Social Enterprise Network Scotland (SENScot) acts as the umbrella body for social enterprise networks in Scotland – a network of networks.
We believe that Scotland’s social economy is at its strongest when people who share a vision work together. That’s why we have been directly involved in supporting and facilitating Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) across Scotland.
The SENs – both place based and thematic - provide a forum for social enterprises to come together – for peer support; to share resources; and to work together to develop effective solutions to shared challenges. They give social enterprises a collective voice with which to raise important issues at both a local and national level.
This Rural SEN session will look at collective leadership in rural and island social enterprises. Some 42% of rural and island social enterprises in a survey conducted by Inspiralba reported that they use a collective approach to decision making. Interviewees in the same research highlighted the role of collective responsibility […]Read More
Social Entrepreneurs Network Scotland (Senscot) is registered as a Scottish charity under Scottish Charity No. SC029210 and as a limited company under Company Registration No. SC278156. Its registered office is at 41 Miller Street, Glasgow.
SENScot – via the Tourism SEN – will be running a new community-led tourism development project in South Ayrshire and Angus over the next 18 months. This ‘pilot’ will include the formation of local steering groups made up of community representatives – as well as those from local third, public and private sectors. Their aim will be to identify and adopt the most appropriate business model for local delivery and to create a local ‘action plan’ which sets out a clear vision -with agreed objectives for stimulating a local tourism offer that can bring benefit to the whole community. A further key function will be to provide access to financial resources to expand capacity and enable delivery of the first phases of the action plan – and, additionally, to develop an ‘exit strategy’ that can help ensure longer term sustainability. Community-led tourism is an approach which puts local people at the centre of the decision-making process to produce benefits for the wider community – helping to preserve historic and cultural heritage; improving management of land and assets for community use; encouraging the development of new business opportunities; improving the quality of services; and, at the same time, building social capital. We will be sharing further details on this initiative over the coming weeks. For any further immediate information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
SENScot has been supporting the Tourism SEN since 2016 – in response to the growing number of social and community enterprises active in this area. An important component of this is community tourism – an approach which puts local people at the centre of the decision-making process to produce benefits for the whole community – including allowing local businesses to capture the footfall of visitors to larger, popular local assets. Community tourism can help preserve historic and cultural heritage, improve management of land and assets for community use, encourage the development of new business opportunities, improve the quality of services and build social capital. Some of this work – and its local value – was highlighted in a 2018 Senscot Community Tourism Briefing – citing the example of Dornoch CIC. Building on this, particularly as we all look towards ‘Restarting and Rebuilding’, SENScot is planning to ‘pilot’ community-led tourism initiatives in two small towns. Working with local partners from the public, private and third sectors – this will involve the development of an action plan – setting out a clear vision and objectives – assessing existing community tourism provision – and identifying opportunities for further development. The ‘pilot’ will include an agreed ‘exit strategy’ – to ensure longer term sustainability. More on this very soon.
Further to last week’s SENScot’s Letter, on behalf of Sport SEN members, to Joe FitzPatrick (Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing) – we owe an apology to Spartans Community Football Academy (Edinburgh) for omitting to mention them as one of the ‘case studies’ in our Sport SEN Briefing. Spartans kindly shared information on the challenges they are facing during Covid 19 – and how they have sought to adapt their services – along with Showcase the Street (Dundee); Banks O’Dee Sports Club (Aberdeen); and Atlantis Leisure (Oban). No word back yet from the Minster. Last week also saw the work of another Sport SEN member – Partick Thistle Community Trust – being highlighted in the House of Commons for its work in supporting communities in North Glasgow during the pandemic. This article, from down south, highlights the extent of the crisis being faced by those across the sport community – with a call for recognition as an essential service – vital to public health. See this month’s Sport SEN Newsletter.
The Robertson Trust has announced details of its new funds and accompanying eligibility criteria – following recent publication of its 10-year Strategy. Broken into three core categories – with two additional streams for community vehicle and capital build grants – the funds will provide over £200m to local communities and community organisations over the next decade. Eligibility criteria will focus on ‘constituted community groups and registered charities working to alleviate poverty and trauma in Scotland – with an annual income under £2 million’. With a number of SEN members being constituted as asset-locked Community Interest Companies (CICs) – SENScot wrote to The Robertson Trust to ask for clarity as to whether or not such organisations could still be eligible. The Robertson Trust has, in response, reiterated that its initial focus will remain as per the core criteria. However, as work to address poverty and trauma develops, they assure us that they will be open to reviewing their guidance in line with this. Sign up to the Trust’s Mailing List for more on future opportunities and/or changes as they develop.
