Sport SEN July Newsletter

Welcome to July’s Sport Social Enterprise Newsletter

Last week, the merger between Senscot and Social Firms Scotland became official.  The new entity will be called Social Enterprise Network Scotland, pending consent by OSCR – we have proposed a new name following a last-minute request to change from our original intended name.  We remain committed to maintaining the same values and principles which have underlined our work over the years and will continue to represent the interests of grassroots social and community enterprises and social firms across Scotland.

The new entity will be led by Pauline Gordon (Director) and Kim Wallace (Deputy Director) and you can find an overview of the proposed functions, aims and objectives that we intend to adhere to.

As for the Sport SEN – nothing will change!  A key focus of our remit continues to be the facilitation of the Local and Thematic Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) and we intend to grow and build on these networks, providing a high level of service to the social enterprises who form part of these communities.

Until our new name and branding is approved, we will continue to use the Senscot name, website and social media, but look out for the new distinct comms of Social Enterprise Network Scotland very soon hopefully.

If you have any queries about the merger, or anything at all more generally, please get in touch – I’m always here to help.  Well apart from next week (13-17 July) as excitingly I’ll be on annual leave – but other than that, I’m always here!

Take care,


M| 07495 925 388 E|


Virtual SEN Sessions

During our SE Reset Week in May, there were many themes emerging which we intend to focus on over the coming weeks and months.  A common theme for discussion was around re-opening and what guidelines would be available to social enterprises, across all sectors, as they plan to prepare opening their facilities and services.  In the first week of June we followed this up for the Sport SEN, facilitating a virtual session with sportscotland to discuss their guidance Getting Your Facilities Fit for Sport and you can watch a recording of the session here.

With guidance becoming available for other sectors, we hosted a series of sessions on 25-26 June with the theme ‘Moving Towards and Planning for Re-opening’.  This included a further Sport SEN session to highlight support available around collaboration and procurement – particularly in relation to the purchase of items and services that may be required to comply with Covid-19 measures.

We were joined by P4P and Scotland Excel for an informative session around the support they offer. Scotland Excel are currently offering free associate membership to the third sector which allows access to several of their frameworks.  The benefits of collective purchasing were highlighted and joining with other organisations to procure goods or services, especially in relation to safety, hygiene and practical measures may be especially useful to consider at this time.  Follow this link for more information, to access various resources and to watch the recording of the session.


Another emerging theme, causing significant concern to social enterprises, is the impact on mental health and wellbeing.  Mental health is likely to be affected negatively as a result of a wide-range of issues caused by the pandemic, and will manifest in a variety of different ways.

To coincide with The Marmalade Trust’s Loneliness Awareness Week and their ‘One Less Lonely Voice’ campaign, we facilitated a session with a focus on loneliness and social isolation, which can have a detrimental impact on mental health.  This was open to all thematic SEN members to chat about their concerns and how they are responding now, or planning to respond in future, to these issues within their communities.  We kicked off with an update from Voluntary Health Scotland on the strategy A Connected Scotland and the National Implementation Group – you can read more about the establishment of this Group here.

We then heard from Social Enterprises Roar Connections for Life  about their work in relation to loneliness and social isolation for older people; and Beith Community Development Trust  about their Lend an Ear Telephone Befriending service.

Participation in sport and physical activity can offer fantastic benefits in relation to mental health and this will be a focus of one of our sessions. All of the social enterprise members of the Sport SEN are intentionally using sport or physical activity to create a positive social impact and many are delivering programmes and services focussed on improving mental health.

In recognition of the massive impact that Covid -19 will have on mental health, we will be hosting a series of SEN sessions focusing on this topic.  We are really keen to hear from SEN members and other stakeholders who might be interested in helping us shape these sessions so please get in touch with me  if you would like to get involved.


Upcoming Virtual SEN Sessions

On the theme of mental health, and open to all SEN members on Friday 17 July from 1.30pm – 3pm there will be a session considering mental health in the workplace with a focus on supporting your workforce to return to work post lockdown.  You can find out more about this session and the speakers here.  Email Jude to book your place.

On the theme of returning to work, there is a virtual event for all SEN members on Thursday 16 July from 2 – 2.30pm.  This will focus on supporting staff back to work in a practical sense, with Douglas Strang from BTO’s Employment team providing guidance on how to take account of particular staff needs/objections and a review of employment law issues.  Lindsay MacNeil from their H&S team will review the duties of an employer to ensure the safety of staff and how to best meet legislative responsibilities.  Email Jayne to book your place.

