Pockets and Prospects 2020 gets underway over the next couple of weeks – and will run through until May 2021. This year’s programme – Collaborating in Communities to Improve Mental Health –  is funded by Scottish Govt via the Scottish Community Alliance (SCA). It is being hosted by SENScot and run in partnership with fellow SCA members, Scottish Communities for Heath & Wellbeing and CHEX. Its focus will be on addressing the emerging mental health and wellbeing needs (resulting from the Covid-19 crisis) within local communities. This new Pockets and Prospects Platform is now ‘live’ – and will allow participants to ‘pick and mix’ the services they wish to access. Over 15 community anchor organisations have signed up – with nearly 50 SEN members offering to supply over 160 different services and/or activities. If you’d like more info’ on Pockets and Prospects 2020, please contact mary@senscot.net.

We are delighted with the response across the SENs to the latest Pockets & Prospect’s Project that we’re developing in collaboration with Scottish Communities for Health & Wellbeing (SCHW) and CHEX.  There are now approaching 50 social enterprise suppliers offering a wide range of activities and services that contribute to improving mental health, with these being available to participating community organisations. Check out tomorrow’s Network News to view the full listing!

This week’s ‘Restart and Rebuild Week’ has attracted over 700  attendees – participating in over 20 separate sessions – and ends tomorrow afternoon (Friday 20th at 2pm) with the SE Restart and Rebuild Finale.  Our programme has sought to inform, inspire and connect frontline social enterprises – and to support one another – as we all move towards recovery from the impact of the Covid crisis. Tomorrow’s Finale focuses on Climate Change and Social Enterprise – and includes contributions from, amongst others, Dr Martin Valenti (Head of Climate Change, Scottish Enterprise); Ian Mitchell, CEIS; Kevin Bonarius, Gairoch Sport Centre; Alison Elliott (Murton Trust); and Elaine Brown (Edinburgh Remakery). Most importantly, it will see the launch of a Social Enterprise Net Zero Strategy (Draft) – encouraging all social enterprises in Scotland to unite and lead the way to NetZero transitions by 2045. Further consultation with the sector will take place over the coming weeks. Spaces available for the Finale – as well as tomorrow’s other sessions. See Dates for your Diary – below. Particularly popular sessions, in terms of registrations, have included: the John Pearce Memorial Lecture; the Sport SEN session with Mel Young; the Employment SEN session – on employment for young people; and the Funding and Investment session.

When this newsletter arrives in your Inbox, we’ll be around halfway through #RestartRebuild – a week long series of events aiming to Inform, Inspire and Connect social enterprise across Scotland.

We had a great turnout and speakers for both our Young People & Employability/Employment session on Monday and the Funding & Investment session yesterday.  You can still book onto our remaining sessions here and just to highlight one particular session

Last week, SENScot was delighted to host – ‘A Conversation with Women in Social Enterprise’ with special guest Cabinet Secretary, Aileen Campbell. The event brought together 12 women leaders from across the sector in Scotland and sought to explore women’s role within the SE eco-system and how women can be more to the fore in the strategic development of social enterprise in Scotland. The conversation was informative and inspiring in equal measure and we are grateful to the women who participated and to our Cab Sec for giving so generously of her time.  Whilst this meeting involved 12 women from across the sector, it is intended to widen this grouping to any woman in the sector who may wish to participate and to gauge the appetite for establishing a more formal Women in Social Enterprise Network (WiSEN). We will have more information on this over the coming months.

Welcome to the November newsletter. I hope you are all staying well and warm.

Please remember to send me updates for the next Newsletter and SENScot bulletins and remember you can post events and jobs on the Senscot website.


SENScot’s work supporting the Tourism SEN has always had a focus on the particular role of the community-led approach – putting local people at the centre of the decision-making process to produce benefits for everyone in the community. One such example – from Dornoch – was highlighted in our 2018 Community Tourism Briefing. To develop this work further, SENScot is pleased to say that, over the next year, we will run a community-led tourism ‘pilot’ in South Ayrshire and Angus. Its main focus will be on the towns of Girvan and Brechin. We will be partnered by Creetown Initiative in delivering the programme – and will be working closely with local partners from the public, private and third sectors in both areas. Activity will include the development of bespoke ‘action plans’ for each area – setting out a clear vision and objectives – assessing existing community tourism provision – and identifying opportunities for further development. Also included will be an agreed ‘exit strategy’ – to ensure longer term sustainability. We will provide regular updates in the months ahead. For more information, please contact sarah@senscot.net

Following #SEReset which we hosted in May, we are planning another week-long series of online events called #RestartRebuild from Monday 16 – Friday 20 November.  These sessions are being run in partnership with Local and Thematic SEN’s as well as other partners from across Scotland’s social enterprise community.

The goal is to help inform, inspire and connect social enterprises as we try to address how we can move towards recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector and the communities they serve.