Citizen Investment is a term that may not be familiar to many, but its roots have a long history in Scotland dating back to the 1700s with the first Savings Bank and the Fenwick Weavers Society. The principle of Citizen Investment is much the same – with local people investing in their own community for a modest financial return – as well as a social return for their community. This article, from Pauline Hinchion (SCF Ltd) suggests, as we seek to ‘restart and rebuild’ from Covid 19 within the context of a difficult long-term economic outlook, Citizen Investment could make a significant contribution to supporting local economies through associated employment; local service provision; as well as the obvious social capital benefits.
Community Land Scotland, this year, celebrates in 10th anniversary. As part of their celebrations, they have produced this excellent short video – capturing over 100 years of community land history across Scotland:
Edition No. 3 of Community Enterprise’s e-magazine Comment now available – with, amongst other things, news on the updated SE Support Map; as well as an interview with SENScot’s Pauline Gordon – as a bonus!:
News, last week, of a change in structure for the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and SSE Scotland. The new structure will see their three independent teams in England merge with SSE itself – with SSE Scotland becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of SSE. This update gives background and more details:
The John Pearce Memorial Lecture, this year, takes place on Monday, 16th November (3.30-5pm). Ed Mayo, Chief Exec of Pilotlight, will give this year’s lecture on ‘ The Power of Dreams: community economic development after the virus’. The event is free and will be online. See link to book your place:
Dates for your Diary:
Three Rural SE Hub Community Learning Exchanges will take place during October – all online. Hosting organisations include: Bùth Bharraigh Community Shop (13th Oct) ; R-evolution Community Benefit Society (19th Oct) ; and Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust (28th Oct): See links to book your place:
Tuesday 20th October (2pm) – P4P’s second ‘In Conversation With’ webinar – featuring Hannah Justad (Glasgow Connected Arts Network) talking about the Glasgow Arts Partnership (GAP) – a new consortium of Participatory Arts organisations and freelance creatives across Greater Glasgow. Register here :
Community Enterprise hosts an online event on Tuesday, 27th October (10am – 12 noon) in partnership with the William Grant Foundation – which sees the launch of their Research Report- A Different Approach to Community Led Asset Development. See link for further info, to download report – and to book your place:
Friday, 30th October (10am) – A joint Employability & Health session will be looking at how social enterprises support the mental health of their beneficiaries – including how they support and retain volunteers A number of speakers will share experiences and ideas – more on this to follow. To sign up, contact Jayne:
SE around the globe: This week we spotlight one of the world’s largest social enterprise networks – covering 17 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. The Latin American and Caribbean Network of Waste Pickers (Red Lacre) is a network of grassroots recyclers who perform the job of collecting, selecting and recovering recyclable waste for re-use. Founded nearly 30 years ago, Red Lacre works on behalf of over 2 million people across the 17 countries who are dedicated to recycling. Its activities focus on participation in regional and global initiatives, alliances and platforms, seeking to generate the conditions for the effective recognition and economic, social, technical and environmental inclusion of grassroots recyclers. This recent letter – sent to the governments of each of the 17 members countries – reflects their objectives.
SEN Spotlight: Of the 18 local SENs in Scotland, a number are supported by their local Third Sector Interface (TSI). One such example is the Renfrewshire SEN which has been supported for a number of years now by Engage Renfrewshire. With almost 40 members, Engage Renfrewshire provides advice and support to social enterprises who want to start up or develop further. They also provide support with community asset transfers and the distribution of community benefits; as well as helping organisations to build meaningful relationships within the local public and private sectors. More recently, they also produced this helpful – and not too serious – short video for aspiring social enterprises in the Renfrewshire area.
