The SENs: Friday 16th February 2018

Over the last few weeks, we have been running a survey amongst Thematic SEN members to identify key priorities for the year ahead. Similar surveys in recent years have highlighted issues such as: loneliness & social isolation; dementia; cinema & regeneration; social prescribing; community tourism; mental health & employability; and running a sustainable sport facility. These areas all all offer scope for collaboration between both thematic and local SEN members – something which has been reflected in our recent series of SE Briefings. We are closing this year’s survey on Monday 19th Feb – so if you have not gotten around to completing it, here’s the link – Tick-Box survey. The response so far has been very encouraging and top issues being identified include: improving health and wellbeing; mental health and wellbeing; addressing isolation; and partnership working and collaboration. We’ll provide further information on the survey results in the coming weeks.


Senscot is sorry to hear that St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh, with its 200 workshops for artists and community groups over seven floors, has been sold to a property developer. Home to SEN member Edinburgh Palette since 2008, the site has been sold for £15m to Drum Property Group – which has promised to turn the space into “facilities for the benefit of the local community”. Edinburgh needs more student flats and office space like a hole in the head, however, and the development means that it is almost inevitable that this community of creatives will have to find a new home. Sadly, it seems that a thriving community hub is going to be kicked into touch – the ‘benefit of the local community’ a wry afterthought. This piece in the Scotsman reflects the growing trend for developments being rolled out at the expense of the local community.


Drivers for Change is aiming to take 100 young people on an 11-day tour of the UK to learn how social enterprise, private business and the arts can combine to enact social change. Participants will hear from community activists across the country, also benefitting from a leadership and enterprise skills programme. Each participant will then receive practical advice and support to create their own social action or enterprise plan. Applicants should ideally be between 18-26 and are expected to fundraise a minimum of £250 to go towards the trip. The journey is planned to take place between Thursday 21 June to Monday 2 July. Find out more and apply here.


The number of individuals and organisations purchasing Community Bonds from Scottish Communities Finance (SCF) is steadily growing. In an effort to make it easier to translate the many ‘notes of interest’ into actual purchases of Bonds, SCF has now set up an online application and payment system. If you are interested in supporting the Bond Offer (link above offers more info) – but haven’t got round to following up on your ‘note of interest’, see following links to online application form and payment system.


Next month’s Community Learning Exchange to Dornoch is filling up, with only a limited number of spaces available. Learn how Dornoch CIC developed a community marketing fund, increased its digital engagement with tourists and crowdfunded £20,000 for a new visitor centre, among other achievements. If your organisation is interested in community tourism, click here to find out more and register. A bursary is available for the cost of travel and accommodation.


You can still register for the P4P Roadshow event in Inverness on Tuesday 6th March, delivered jointly with Highland Council, Commercial and Procurement Shared Services. The event is an opportunity for third sector organisations to learn about changes to the procurement landscape and how this can impact on efforts to supply the public sector. Visit the P4P Event page for registration details and to find out about other events including a P4P Workshop on Collaboration and Partnership in Coatbridge on 2nd March – part of Lanarkshire Business Week 2018.


P4P is also currently piloting a new Collaboration Toolkit which will be available on its website from April 2018. The toolkit is a quick ‘go to’ guide to collaboration and enables you to track your progress along your collaboration journey. To find out more, contact





TENDERS: Supported Bus Service for Aberdeen City Council – Aberdeen City Council, Soft Skills and Leadership Training – VisitScotland, Provision of Monitoring Services at Loch Ewe – Scottish Government.


COMPETITION: Community Enterprise is running a competition where the winners will receive a branding makeover plus training from social enterprise design agency BOLD. Download the full information pack here.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Scottish Edge Fund is now open for applications, with a top prize of £150,000 available to grow your business. Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up and coming entrepreneurial talent. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Aberdeen Harbour Community Action Fund is now taking applications for grants of £1,000 to £5,000. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Weston Anniversary Fund will award grants up to £150,000 to provide new or improve existing community facilities. Apply now.


NEWSLETTER: The latest Culture and Tourism SEN newsletter includes an update on the Community Bond Offer, a call to arms for Scottish Tourism Month and exciting member news about Gairloch Heritage Museum. Read the newsletter now.


WORKSHOP: Dundee SEN is running a half-day session to help social enterprises in the Tay Cities area to better understand the local inbound tourism market. Find out more and register.



Dates for the Diary

20th February, GSEN

21st February, Aberdeen SEN

22nd February, Moray SEN

22nd February, Forth Valley SEN

27th February, WL SEN


Best wishes,