The SENs: Friday 17th November 2017

Our SE Conference (7th / 8th Dec) is only three weeks away. Next Friday (24th Nov) is closing date for entries for the Dragons’ Den – with this year’s focus being on ‘collaboration’ between social enterprises. Applications are invited for ‘pitches’ from SEs either delivering or planning to deliver a new or amended service by working in partnership with others – see Application Form. Prize money for the winning pitch will come in the form of support/services/products etc from SEN members or intermediaries to the value of £5k. If you have a service/product to offer, please email Our draft Delegate Pack has been updated and includes a revised Plenary session on the Friday morning that will look at lessons to be learned from ‘failure’ amongst SEs. A few overnight places are still available. If you’re interested in coming along, please see Booking Form.


Yesterday saw the launch of Edinburgh Social Enterprise’s Impact Report at the Serenity Cafe. Identifying 250 code-compliant SEs operating in the city, the report provided cause for optimism for the capital’s SE community, albeit with more conservative findings than the 2017 Census. SE turnover in the capital has grown over 10% since 2015, with international trade going from 4% to 10%. This is above the national average of 7%. Edinburgh’s social economy has also benefited from a 28% increase in volunteers over the same period – a total of 99,000 volunteers currently generate £1.3m worth of volunteer hours. The full report will be available next week.


RBS has published its NatWest Social & Community Capital (SCC) impact report for 2016, providing a snapshot the activities that the social lending charity is engaging in. Set up in 1999 to fund social enterprises who struggle to access bank finance, SCC lent £3.7m to 21 organisations over the course of the year, supporting priority areas such as employability, education and community regeneration. The impact report includes case studies of social enterprises which have been supported by the initiative, which can be viewed here. If you know of a social enterprise or charity that would benefit from social finance, you can check the eligibility criteria here.


Peebles-based SEN member You Can Cook celebrated its 10th birthday last week, with owner Boscoa Santimano joined by over 70 guests for a special feast at the Eastgate Theatre to mark the occasion. You Can Cook’s aim is to educate and create awareness within the community around the basics of cooking with a major emphasis on healthy eating. YCC’s operation has grown over the course of a decade to encompass cookery workshops, training courses for young adults, gardening demonstrations and more, helping change attitudes towards food in Peebles and the surrounding area. Well done, and keep up the good work, from everyone at Senscot!


There are still a few places available for the upcoming Community Learning Exchange visit to Lanarkshire Community Food & Health Partnership next Thursday. The exchange will provide an opportunity to learn from their range programmes promoting healthy diet and cooking skills, the relationships they have developed with public partners and the diversity of their income streams. Visit the EventBrite page to book your place.


News that Gary Gentles is to step down from his position at Community Central Hall in Maryhill next week, after over 30 years of service. Gary’s moving on to another facility, Knightswood Community Centre. He wishes to thank everyone who has supported him over the years and is looking forward to the new challenge! Best of luck from all of us at Senscot.





COMMUNITY SHARE OFFER: Govanhill Baths have until Sunday to complete a community share offer which will enable them to reopen the baths, keeping the vibrant hub at the centre of the Govanhill community. Find out more.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: A grant support scheme has been launched to assist the development and creation of social enterprises in Aberdeenshire. The £200k Social Enterprise Support Fund which is open for applications until March 2019. See more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Life Changes Trust have two funding opportunities for young people in Scotland with caring responsibilities. See details.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Local Film Festival Challenge Fund is offering one-off grants of between £1k and £5k for activity to take place in the first quarter of 2018. See eligibility and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Big Issue’s Power Up programme is open for applications. The fund hopes to enable up to 20 Scottish early-stage social ventures to access loan funding of up to £50k over the next two years. See more and apply.


SURVEY: Have your say on the shape of Glasgow’s Social Enterprise Survey. Glasgow City Council and GSEN what ideas and priorities you want to be taken into consideration in the new strategy. Have your say here.


REVIEW PUBLISHED: Former chief medical officer for Scotland Harry Burns has published his review into targets and indicators for health and social care. Among its conclusions were that the present set of targets and indicators “do not lend themselves to effective improvement interventions”. Burns also stressed the need for frontline staff, managers and service users to work closely in future to drive improvement. Read the Scottish Government’s press release here.


AGM: Social enterprise of the year Grassmarket Community Project are hosting their annual general meeting on Thursday 23rd November. To book your place, visit the EventBrite page.


VACANCY: Rebuild, a fledgling social enterprise based in the Lothians, is looking for a Head of Training on a freelance basis to develop their operations. £30-35k pro rata. See details.



Dates for the Diary

PKVAS Meeting, 21st November

Inverclyde SEN, 28th November

Aberdeen SEN, 29th November

Clacks SEN, 4th December

Fife SEN, 13th December


Best wishes,