In June 2020, Scottish Govt published the Report of the Advisory Board on Economic Recovery – ‘Towards a Robust, Resilient Wellbeing Economy for Scotland’. The Report, written in response to the Covid crisis, included specific reference to the central role our sector plays – citing its importance in contributing to Scotland’s social capital and its critical importance in maintaining a level of community resilience, particularly during these times of crisis. This week has seen publication of the Govt’s response – its Economic Recovery Implementation Plan – with a primary focus on supporting jobs, skills and training. Folk will have differing opinions, in view of the current circumstances, as to whether the measures go far enough. Many initiatives mentioned are already underway – initiated before, or in response to, Covid. Here’s the BBC’s take. The ‘response’ cites a raft of initiatives that will include or require significant third sector engagement. Some worth noting include: a new Third Sector Recovery Fund – to be announced later this month; a longer-term commitment to addressing the barriers facing the sector via a new Partnership Agreement between the Scottish Govt, Local Govt and the Third Sector; re-stating its commitment to longer term funding; an ambition to see a new partnership address challenges of the Third Sector; and confirmation of its intention to roll out the Community Wealth Building model across the country.
Our new name, Social Enterprise Network Scotland, has now received formal consent from OSCR. One final hurdle remains – via a special resolution – which is to seek formal approval at a general meeting of members. This will be held virtually (by Zoom) tomorrow, Friday 7th August 2020 at 9.30am.
Not sure how many people are familiar with the People’s Energy Company – based in Dalkeith. Set up in 2017, on the back of a crowd-funding campaign that attracted over 2,000 ‘investors’, the People’s Energy Company operates as a social enterprise – that re-directs any profits back to members, customers, or to charities of their choosing. This week, the People’s Energy Company announced that it is to create 100 new jobs as it expands into the Scottish Borders.
Over the years, we have regularly featured the work of What Works Scotland whose funding has now, sadly, come to an end. Some of the key contributors have now produced a final discussion paper – to support development of the ‘community economy’. Their report – Building the Community Economy in Scotland – identifies emerging opportunities for the community sector to engage with, and challenge, the state, including community empowerment, community ownership and land reform, social enterprise, public service reform and sustainable development and climate change This blog accompanies the report – and highlights not only the complexity of the sector – but also its potential and critical role in bringing about change.
In June 2018, a deal was reached to conclude the buy-out of the Ulva Estate on behalf of the island’s community and the neighbouring Isle of Mull. Around £4m was contributed by the Scottish Land Fund towards the buyout – and, last year, Wendy Reid (formerly of DTA Scotland) took up post as Development Manager. This week, we hear of further progress from the Mull and Ulva communities with the announcement of further grant funding to build four affordable homes at Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull.
SEN News and Diary Dates:
Rural SEN: Tuesday 18th August (2pm). Following on from their last meeting on 30th June 2020. You can see notes from June meeting here. For info, contact email@example.com – or sign up here:
All SEN Session: Monday 24th August (3-4pm) – Flexible Working & Mental Wellbeing. This session will include contributions from Geoff Leask (Young Enterprise Scotland); Lisa Gallagher (Flexibility Works) and Claire Carpenter (The Melting Pot). To sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org :
Employability SEN: Thursday 13th August (10.30-11.30) – Covid-19 Labour Market Insights with Skills Development Scotland. To join in, contact email@example.com . See further details of all sessions:
Angus SEN: 9th September – in partnership with Evaluation Support Scotland – will be hosting Learning to Tell Your Story – an introductory session on the basics of evaluation:
Frontline News: We are currently carrying out a Collective Purchasing Questionnaire (5 mins) to gauge interest in purchasing collectively on behalf of groups of social enterprises – both to test how much value for money can be achieved as well as to support organisations to re-open. See link to complete questionnaire:
Holding the Conversation is a new book (free to download) by Jackie Scutt (formerly Chief Exec at Social Enterprise Academy) – an easy-to-follow manual for experienced practitioners – and those new to the role:
Foundation Scotland, this week, launched its new Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund – offering grants of £1k-5k to charities, social enterprises and community organisations working with vulnerable groups:
Angus SEN and P4P are running the Procurement Skills Accelerator (all free) during August. This series of sessions is designed for organisations with little or no experience of procurement or bidding for tenders:
Sport SEN Newsletter is now available – including this letter sent on behalf of Sport SEN members to Joe FitzPatrick (Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing) and Aileen Campbell (Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Govt) – as well as information on SEN members’ activities and other sector news:
Iain Cunningham (Engage Renfrewshire) discusses his work with local authority procurement teams and local contractors to ensure that social enterprises can make the most of any community benefit available:
SE around the globe: This week we look at a social enterprise in Ghana that is selling bikes made from bamboo. Ghana Bamboo Bikes was set up to as a way to create local jobs and, at the same time, promote low-carbon transport. More than half of its employees are women and, for every bike sold, one is given to a schoolchild to help that child save time getting to school. For every bamboo plant that is cut down to make a bike, Ghana Bamboo Bikes plants 10 more. Bamboo is stronger than steel in terms of tensile strength and is a cheaper, more sustainable material – plus the frame is completely recyclable.
