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17 Feb 2017

Item in the Daily Record this week about the death, in his native Italy, of Michele Cocozza, aged 88.  In 1953, he opened the Cross Café in Rutherglen which became part of local folklore; his son Don, has been astonished by the number of warm tributes posted on the Rutherglen Facebook page from people remembering Michele’s kindness to their parents etc.  Many bulletin readers will likely have fond memories of the Italian café which served their community – where they hung out – but sadly, times are changing.  Education opens up many more congenial lifestyles – fewer young Scottish Italians are attracted to the extreme demands of the catering trade; gradually the dedication invested by that early generation of café pioneers – their contribution of Scottish cultural life – will be forgotten.

            I don’t mean to suggest that those early Italian families demonstrated any exceptional benificence; my grandparents were semi-literate ‘contadini’ from a background of degrading poverty – I’m proud of my birth tribe - they opened a café to improve our lives; honest, basic, god-fearing people – only unusual in that they were prepared to work incredibly long hours.  On the Main Streets of hundreds of Scottish towns – the Italian café was probably open from dawn to dusk; as a consequence, the good ones afforded a convivial gathering point for the town – a hub for generations of informal community life.  In times when our Town Centres shrink to oblivion – it’s not difficult to understand how they were held in affection and will be missed; or that Rutherglen this week remembered Michele Cocozza.



Senscot’s annual invitation for financial donations from readers wishing to contribute to the cost of producing this bulletin has now passed the halfway stage – last couple of weeks! 87 individuals have signed up to date - giving an average...Read more

The SENs is the name Senscot gives to our work with Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) - both thematic and geographical. SENs provide members with opportunities for peer support, collective action and market development. The vision is of a growing community of 500 frontline social enterprises across Scotland - connected and energised through a network of Networks.

Visit the new website here

The SENs: Friday 17th February 2017

Last week, Cabinet Secretary, Angela Constance announced a £1m package of ‘early actions’ in advance of the impending SE Action Plan. One of these ‘early actions’ is the establishment of a ‘Partnership and Procurement Hub’ which will strive to improve the sector’s ability to collaborate and tender for contracts. This project is a partnership between Senscot, Social Firms Scotland, Scottish Community Alliance and Co-operative Development Scotland and will build on the existing work of our current Partnership and Procurement Co-ordinator, George McConnachie. George’s work involves delivering workshops across Scotland; one to one support; co-ordination of shared learning from existing consortia and direct support to emerging consortia – and has included working with groups of SEs in Argyll and Bute; Glasgow; West Lothian and East Lothian amongst others. More info over coming weeks.


Over the last year, Senscot’s work with the 5 Thematic SENs – Health; Community Food; Sport; Culture and Creative; and Employability (supported by Social Firms Scotland) – has seen a focus on specific priority areas: health & social care integration; self-directed support; sport for change; tourism; food poverty etc. With over 400 SEs engaged with one or other of the Thematic SENs, we are looking to delve deeper and have put together a ‘tick list’ for members to inform us of other issues we should be addressing at future...Read more
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