Networks1st Update: Friday 14th December 2012

As the year ends, we tend to reflect on the developments/ highlights of 2012. Here goes: 20 active SENs – 15 local and 5 thematic (3 new ones in the pipeline); over 450 SEs engaged; 9 SENs constituted; 7 SENs employing staff; progress in engagement with local Interfaces; SEN rep on VAS Board; 5 national Conferences hosted – over 600 attendees; over 90 SEN and Roundtable meetings; as well as a new collaboration with colleagues in Northern Ireland. The contribution of local and thematic SENs and their members to policy development both locally and nationally levels continues to grow year on year. Next Thursday is the last Networks 1st bulletin of the year. We’ll be listing some of our plans and aspirations for 2013 then.

Congratulations to Derek Marshall and all the team at Factory Skatepark on the official opening of their latest venture the Fun Factory in Dundee – Scotland’s newest social enterprise. The Fun Factory – which opened last week – is a state of the art ‘soft play centre’ for younger children. The Centre includes a sensory room and cafe area and can also be hired for parties and discos. Over its first fortnight, it has attracted over 1500 paying customers – and, in doing so, is supporting 18 jobs (3 f/t, 15 p/t – plus 20 training placements) in the Centre.

Run Native is live! The UK’s first online marketplace selling goods made by UK social enterprises all making direct positive social change and sales are already taking place. A high quality, bespoke, national (and perhaps international) e-commerce site aimed at the general public, to change buying patterns for the better. See,

ESEN had a great turnout for its AGM and ‘Future of Social Enterprise in Edinburgh’ event on Monday of this week. The presentation by Cllr Andrew Burns, the Leader of the Council, about its new Cooperative Capital approach was well received by delegates. The focus of the afternoon session was to set some priorities for the next social enterprise strategy (due out later in 2013). Plenty of discussion took place with some fantastic and thought-provoking suggestions about how social enterprises in Edinburgh could be supported to allow them to thrive over the next five years.

SENs can block book places for members attending The Social Enterprise Exchange at the SECC in Glasgow on March 21st next year – see, . Early bird discount rates are available until 31st December – at the rate of £50 + VAT per delegate. Further, if you take 10 places you will get an 11th place FREE. To book, see

FreshSight, an Edinburgh University student society that works to provide business consultancy advice to third sector organisations, is looking for interested and engaged clients to work with in January 2013. The duration of a project is approximately 8 weeks, culminating in professional and well researched recommendations, tailored to your organisation’s needs and visions for the future. If you think your organisation could benefit from this pro bono service the deadline for the next round of consultations is 7th January 2013. See,

Interested in a free calendar? Triodos Bank’s annual photography competition is now complete. The winning photographs from the regions feature in its Social Vision calendar – and features 3 Scottish SEs. See,


TENDER: Momentum Skills require a Researcher/Research Organisation to carry out a mapping exercise of service provision across Ayrshire.  This will involve hosting focus groups, attending networking events and the collation of services and their relevant contacts. See,

CHRISTMAS: If you haven’t decided where to have your Christmas lunch yet Glasgow’s largest Development Trust can cater for your Christmas meal. The festive menu from Café Central at Community Central Hall is available from the 17th – 21st of December. See,

PAT TESTING: Edinburgh based FreshStart offer PAT testing from PVG vetted staff. Proceeds are re-channelled in to the local community where FreshStart has a continuous commitment towards countering homelessness. See,

WORKSHOP: A free workshop we will be running next year on effective case study construction.  The workshop is being delivered by IRISS and is designed to support the third sector’s contribution to Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP) in response to a request from the sector. The workshop will be run as training for trainers and will be taking place in Perth and Glasgow. See,

STUDY VISITS: Delegates from across the UK are being offered a two day intensive weekend of study visits examining the range of social enterprises that have flourished on the Isle of Mull, Argyll. This month sees the launch of two innovative training events being hosted at the An Roth Community Enterprise Centre on the Isle of Mull. See,

Case Study: Scottish Community Boat Festival – Cultural & Creative SEN
Download full case study here

Dates for the Diary

Glasgow SEN, 19th December
Dundee SEN, 11th January
Sports Round Table, 23rd January
Cultural & Creative SEN, 23rd January
Dundee SEN, 30th January
Aberdeenshire SEN, 30th January



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