SEN Spotlight: This week’s spotlight looks at the Tourism SEN. Originally set up in 2016 as a sub-group of the Cultural SEN, it emerged as a discrete SEN in 2017 and now has over 100 locally-based organisations engaged. Its activity has grown in recent years – presenting opportunities in areas such as accessible tourism, activity tourism, marketing, events, ancestral tourism, coupled with an ever-increasing demand from visitors to spend locally. Tourism-focused social enterprises can empower communities to grow their individual tourism markets by putting local people and community assets at the heart of a collaborative approach to growing visitor numbers – and can be used as an important tool for regeneration – connecting local people and local businesses in the development of their area. This importance has been reflected in a series of strategic development – both locally and nationally – including, principally, Scotland Outlook 2030 – a partnership involving Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland. If you would like to sign up to the Tourism SEN – or to find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org. See link to sign up for SEN newsletters,
This week, Social Enterprise Network Scotland wrote to our First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and her 11 Cabinet Secretaries – sharing the findings of our recent SE Reset week – via this SE Reset Briefing Paper. Our letter seeks to begin an engagement with the Scottish Cabinet on how each of its respective ‘departments’ intends to support our social enterprise community in contributing towards our post-Covid recovery. It is generally accepted that the response within local communities has been one of the most striking elements to have emerged during this crisis – and has again demonstrated the true value of ‘localism in action’ – with community-based social enterprises providing crucial services and a lifeline within their respective communities. This contribution has also been acknowledged in this recent Scottish Govt Report – which highlighted our sector’s contribution to Scotland’s social capital and its critical importance in maintaining a level of community resilience at this time. It is our view that there has never been a more critical time to ensure that the central goal of economic recovery, and the various strategies that will deliver it, also delivers collective well-being and greater community resourcefulness. Such an approach will be essential in order to tackle the deep-rooted inequalities that this crisis has, if anything, exacerbated. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.
Social Enterprise Network Scotland will be producing a weekly bulletin – SE Network News – going out each Thursday. As before, we will be seeking to cover news relevant to frontline social enterprises in Scotland; policy development; wider civil society matters; as well as observing development and news from other parts of the UK, Europe and further afield. For info on Social Enterprise Network Scotland, see overview of our proposed functions, aims and objectives – and organogram of our staffing structure.
If you do not wish to continue to receive this weekly bulletin – please use link to unsubscribe.
Scottish Govt has announced that Neil McInroy, CEO of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) begins a part-time secondment with Scottish Government this week – to advance Community Wealth Building (CWB) in Scotland. This is encouraging news for communities across Scotland as our Govt appears to be acknowledging the critical role that communities have to play in local economic development. Many who attended our Conference in November 2019 will remember Neil as one of our keynote speakers. The CWB model is also currently being ‘piloted’ in North Ayrshire. We wish Neil well in his new role.
Another important role that will have a significant bearing on the social enterprise community in Scotland will be that of Director of Glasgow SEN – one of the longest established local SENs. The post is being advertised this week – following the departure of Elizabeth Docherty in March 2020. Closing date for applications is Tuesday, 28th July 2020 at 5pm. See full application pack .
On the back of our own recent merger, this article by Alastair Keatings (Lindsays Solicitors), caught our attention. Not only does it anticipate mergers being a way for many organisations to survive post-Covid, he also suggests Scottish Govt will be under pressure to make the most effective use of public monies available.
Last week, a group of people engaged with our social enterprise community submitted this Open Letter to our First Minister. The group – made up of academics, business leaders, politicians and community leaders – calls for an economic stimulus in Scotland which genuinely places equality, community and wellness first. This means making a disproportionate investment in community, cooperative and social enterprises in redesigning Scotland’s economic stimulus as we all work together towards our post-Covid recovery.
Scottish Community Alliance’s (SCA) highly successful Community Learning Exchanges (CLEs) are available again – virtually. SCA has re-configured the programme to allow community groups to deliver their knowledge and expertise remotely to other community organisations without, they hope, losing the invaluable face-to-face element of the CLE. See further details including guidance and application form.
Glasgow Caley’s Yunus Centre is currently celebrating their 10th anniversary – which includes a week-long series of events. This video (30 mins) – giving background and context – also looks at their plans for the future. We’d like to pass on our congratulations – as well as passing on our best wishes for the next 10 years.
