shape the organisation for the future then email [email protected] for an informal chat.