Networks1st Update: 29th February 2008

Just back from Voice 08 in Liverpool with a bunch from the Networks. The venue was the new Echo Arena Conference Centre at the Docks. This was the first event to grace this impressive ‘state of the art’ venue, which is in keeping with Jonathan Bland’s (CEO of SEC UK) new line on the Coalition’s need to ‘take some risks’. This meant there was still a squad of painters and plasterers with hards hats on doing the finishing touches! The plenary session took place in what looked like a huge indoor football stadium, where Gordon Brown addressed the 500 or 600 of us gathered there, via a mega video link screen. That was followed by high energy presentations from Hazel Blears – who plans to develop her own Social Enterprise Unit – Campbell Rob of the Office of the Third Sector who understands Asset Locks(!) and Arunesh Singh, India Country Director,of Scojo Foundation’s program in India – a kind of Big Issue with Specs – www.scojofoundation.org. While there was definitely a touch of hype around the event it was well pretty organised and informative. A wee visit to Voice 09 might be something to put in your diaries for next year.S2S is taking place in Dundee this year on April 23rd 2008 at Dundee’s Caird Hall. (www.s2stradefair.com). Voice 08 kicked off with a tour of well known local social enterprises FRC Group and the Joseph Williamsons Tunnels (www.williamsonstunnels.co.uk). Dundee has its own social enterprise jewels to show off so this will give Tayside SEN a great opportunitiy to promote its members.I attended a fringe meeting in Liverpool on how to make Social Enterprise Networks more effective with the likes of RISE, SEEM and the group that organised the meeting SEEE. There was a lot of interesting parallels and a real interest in the idea of some cross-border learning, which could lead to some interesting connections at a later stage. There`ll be more about these Networks next week..We’ve heard from Rainbow Crafts Fife who are looking to sell a Renault Master MM35 DCI 100 S-A Registered 2006. It’s 2463cc with only 4,500 miles on the clock, and is a semi-automatic, so allows disabled and able bodied to drive. Price £10,000.00 If you’re interested contact Iain Bentley on 01592 860444.Claire Carpenter of The Melting Pot wanted to highlight the cabaret their holding on 8th March 8pm to 2 am. Tickets £10/£6. You can find out more by visiting www.themeltingpotedinburgh.org.uk/Events/tabid/161/Default.aspx.The third ‘Communities of Business’ event takes place at the Grosvenor Hilton in Glasgow (corner Byres Road and Great Western Road) on 5th March, 12 – 2pm. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs a from the social and private sectors to exchange ideas, understand “each other’s worlds” and generally bring both sectors of the business community closer together. If you’ve not booked in yet get in touch with Vince McKeown (vince.mckeown@GlasgowChamber.org), 0141 204 8326. The final event in this series should be Borders SEN, venue TBC Friday 25 April.ABSEN’s Member – Fascadadh – is about to prepare a profile/job description for a project manager. They are looking for examples of job descriptions that other people might have used to recruit project managers. In their specific case they are looking for someone with a proven track record of running a social enterprise or even a business, but who is interested in transferring their skills to a social enterprise. It would also be desirable, though not essential if they had some experience in the mental health/disability field. If you can help, contact Stephen Hunter (before 14th March if poss.) at stephen.hunter@argyllcollege.ac.ukCoalfileds SEN are looking to appoint a part-time development worker shortly an exciting opportunity this with some ideas around doing a joint venture renewalbles company.Inverclyde SEN – Friday, 28th March, 10.30 – 12.30 pm., Greenock, (Venue TBC) guest speaker Hugh Bunten of the Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce.Edinburgh SEN – Tuesday, 4th March 3-5, Chamber of Commerce Festival Square, guest speaker Allan Garret from ICASS www.icass.co.uk