Frontline News: A free school uniform service has been established in Glasgow to provide extra support during COVID19. The collaboration includes Glasgow SEN member, ApparelXchange and others:
Cultural SEN members will be encouraged by the announcement of the forthcoming Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund (£10m) to help venues who cannot yet reopen to their audiences due to the ongoing crisis:
Also, see latest Cultural SEN Newsletter:
Employability SEN Newsletter is also now available – and includes details on up-and coming Thematic SEN meetings – plus the Employability SEN meeting itself on Tuesday 21st July (11am). All meetings via Zoom:
‘Supporting staff mental health & wellbeing’ – a Joint Thematic SEN session – will take place next Friday 17th July (1.30pm) Speakers include Jonny Kinross (Grassmarket Community Project) and Helena MacLeod (Bridge A Gap). See link for details and, to sign up, contact email@example.com
SEN Spotlight: Today, SEN Spotlight looks at our Sport SEN – made up of over 100 organisations delivering sport and physical activity within local communities across Scotland. Active since 2010, the Sport SEN seeks to facilitate peer support, networking and learning & development opportunities for organisations that are seeking to be both financially sustainable as well as using sport as the tool to address an identified social need – within their community. This approach is very much in line with the global Sport for Development approach where sport is used intentionally to bring about positive social change and the ‘Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity‘ programme of funding and support in Scotland.
Over the coming months, we intend to work towards growing and developing the Sport SEN whilst continuing to raise the profile of Sport Social Enterprises and highlighting the excellent work that they do. Click here to see the list of existing members, a range of relevant documents, and current funding and support information. See latest Sport SEN newsletter – and for more info – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday of this week – 1st July 2020 – the merger between Senscot and Social Firms Scotland (SFS) became official. The name of the new entity will now be Social Enterprise Network Scotland – pending consent from OSCR. This late change to the proposed name has come about as a result of concerns raised by Social Enterprise Scotland. The Board of our new entity decided – as a gesture of goodwill – to re-visit the name and, in doing so, has agreed on Social Enterprise Network Scotland. This brings to an end the specific roles both Senscot and SFS have fulfilled over the last two decades. However, the new organisation is committed to maintaining the same values and principles that have underlined their respective work over the years. Social Enterprise Network Scotland will now represent the interests of grassroots social and community enterprises and social firms across Scotland – advocating on their behalf and promoting policies and initiatives that will be of genuine benefit to both these organisations and the communities which they serve. Here is an overview of the proposed functions, aims and objectives that Social Enterprise Network Scotland intends to adhere to. Our new body will be led by Pauline Gordon (Director) and Kim Wallace (Deputy Director). This organogram lays out our governance and staffing structure. Over the next week or two, we will continue to use the Senscot website and twitter account etc for communications – but Social Enterprise Network Scotland will have its own distinct ‘comms’ in place very shortly.
Social Enterprise Network Scotland will continue to produce a weekly bulletin – SE Network News – going out each Thursday (we’re giving Larry’s Lunchette a free run at Friday mornings). As before, we will be seeking to cover news relevant to frontline social enterprises in Scotland; policy development; wider civil society matters; as well as observing development and news from other parts of the UK, Europe and further afield. If you do not wish to continue to receive this weekly bulletin – please use link to unsubscribe.
It is still too early to get an accurate picture of the impact of the Covid 19 virus on wider Scottish society – let alone our own sector. However, what is clear is that it will be significant – and extremely damaging. This Report carried out by the Third Sector Interface Scotland Network confirms this view – and paints a bleak picture. The recent Scottish Govt Report on Economic Recovery highlights the central role our sector plays in contributing to Scotland’s social capital and its critical importance in maintaining a level of community resilience during the crisis. There has to be more to our ‘recovery’ than just ‘strong economic growth’.
New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, gets it: “Economic growth accompanied by worsening social outcomes is not success, it is failure”.
