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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Remembering Jackie Johnson, an exceptional woman who changed the lives of disadvantaged people  

This opinion piece is 11 months old

Scotland's Bravest pays tribute to a remarkable woman

The third sector is built upon the efforts of individuals who dedicate their lives to improving the lives of others.

While the sector is filled with such people, every once in a while, the industry is graced by unique individuals who come to the fore and achieve wonderful things that change communities forever.   

Jackie Johnson was one such person. Jackie had a successful career in the charity sector, and a life-long commitment to social enterprise in Scotland. In 2022, RBLI’s (Royal British Legion Industries) Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SBMC) lost Jackie after a challenging journey with cancer. She sadly passed away in August of that year, aged 51. Jackie’s whole career leaves a lasting legacy of increased opportunity and independent living for disadvantaged people.   

On 10 August, everyone at SBMC’s factory in Erskine Veterans Village stopped to remember and celebrate Jackie as the Jackie Johnson Training Suite was opened at SBMC in Erskine Veterans’ Village in Bishopton. Jackie’s family, including her two sons (pictured above), were present to spend time with family members and their mum’s former colleagues to celebrate her life and the life changing positive impact she on people’s lives.  

Speaking about Jackie, Robert Lappin, assistant director of welfare and development at SBMC, said: “Jackie was one of the first people that companies and individuals encountered at SBMC when it was a fledgling start-up enterprise with an ambitious goal to provide life-changing support to military veterans. SBMC has since become an industry leader which has supported more than 100 ex-service personnel and their family members into meaningful employment. Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Co. has helped put social enterprise on the map in Scotland, something Jackie was passionate to see.  

“We at SBMC and RBLI are still struggling to come to terms with this huge loss. We hold on to the fact that Jackie’s work leaves a legacy that will last. Her helping hand will touch the lives of disadvantaged military veterans for generations and be felt by Scotland’s third sector for decades to come.”   

Jackie’s tenacity, vision, and unparalleled sense of empathy was a driving force for the social enterprise during those formative years and since. Jackie believed so strongly in SBMC and in giving vulnerable veterans a chance to turn their lives around completely. Her tireless work, driven by her sense of doing right for others, was a flame that burned brightly, and it lives on in all those who continue this mission a SBMC.

The Jackie Johnson Room is a tribute to an incredible woman of vision, passion, and endless kindness.