Employability SEN Network Meeting – Tues 21st July from 11-12.  In responding to the current crisis, members have adopted new ways of operating, pivoted services, overcome challenges, refocused on markets or new social needs and now, are planning for the future.  We are keen to share the learning and experiences across the SEN membership with an informal session to explore going forward, what your social enterprise will: Stop doing; Keep doing; Start doing.  Email Jayne to book your place.

On Friday this week (10 July) there will be a peer support and networking session for all Sport SEN members who operate community swimming pools.  This is an opportunity for a focused discussion and sharing of ideas around the re-opening of swimming pools, what plans organisations are putting in place and thoughts for the future.  Any social enterprises who are operating community swimming pools and not currently a member of the Sport SEN, but might benefit from being involved in these discussions, please email Jude for more info.


Funding and Support


The SCVO website is still the place to go for the Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub which is the key resource for the whole third sector in responding to Covid 19.


The Senscot Resources Webpage has key information and signposting for Social Enterprise.  We are also now regularly updating specific webpages for the thematic areas so you can find a new section called ‘Sport and Recreation Resources – Covid 19’ at the bottom of the Sport SEN Webpage.  This includes various guidance, resources and funding opportunities.


The Bank of Scotland Foundation Reach Fund  is aimed at charities who can demonstrate they address disadvantage or social exclusion and is open for one week only: Monday 6 July – Friday 10 July.


Scottish Disability Sport has produced a Principles for Participants Returning to Physical Activity and Sport document to support activity and facility providers to plan effectively for people with disabilities to return to sport. In addition, SDS are aware that there may be additional sport or facility specific consideration and as such are available to provide further help and guidance as required.

The Toyota Parasport Fund is a UK-wide programme which aims to improve the quality and quantity of sport and activities available to disabled people. £250,000 is available to support specialist equipment and training. If you run a club, activity or event for disabled people but aren’t registered on Parasport register online and be eligible for this opportunity.  Find more info here.


Social Enterprise Academy – New Learning Resource


Social Enterprise Academy have just rolled out a new learning resource, The Spotlight Series.  Staying connected with staff, volunteers and directors can be difficult. This is particularly true at present, when colleagues might be furloughed or working remotely, volunteers are out of the organisation and we’re not able to meet in person.


The Learning Spotlight is a short learning experience such as a brief article, video or audio clip and can be used as a ‘talking point’ to keep everyone engaged. They are targeted at all team members, including furloughed staff, directors and volunteers.

The Learning Spotlight will:

  • Introduce you to a new idea or concept around leadership
  • Explain why it’s important at the current time
  • Identify what it means for you in your situation.

For more information please contact Emily (






The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged individuals and clubs & community organisations alike. The Changemakers and sportscotland have been running a series of webinars to explore what this means for the sports sector, and discussing how sporting organisations can rebuild communities, as well as sport. Further details can be found at

Keep checking their Covid-19 webpage as they are continually adding to the support on this

Their current communications theme is Playing our Part, and you can find some more background on this here. You can help to support this theme and key message by including #PlayingOurPart in some of your social media posts.


What the Social Enterprises are up to!


With the continued easing of Covid-19 restrictions and sectors slowly re-opening, social enterprises continue to be busier than ever.  The pandemic is not over and there remains a great need for support within communities.  However, organisations also need to turn their attention to ensuring that they are following guidelines in order to safely re-open as and when they are allowed, and how they are going to adapt their business models to return to delivering goods and services in a financially sustainable way.


Here’s a snapshot of the fantastic efforts of some of the Sport SEN members this month.


Beith Community Development Trust have been very busy during lockdown redesigning their services and assisting their community, evolving as needs have changed.  As mentioned, they joined our recent virtual session on Loneliness and Social Isolation and talked about their Lend an Ear service.  They are looking to expand this service and would love to find more volunteers.  Click here to find out more about their work or for more details on how to offer your services as a volunteer.

Blantyre Soccer Academy  has a mission of ‘Building a Better Blantyre, One Person at a Time’ and to improve and enrich the lives of the most vulnerable people in their community through their chartable work.  They have been living their values during Covid-19 by supporting the most vulnerable families in the Blantyre community with provision of new items of clothing, toiletries, food and activity packs.

Cumnock Juniors Community Enterprise (CJCE) has provided an incredible service to their local community since lockdown began.  They have been part of a network of Community Resilience Hubs, working in partnership with East Ayrshire Council and Vibrant Communities to provide essential services to the most vulnerable. This has included setting up a food larder and distributing emergency food parcels, Covid 19 survival packs for children designed by Save the Children as well as dental hygiene packs from Childsmile at NHS Ayrshire and Arran.  Find out more about their efforts here.

