The SENs: Friday 19th January 2018

Scottish Govt, this week, launched a consultation – A Connected Scotland: Tackling social isolation and loneliness and building stronger communities – following the publication of its draft strategy. Senscot is intending to submit a response to the consultation (closing date 30th April 2018) and will aim to faithfully represent the views of SEN members in doing so. The issue of loneliness and social isolation is increasingly seen as having a major impact of both people’s physical and mental health – for both young and old alike – with the Scottish Govt’s strategy hailed as the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Senscot recently produced its own Policy Briefing on this issue identifying, the work of a number of SEN members in the area – ‘Loneliness and Social Isolation – the Role of Social Enterprise’. We will have more on how to contribute to our response over the coming weeks.


We’d like to remind SEN members of the Community Bond Offer launched by SCRT at the SE Conference. The Bond has been set up specifically with the intention of establishing a SEN Loan Fund, which will look to provide micro, unsecured, low-cost loans to SEN members. The bonds are offering 2% interest and start at £50. Take a look through the Bond Offer brochure, and please share widely with your networks. Since the Bond was launched at the SE Conference in December, more than 10% of the target has already been reached. An application form is available to download here and all other information is available on the Scottish Communities Finance Ltd website.


Social Assist Capital is teaming up with the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) on 8th February to explore future collaborative opportunities for communities in a post-Brexit Europe. The event aims to look at how networks such as ALDA’s, with 250 members across Europe, might help maintain existing relationships and even help to forge new ones. ALDA‘s work is based on decentralised cooperation based on on strong partnerships between local authorities and civil society organisations. This event is for anyone interested in participatory democracy and collaboration between local communities and the public sector in Scotland and the UK after Brexit. Find out more and register for the event.


To celebrate the talent, contribution and vibrancy of Scotland’s young adults, 2018 has been designated as the Year of Young People. A year-long programme of events, activities and collaboration aims to give young people in Scotland the opportunity to showcase their value to communities and wider society. SEN members can play their part by submitting events to the partner programme and will benefit from exposure by being listed on the Visit Scotland website. Events must be open to the public and appeal to Scots and visitors alike – adhering to the themes of celebration and/or participation. You can find more information here.


Culture and Tourism coordinator Sarah is organising a meeting and, potentially, a Community Learning Exchange focussing on Community Tourism. If this is an area that interests you, please get in touch with her on


Voluntary Arts Scotland are teaming up with BBC Scotland to run the Get Creative festival this year, running from the 17th – 25th March. It aims to inspire people to try something new and to share their own examples of everyday creativity. The campaign works with Get Creative Champions to create participatory events that are accessible for everyone and to develop local networks that create new collaborations and relationships. You can add your organisation’s event to an interactive online map of Get Creative events through this online toolkit.





TENDERS: Occupational Health – The SDS Co. Limited, Food and Beverages – Scottish Canals, Multi Storey Car Park Cleaning – East Ayrshire Council, Office Furniture Procurement– Clyde Gateway URC Ltd.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Weston Anniversary Fund will award grants up to £150,000 to provide new or improve existing community facilities. Open for applications until 30th June 2018. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The deadline to apply to Big Issue Invest’s Power Up investment programme has been extended to 31st January. The Power Up Scotland Programme is aiming to help up to 20 Scottish early-stage social ventures access loan funding of up to £50k over the next two years. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Life Changes Trust have a number of funding opportunities relating to dementia care. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Circle has partnered with UnLtd as part of the Fire Starter Festival 2018 and will provide £20k in the form of small grants to social entrepreneurs. Find out more.


NEWSLETTER: Sarah’s first Culture and Tourism SEN newsletter of the new year is out, and includes a Dundee SEN Tourism Masterclass, a collaboration between GSEN and Glasgow Caledonian University and more. Read the newsletter.


EVENT: Brag Enterprise have announced the date for March’s Fife Soup – a coming together of community projects, food and entertainment. A £5 donation buys your dinner and the right to vote on the community project you want to see become a reality. Register now.


WORKSHOP: Arts & Business Scotland are hosting a seminar for new board members or trustees who wish to boost their understanding of their responsibilities and charitable structures. Wednesday 24th January. Find out more and register.



Dates for the Diary

23rd January, Health SEN

31st January, Edinburgh Social Enterprise AGM

7th February, DSEN

20th February, GSEN


Best wishes,