Networks1st Update: Friday 5th April 2013

The SEN Co-ordinators’ meeting this month is being opened up to Third Sector Interface (TSI) staff. We have been really encouraged by the response so far – with 20 TSIs now being represented. The SEN Co-ordinators’ meetings provide an opportunity to share information, experiences and offer peer support in relation to social enterprise activity at a local level. It is hoped that this meeting will extend this support and help to forge links closer ties between SENs and colleagues working in Interfaces across the country. If you’d like to attend, contact The event is being held on 17th April at The Grassmarket Community Project, 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh (10am – 1pm). See agenda,

Monday will see the launch of Dumfries and Galloway’s new Interface body – Third Sector First. In advance of the launch, the new Chief Executive, David Coulter, has written an ‘open letter’ to the sector asking them to ‘put aside past differences and to work together’. By learning to speak with one voice, Mr Coulter believes the sector will ‘command greater trust and be able to act with greater authority and credibility’. After a couple of difficult years, we hope this positive statement augurs well for the future. See,

Lochaber Sports Association (LSA) was one of the first members of the Sport SEN – so it is with some sadness that we hear of the dramatic resignation of its entire Board this week.  This last act is a culmination of their frustrating journey over the last 4 years as they sought to enhance the sporting capacity of the local area. Throughout this journey, LSA has ensured that it consulted with and had the support of the local community and Highland Council – at both elected member and officer level. Their plans, however,  would appear to have reached a dead end – with Highland Council choosing, late in the day, to direct planning gain and council funds towards an alternative proposal – with little consultation. We sincerely hope that all of LSA’s efforts over the years on behalf of the local community do not go to waste. Here’s their announcement,

Much of the work of the Health SEN and Roundtable is focusing on the relationship between social enterprises/third sector organisations and their work with the NHS and local Health Boards. We’re keen to get feedback on members’ experiences. Holyrood Magazine cites one such example of the work of one third sector org – the Good Morning Service in Glasgow. See, . If you’d like to share your own experiences, contact

Edinburgh SEN member, The Melting Pot, is running its Social Innovation Incubator Programme again in 2013 – and is now open for applications. Following the success of the 2012 programme, The Melting Pot will be offering up to 10 social innovators the opportunity to take their organisation forward through a facilitated annual programme and support services over a 12 month period. To apply, see As with last year, The Melting Pot is also inviting sponsors to contribute either financial or in-kind support.


TENDERS: Community Hub Renovation – Sandy Development Trust, Cycle to Work Scheme – Scottish Borders Council and New Brand Structure – Fife College. For more details, see Join the Linked-In group at and follow on Twitter

VIDEO: The 2013 Social Enterprise Exchange event took place on the 21st March at the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow. The official video of the event can now be viewed on our website. See,

SEMINAR: Social Innovation Scotland is holding a free seminar on 10th April in Glasgow. Public sector workers across the country are beginning to look at services in a more entrepreneurial way. The seminar will explore what this means for the future of public services and what support is available for public service entrepreneurship. See,

INVESTMENT: Resilient Scotland Ltd announces its first investment packages worth £120,000 to two social enterprises, Stepwell and The Himalayan Centre based in Greenock and Edinburgh respectively. For Stepwell this will result in more employment opportunities for local people whilst encouraging people to live healthier lives and for The Himalayan Centre the chance to develop a commercial kitchen and restaurant facilities. See,

GRANTS: The Voluntary Action Fund is now accepting applications for its Volunteering Support Fund. Third sector organisations can apply for up to £30,000. The grants will be made for up to 12 months of activity with organisations able to apply individually or as part of a ‘Volunteering Support Cluster’. See,

Case Study: Cultural & Creative case studies

Download full case study here

Dates for the Diary

Fife SEN, 10th April
Sports SEN West, 18th April
Joint Thematic SEN, 24th April, Inverness
Sport SEN North, 24th April
Edinburgh SEN, 25th April
Fife SEN, 1st May
Dumfries & Galloway SEN, 16th May
Dundee SEN AGM, 29th May
Aberdeenshire SEN, 4th June


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