Last week’s ‘SE Reset – Re-Opening’ hosted a number of separate sessions (see SEN Spotlight below). Amongst these were: Sport SEN session with P4P and Scotland Excel on partnerships and procurement – focusing on the benefits for sport and community facilities; Planning Re-Opening for Retail – running through the excellent guidance developed by the Revolve network; and a peer support session focusing on considerations required for re-opening for customers and visitors. Further events coming up include: a Joint Thematic SEN Session ‘Supporting staff mental health & wellbeing’ will include input from Jonny Kinross from the Grassmarket Community Project. See link for details and, to sign up, contact email@example.com
Frontline News: CEIS’ annual SE Policy and Practice Conference is on 2nd Sept. This year’s event is virtual and will focus on recovery and rebuilding a better future. To book your place, see Registration Form:
Inspiring Scotland, this week, launched a Creative Communities Cultural Funding Programme – which will distribute up to £600k to support communities to develop new culture and creative initiatives:
Community Enterprise and DTA Scotland both circulated their latest newsletters this week – check links:
SEN Spotlight: SE Network News will be making a departure from Senscot’s regular ‘project profile’ and, more recently, the response from SEN members to the Covid crisis within their local communities. Instead, over the coming months, we will be running a SEN Spotlight – highlighting the work of the 19 local and 7 thematic SENs. This week, in the 1st Edition of SE Network News, we look at the Scottish Borders Social Enterprises Chamber (Borders SEN or SBSEC) who hosted their AGM last week. One of earliest local SENs, SBSEC was formed in 2005 and is now a partner in the local TSI – supporting over 300 organisations across the Scottish Borders. Their Annual Report provides details on the range of activities they have been or currently are involved in. Last week, they also hosted their own SE Reset – Re-Opening session – being joined by colleagues from around the country. See their SE Reset – Re-opening Report.
The Newby Trust funds local, regional or national UK charities (an annual income of less than £1,000,000) within the broad categories of education, health and social welfare. They offer grants for core costs, projects, capital and salaries/bursaries. Grants – usually ranging between £2-10K – may be made for one, two or three years, although most grants are for one year.
The Investing in Enterprise Fund offers blended grant and loan investment to social enterprises, community organisations and charities working within our 13 eligible areas (see list above). The fund can invest between £10,000 and £500,000 per business; up to 50% of this can be in the form of a grant and the remainder a loan.
The investment can be used for:
Most importantly, the fund is designed to allow you to meet the needs of your business, achieve your vision and secure your future.
Loans are repayable over a period of up to 10 years. Appropriate security must be available for the loan. We will discuss our requirement for security with you during the assessment process.
This fund is made available through the JESSICA (Scotland) Trust, of which Foundation Scotland is the corporate trustee. The JESSICA (Scotland) Trust was established in 2012 with a £15 million endowment from The National Lottery Community Fund (formerly known as the Big Lottery Fund). This fund was previously managed by Resilient Scotland Ltd through their Start & Grow and Making Enterprise Happen programmes.
For more information and to apply check out Foundation Scotland’s site here.
SENScot – on behalf of Sport SEN members – has written a follow-up letter to Joe FitzPatrick (Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing) – on the back of our original letter in late July 2020. Supporting the letter is a Sport SEN Briefing evidencing the impact of three Sport SEN members in particular – Showcase the Street (Dundee); Banks O’Dee Sport Club (Aberdeen); and Atlantis Leisure (Oban). The first letter focused on key challenges being faced by Sport SEN members as they explored a gradual re-commencement of sport and physical activity whilst, at the same time, prioritising public health and safety. This follow-up letter highlights the particularly vulnerable position of many Sport SEN members – with reduced capacity; reduced usage of facilities; cancelled memberships; a significant drop in footfall; and, for members who do not own their own asset, an inability to hire the facilities they require. Redundancies have been made – and with furlough due to end – more are anticipated. We will share the response for Govt once we hear back.
Scottish Govt is inviting community groups and organisations to share ideas and evidence, based on their own experiences of responding to the current Covid pandemic, and their engagement with people experiencing poverty and inequality. The intention is that these ideas can be gathered to help drive a fairer recovery in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19). Responses will inform the work of the Scottish Govt’s Social Renewal Advisory Board (SRAB) – tasked with building on policy and practice shifts seen during COVID-19 to tackle disadvantage and poverty, and advance equality and social justice. The deadline for submissions is Friday 16th October 2020. Our Director, Pauline Gordon, is part of a Third Sector Policy Circle that will be advising SRAB on third sector matters. See details on how to submit your ideas. Senscot will be submitting its own response, based on many of the findings that emerged during SE Reset Week in May 2020. We will be following this up with SE Restart and Rebuild – a week-long series of online events and discussions during w/b 16th November 2020. Full programme and booking info’ – coming soon!