Glenrothes Strollers are always looking at ways to support their community through more than just football.  At the start of lockdown, they opened a community pantry to provide a source of free food for families in need.  Six volunteers have manned the pantry and numbers of people in need have increased greatly.  They are also now making regular deliveries and walking dogs for some of the more elderly residents who have been unable to get out.  Find out more about their amazing response here.

Eat Sleep Ride CIC has a fantastic new SQA opportunity available from September.  It’s a newly designed 10 week course aimed at students aged over 16 years with a learning disability or other support needs.  Find out more here.

Partick Thistle Charitable Trust (PTCT) has been providing hot meals for families in poverty, elderly and those sheltering in North Glasgow. Responding quickly to the pandemic they have demonstrated that assets available at football stadia ie commercial kitchen and hospitality spaces can be utilised not only for meal preparation and distribution, but are large enough for drivers and volunteers to safely wait for and pick up deliveries indoors.  It’s also been a great space for storing food for other organisations to come along and collect fresh produce.

They have developed local partnerships throughout the crisis, and all of this has led to PTCT becoming an Anchor Organisation in North Glasgow.  They have distributed funding from the Scottish Government Supporting Communities Fund to other local Third Sector partners and will host the new Glasgow Community Food Network Resource Worker for the North.  By the time of this newsletter they expect to have delivered their 20,000th meal.  What an effort and fantastic achievement – take a bow PTCT!

You can help them to continue this great work by supporting their Kick Back Against Covid-19 campaign.  Find out more here.

New Social Enterprises

Animalia CIC support sport and fitness in their local communities primarily through helping disengaged young people reconnect with themselves and their lives, to become a more active part of their communities.  They create world class fightwear/sportswear tested by World Champions and international athletes, known as Animalia Apparel.

They are currently seeking feedback regarding sportswear consumer habits and are also looking for suggestions for championing a person/people who are making a difference and deserve recognition.  Complete the questionnaire here.

Get Active Coaching CIC are based in Renfrewshire. They promote health and wellbeing through sport and exercise, delivering multi-sport sessions within the Out of School Care Network, as well as community-based group exercise classes.  They also offer bespoke 1-1 and small group health and exercise coaching sessions. Physical and mental wellbeing are at the forefront of every session they deliver.

Covid-19 hasn’t held them back and since launching in April 2020, they have hit the ground running. Within weeks of setting up they partnered with Who Cares? Scotland to assist one of their projects. They are now currently delivering two funded projects within the community to help people get active and have fun by helping break down barriers to participation, offering a varied free online exercise programme and supporting at risk families to get healthier and happier through exercise.

Outdoor Access, Greenspaces and Active Travel

Greenspace Scotland have issued an update around access to local parks and greenspaces as of 29 June 2020.  This includes stand-alone facilities or communal spaces within parks such as playgrounds and sports pitches.

With more access to the outdoors opening back up, the Scottish Outdoor Access Code have also released updated advice.  Rights of access to land in Scotland depend on responsible behaviour.  It’s essential to comply with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code to ensure that access to the outdoors is enjoyable for all.

During the Covid-19 outbreak we have seen increased numbers of people walking and cycling.  Active travel is likely to increase with more people returning to work and can not only provide a safe method of travel but also have huge benefits for physical and mental health.  It’s important to take measures to prevent a second wave of Covid-19 and to show consideration to everyone.

To that end, Sustrans, Transport Scotland, Public Health Scotland, the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland and partners have produced advice to help keep everyone safe – Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Kind

Paths for All have opened the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Fund which aims to encourage people to change their behaviours to walk or cycle as part of their everyday short journeys.  Grants are available to support public, third and community sector organisations to support people to change their travel behaviours.

Cycling Scotland have also announced a package of support called Cycling Friendly to help workplaces, schools, campuses and communities across Scotland be cycling friendly and attain nationally accredited awards.


And Finally:

With the easing of restrictions, the tourism industry can start to re-open and slowly begin welcoming people back to enjoy our beautiful country.  Before the pandemic, adventure tourism was the fastest growing sector of the visitor economy in the UK.  The opportunity exists to target adventure tourism as part of the long-term economic recovery plan for the tourism sector and Opportunity North East (ONE), Scottish Enterprise and Aberdeenshire Council are co-funding the next phase of development of a project to increase the value of adventure tourism in their region with support from VisitAberdeenshire.  You can read more about these plans in this article.


Adventure Tourism is an area which we intend to focus on over the coming months and we are interested to hear from SEN members and other stakeholders who might be interested in helping us shape this work so please get in touch with me if you would like to get involved.