The SENs: Friday 20th October 2017

After a bit of coming and going, we are now delighted to be able to say that our new website is officially ‘live’. We are grateful for the work and support in this area from Luma IT and Cunning Fox Digital. The new site merges two sites – Senscot and the SENs – and will provide greater profile and support to the work and activity of SENs and their members. We now have a dedicated resources page full of useful information and multimedia, updated networks pages with specific thematic resources, as well as a brand new map of support and noticeboard. We hope the site continues to prove an invaluable resource for anyone involved with social enterprise in Scotland. Please take the opportunity to look at the new website new and – if your details need updated/amended etc – please let us know. Other glitches will be ironed out over the coming days. Any queries etc, please email


This week Senscot and Social Firms Scotland participated in the EUSEN event in Madrid. The gathering’s focus was on ‘Opportunities for SE in new emerging sectors and digitalisation’. Our contribution included a presentation on Scotland’s SE Strategy 2016-26 and the accompanying three-year SE Action Plan. This also highlighted Scotland’s current ESF programme, with particular reference to the social innovation strand. See our presentation.


In 2014, Senscot, working with others, helped to established the Scottish Community Re:Investment Trust (SCRT). Its objective was to try to pool the financial resources of our third sector for the mutual benefit of the sector and the communities it serves. SCRT is now actively exploring the establishment of ‘loan funds’ for the sector – beginning with a bespoke fund for SENs and their members. SCRT has prepared this short survey (six questions) to test the water for both potential ‘borrowers’ and ‘investors’. Your co-operation would be very much appreciated. The survey remains open till 31st October 2017.


It’s been a busy period for our cultural and creative coordinator Sarah, who attended the Museums Galleries Scotland Conference last week – ‘Inequalities: Bridging the Gap’. A strong contingent of museums and galleries were on hand to discuss how the sector is increasingly having a positive social impact on communities. MGS announced a £100,000 boost to their Vocational Pathways Fund, which aims to address inequalities in the museum sector’s workforce. For further insight into the conference, check out the #MGSconf Twitter feed.


Sticking with cultural issues, the development of the Scottish Government’s new national cultural strategy was up for discussion at the Cultural Roundtable last week. Roundtable members were particularly keen to highlight the government’s current tour of ‘Culture Conversations’ across the country, which will give local communities the opportunity to feed their ideas and concerns into the strategy. The next event will take place at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on 25th October, with further engagement opportunities to take place in Portree, Edinburgh and Fife. Click here if you would like to find out more about one of these events.


SEN member Govanhill Baths have extended the deadline of their community share offer to Sunday 19th November. The share offer includes plans to transform the Edwardian bathhouse into a health and well-being centre in the heart of the Govanhill community. More than 50 community groups are currently housed at the baths, from swimming classes to creative writing and archery. An initial target of £6.4m was set for the project, with just over £250,000 still to be raised. Watch this video about the share offer, and pledge to the crowdfunding page here.





NEWSLETTER: This month’s Cultural & Tourism SEN Newsletter includes news of a community learning exchange to the Tower Digital Arts Centre in Helensburgh, and the opportunity to attend two tourism innovation masterclasses in Glasgow later this month. Click here to read the newsletter.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is looking for enterprising organisations to take part in the 2017 Coalfields Community Challenge. Awards up to a maximum of £10,000 will be made to a limited number of applicants on a competitive basis at a Dragons’ Den style event. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Aldi’s Scottish Sport Fund is open for applications from sports clubs in the west of Scotland. Applications to be in by 5th November. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Aviva Community Fund remains open for applications, with grants of between £1000 and £25,000 available for community organisations. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Groups of businesses in the creative industries, food & drink, and tourism sectors are being invited to team up with academic experts for research and development projects which have the potential to transform their industries. Funding ranging from £5,000 to £10,000 will be awarded to projects determined by an external judging panel. Find out more and apply.


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


FOCUS GROUP: GSEN members are invited to attend a focus group on the 7th November to discuss opportunities to work with Partnership for Procurement (P4P). Venue and time to be arranged, but email if interested.



Dates for the Diary


SBSEC, 26th October

West Lothian SEN, 2nd November

PKVAS Meeting, 21st November

Aberdeen SEN, 29th November

Fife SEN, 13th December


Best wishes,