Dear members and friends,
Two weeks since my operation, but I’m still not back to normal – probably the effect of the general anaesthetic – like severe jet lag. It’s as if something’s moved in my head – and things feel strange. I`m stupider – forgetting and misspelling words; clumsier – dropping and bumping things; sometimes my speech slurs – my hand trembles; my nerves are jumpy.
Last Saturday, the weather closed in on our wee hamlet; Sunday, I made a break for the shops – which was a mistake – Panda slid off the road into bushes – where it remains. Now that I`m stuck here, the solitude which I relish has become disconcerting; I feel diminished and insubstantial – being alone is no longer enough. I want the buzz of the Café Royal on a Friday night – drinking with friends. I want the security of being a man of property and position and substance. This nonsense is because I feel tired and old and not much use.
When I feel down I focus on getting ordinary things done – the simple things. Each day I scrape the snow from the bird table – crumble stale bread. I can watch bird life for hours – vital, immediate – no theory or explanations – just spirit and flesh. A bird can fall dead from a tree – frozen solid – without once feeling self-pity. It’s do or die – like Columbus – shortly before discovering America – writing in the log of the Santa Maria: “Still no sign of land – provisions low – crew getting restless; we sail on”. I like that.
The Third Sector Division at Victoria Quay has indicated that it is reviewing the way in which it relates to the collective Third Sector in Scotland. Rather than the single door approach – they describe a more dispersed, collegiate interface, with key segments of the Third Sector represented independently. Consultation is ongoing on the practicalities on how such a strategic group might operate.
Specifically within the social enterprise sector, discussions are also taking place amongst various intermediaries to clarify and co-ordinate better who will do what going forward. Consideration will also be given to how frontline social enterprises can have a greater influence in shaping the future policy and strategy for our sector.
This week the Lottery in Scotland announced a new programme called JESSICA which has got me excited. It will operate as an independent endowed Trust – delivering £15m over 10 years to 13 of Scotland`s most needy communities. It is specifically to assist community owned anchor organisations to achieve more self sufficiency through community enterprise. This is exactly what’s needed. Well done someone.
Will Hutton, chairing the UK Govt`s enquiry into fair pay in the public sector, has suggested a maximum ratio of 20:1 between the highest and lowest paid. At present, the maximum in the University sector is 19:1 – in the NHS 14:1; and in the Whitehall Departments 10:1, so his craven suggestion would have zero effect. The Spirit Level campaign calls for a 5:1 ratio. https://senscot.net/?viewid=10462
Scotland’s first MSC degree in social enterprise was announced this week through a partnership between the Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) and Glasgow Caledonian University. The MSC builds on the growing relationship between SEA and the University that already currently delivers a one year postgraduate certificate in social enterprise. The course will run over three years and, for participants, on a part-time basis. For more, see https://senscot.net/?viewid=10464
Many years ago, I visited Knoydart – sailed from Mallaig harbour on a Sunday – folk singing hymns on the boat. When we landed I was attacked by a goose. I think it’s the most remote community I’ve ever visited – wild and beautiful. The only village on the peninsula, Inverie, has about 100 residents. I see the locals are advertising for a development officer – not everyone’s cup of tea – but what a marvellous challenge for the right person. See, http://www.senscot.net/view_job.php?viewid=10467
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php . This week:
JOBS: Outside the Box Development Support, GIFT, The Knoydart Community, Equal Say, The Big Issue in Scotland, Rosemount Lifelong Learning, Forth Environment Link, Young Peoples Futures
EVENTS: Pension Issues for Social Enterprises, 7 Dec; A Way with Words Storytelling Session, 9 Dec; Whose Economy? and Whose Environment? second in a series of four seminars, 9 Dec;
TENDERS: Supply of Electrical Equipment and Consumables, Production and Distribution of Fifelife, Short Break and Respite Services for Adults – Bearsden, UK-Hamilton: floor coverings
NETWORKS 1st: From April 2011, all local funding for the Third Sector will be channelled through the new `Single Interfaces`. A proportion of the Interface budget is specifically designated to `develop social enterprise` at a local level. Senscot, along with others, is lobbying to ensure that all Interfaces include social enterprise representation. In particular, we are arguing that where an area benefits from an active SEN – that this is a valuable specialist resource – best placed to represent the local social enterprise community – and should be the preferred channel for funding. In areas where no SEN yet exists, Senscot, again with others, will seek to ensure that some mechanism is in place so that social enterprises have access to appropriate support. For more Networks News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=168
Firstport is running a FREE event on Friday 10th Dec in Edinburgh to introduce the new Social Enterprise Skills Exchange (www.sese.org.uk). The event will showcase potential opportunities for social enterprises to share skills and knowledge with private sector organisations – with specific workshops on Legal, Branding and PR issues. For more see, https://senscot.net/?viewid=10461
Alan Dunipace (Senscot Legal) will be running the Legal workshop. Alan added to his team this week with the appointment of his new paralegal, Karina MacRitchie from Stornoway. Senscot Legal has been set up to provide a bespoke service for the social enterprise community and wider third sector in Scotland. For more info`, contact email@example.com
In his bulletin to members, Steve Wyler, Director of DTA in England, tells about an amazingly successful Time Bank in South Wales (740 members from an 1800 population). He also traces the origins of Time Banking to the American libertarian anarchist, Josiah Warren in 1827. I didn’t know that. https://senscot.net/?viewid=10463
Measuring social impact is important for social enterprises – but it’s also difficult to understand how to do it effectively. The Guardian has assembled a group of `experts` who each give their take on it. https://senscot.net/?viewid=10466
The first prison-based dog training scheme in the UK is being introduced at Polmont Young Offenders Institute near Falkirk. It has been found in other countries that if you pair a youth with behavioural problems with a dog with behavioural problems and demonstrate to the young person how to train the dog using praise and encouragement rather than punishment and force, then you can actually change a young offender’s own behaviour. I find this idea both credible and admirable and will follow this one with interest. https://senscot.net/?viewid=10460
This week’s bulletin profiles a new social enterprise launched last month in Edinburgh. Youth Football Scotland (YFS) seeks to provide a one stop shop for anyone connected to the game of youth football Scotland-wide. Using web resources, YFS offers a range of services and features to players, coaches, parents, clubs and referees – all free of charge. These include a directory of every club and facilities; news, features and interviews; calendar of events; player, interactive forums and debates and much more. For more, see https://senscot.net/?viewid=10468
Senscot still has copies of Laurence’s book, “You’ve Got To Laugh”- which could make an original Christmas gift. £10 each – two for £15. Here’s a review – http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=10418 If interested, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
This week I revisited the essay by Margaret Wheatley called Beyond Hope and Fear which is in the Senscot Archive. https://senscot.net/?viewid=8055. It always calms me.
“The Christian writer Thomas Merton counselled readers not to get anxious about evidence of success in their work. In the end, he said, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything. He was right. We are consoled and strengthened by being together. We don’t need specific outcomes. When we abandon the pursuit of effectiveness, our urgency fades and patience appears. Patience is, perhaps, this journey’s destination. St Augustine taught this infuriating truth: “The reward of patience is patience.” Years ago, the Dalai Lama counselled a group of my colleagues who were depressed about the state of the world to be patient. “Do not despair,” he said “Your work will bear fruit in 700 years or so.”
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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