As part of Scotland’s ‘Countdown to COP26’, a special, one-day online conference on Tuesday, 3 November 2020 is scheduled to explore innovation, inclusive growth, cultural change around climate action, and ultimately how collaboration could achieve national net zero targets. SENScot is helping to facilitate a response from the social enterprise community. This response will include highlighting the ‘actions’ social enterprises are already taking – and helping persuade others to follow. The day-long event is free to attend.
Here We Are (HWA), based in Cairndow at the head of Loch Fyne in Argyll, was established in 2001 – with an original vision of offering “a new concept for tourism in the Highlands – a symbiotic relationship between visitor and community – that would recreate tourism as interesting, educational and rewarding for visitor and host alike”. Nearly 20 years down the line, HWA is alive and well, employing 8 staff and operating two subsidiaries. ‘Here We Are – The Story of a Community Enterprise’ charts its progress over the years – and, despite the many challenges, how it has manged to achieve so much of its original vision.
Following a very well-attended Employability SEN session last Thursday (24th Sept) on the DWP Kickstart Scheme, SENScot has been approached by a number of members who wish to create opportunities for young people as an employer but would not reach the Scheme threshold of 30 placements per bid. If you have registered with DWP as a Gateway (intermediary org) or are interested in doing so – and working with partner employers, please let us know.
The Robertson Trust published its new 10-year Strategy last week – providing over £200m in funding to organisations addressing poverty and trauma in communities across Scotland over the next decade:
The John Pearce Memorial Lecture, this year, takes place on Monday, 16th November (3.30-5pm). Ed Mayo, Chief Exec of Pilotlight, will give this year’s lecture on ‘ The Power of Dreams: community economic development after the virus’. The event is free and will be online. See link to book your place:
The short list for the 2020 SURF Awards is now available – with winners to be announced early December:
Reminder: the SEN Bridging Loan Fund is available to any SEN member looking for an interest-free bridging loan – under £10k. This has been capitalised by individual and organisations from the sector itself:
September edition of SENScot’s SE Health and Wellbeing Newsletter came out last week – and includes features on up-and-coming events; SEN members’ news – as well as other info relevant to SEN members:
Dates for your Diary:
SE Restart and Rebuild – will take place week commencing 16th November 2020 – a follow on from our initial SE Reset Week back in May. Full programme and booking information available in coming weeks:
Three Rural SE Hub Community Learning Exchanges will take place during October – all virtually. Hosting organisations include: Bùth Bharraigh Community Shop (13th Oct) ; R-evolution Community Benefit Society (19th Oct) ; and Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust (28th Oct): See links to book your place:
Community Woodlands Association holds its Annual Conference tomorrow and Saturday – 2nd and 3rd October- with wworkshops, discussion groups and virtual site visits. See Programme and Booking Details:
Community Resources Network Scotland (CRNS) holds its Annual Conference – digitally – this year. A Fairer Scotland, A Greener World – will run on Tuesday and Wednesday,17th and 18th November 2020.
SE around the globe: This week we highlight Open Sole Africa – a social enterprise, based in Kenya, supporting families in coastal regions in East Africa through cleaning the ocean. They do this by recycling flip-flops – the most affordable local footwear – that more often than not are discarded into the ocean. Washed-up flip-flops are collected and re-purposed into works of art or toys for local children – with this work often carried out by former woodcarvers, made redundant when deforestation of ebony and mahogany was outlawed. Open Sole Africa’s aim is to ‘make a difference to the plight of our oceans and give back what it earns to empower and enrich lives – through employment and educating the next generation’.
SEN Spotlight: This week’s Spotlight looks at the Rural SEN – which provides a vehicle for rural social enterprises to share experiences, learning, and identify areas for future action and collaboration – and is hosted by InspirAlba. With 33% of social enterprises in Scotland located in rural or remote areas, rural social enterprises are driven by collective action, helping to sustain essential services – and, in doing so, fulfilling community needs and aspirations. The Rural SEN is hosted digitally – either monthly or bi-monthly – enabling members to share their challenges and solutions, resources, identify potential partnerships, and to benefit from a network of peer support. InspirAlba has also developed the Rural Social Enterprise Hub as a focal point for research and development activity on rural social enterprise in Scotland and further afield. This month, the Rural SE Hub is running three ‘virtual’ Community Learning Exchanges (CLEs) – being hosted by Rural SEN members in Barra, Speyside and Argyll. To sign up – see booking details.