Dear members and friends,
The bird table outside my bedroom window is a source of continual pleasure to me – hundreds of daily hits/visits. But Terry – my neighbour’s big, black tomcat – in open defiance of my authority – crouches beneath it – and pounces. This week I watched him take a young chaffinch – and declared war.
The toy department of John Lewis – where an attentive young woman shows me the range of water guns; not the puny water pistols of my childhood – these are full combat rifles – serious ordinance. I settle for the ‘Supersoaker’ (£10.99) which even allows ice cubes into its water tank – so you can fire a freezing stream! At the paydesk however – I kind of lose the plot; the debit card gizmo – my new parcel, walking stick, wallet, receipt – too many moving parts for me; I get all confused – decide I`ve lost my walking stick – start to get agitated. With a mixture of kindness and amusement, the assistant says – “it’s on your arm, sir” – and there it is – dangling – in the manner of Charlie Chaplin. Embarrassing. What causes such ‘senior’ moments – will they multiply?
With great satisfaction – I catch Terry full in the ‘mush’ with my new Supersoaker – and he’s learning to respect the ‘no go’ area under the bird table. Whenever I’m out in the garden – he crouches at a safe distance – and looks at me with utter hatred; I can live with that.
For over a decade – alongside DTA Scotland and Local People Leading – Senscot has campaigned for investment in Anchor organisations; the success of community led regeneration, we believe, depends critically on the emergence of a locally owned organisation with the capacity to lead change; this will typically be a Development Trust or similar. An announcement this week has the potential to transform the landscape of community Anchors across Scotland – because our Government is to fund 50 such front line organisations – to employ their own development worker for 3 years. It shouldn’t have taken 10 years to happen – but this is a giant step forward. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17090
The Youth Café in Edinburgh’s Victoria Terrace (now called 6VT) – which has for 18 years offered refuge to displaced youngsters – is itself now to be displaced. The landlord, Edinburgh City Council, has moved to evict them – in favour of the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, who want the café – to plug a funding gap in their Riddles Court development. Next year, 6VT will probably be a trendy wine bar – years of acclaimed youth work forgotten. The establishment’s disregard for the marginalised – hardly a new story – but a bad call by Edinburgh’s city leaders – shameful. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17083
“There are 37 national and daily newspapers in Scotland; just 5 of them are owned in Scotland; none of the 37 supports independence”. I’m not, with this quote, trying to make a point about the Referendum – but about the alarming pattern of media ownership in the UK. With the exception of the Guardian – our national newspapers are in the pocket of the very establishment they pretend to hold to account. In the linked piece – Kevin McKenna pays tribute to the independence of Scotland’s online journalists.
Developing Strathclyde Ltd (DSL) – a long established Scottish CDFI – and the London based Big Issue Invest – have formed a joint venture to be called Big Issue Invest Scotland. The linked job advert makes it clear that this new player intends to engage right across the spectrum of demand in Scotland’s third sector; not only the secured ‘senior’ lending – but also where the main gap is – for smaller, riskier start-up funding.
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: Scottish Women’s Aid, EUSA, Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust, 3D Drumchapel, Turning Point Scotland, BOLD, Assist Social Capital, Laggan Forest Trust, Beith CDT
EVENTS: Puppet Animation Festival, 7 Apr; SIIA Information Evening, 9 Apr; Social Enterprise Trade Fair, 7 May; Social Enterprise Introductory Workshop, 28 May; Learning to EATS, 30 May;
The SENs Weekly Update; Kim writes: Social Investment Scotland (SIS) will be out on the road next month (12th-16th May) with their Great Social Enterprise Tour. SIS will be visiting 5 cities in 5 days – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. The roadshow – with the theme, ‘connecting capital to communities’ – will be an opportunity to showcase local social enterprises and their products and services as well as finding out more about how social investment could be of help to your own enterprise. For booking details, see http://www.se-networks.net/shownotice.php?articleid=1406.
For more SENs News, see http://www.se-networks.net/showupdate.php?articleid=340
Senscot Legal began trading in March 2011. It was set up as a social enterprise, to provide high quality, accessible and affordable legal advice and support to the social enterprise and wider third sector in Scotland.
Over the last three years, it has provided this service to around 400 organisations. To help meet the growing demand, Senscot Legal applied to the Enterprise Ready Fund for support to appoint an additional paralegal to the team. We’re delighted that this application has been successful and are now actively recruiting. See job description, http://www.senscot.net/docs/ParalegalRecruitmentPackApril2014.pdf . For further details and/or an application pack, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date – Friday, 18th April 2014.
Couple of dates for your diary: Social Enterprise Scotland (SES) is hosting the Social Enterprise Exchange Leadership Dinner in Glasgow on 24th June. Replacing the previous SE Exchange, the event will be run in partnership with SCDI. Tickets are £100 + VAT. Senscot will explore a subsidised package for SEN members. See details, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17089 . A bit sooner than that, on 23rd April, also in Glasgow, Glasgow SEN is hosting a ‘networking session’ with Peter Holbrook. If you don`t know Peter – he’s the top banana at SE UK and chair of the SE World Forum. We may not always agree with Peter’s perspectives but he’s always worth a listen and will be giving an insight into the SE world down south and across the globe. To book, see https://senscot.net/?viewid=17088
Because of the mess the Co-op Group has got itself into – there is to be a ‘fire sale’ of its farms – a campaign is underway to save the 3000 acre Rosemount Farm in Blairgowrie. Lesley Riddoch is appealing on her site for Scottish Co-op members to persuade the AGM on May 10th – that the campaigners should be given the opportunity to get this organised, see https://senscot.net/?viewid=17086. The campaign on the ground is being led by local residents Wendy McCombes and John Palfreyman who want Rosemount Farm to be owned and worked for the benefit of the local community – the very founding principles of the co-op movement. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17087
As was predicted – West Lanarkshire Council refused planning permission this week for Owenstown; the exciting proposal to create a new co-operatively run town in Lanarkshire. The planners decided that the overall impact of the development would simply be too great – but I’d love to know the real story here. Was this only an imaginatively disguised bid to build 3000 new houses or was it a genuine attempt to make a place which would prioritise the values of community – a way of life shaped around ‘the commons’; we’ll never know. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17084
This week’s bulletin profiles a new multi-arts enterprise on the Isle of Mull that is producing, presenting and developing creative work, supporting and connecting artists and audiences across Mull, Iona and beyond. Comar, established in 2013, following the merger of An Tobar and Mull Theatre. Comar (gaelic word for ‘confluence’) works with creative people across all art forms to commission and develop new and exciting creative work. Comar is also home to professional producing company Mull Theatre, who tour extensively across Scotland. For more see, http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=17093
Norman McCaig (1910-1996) divided his life – and the attention of his poetry – between Assynt in the west Highlands and the city of Edinburgh. He valued “clarity, compassion and a certain humane elegance of the mind”. This poem describes the exact area of Edinburgh – Tollcross and the Meadows – where I grew up – and ‘scored the best goals ever’. So simple – so full of memories.
Edinburgh Stroll: I leave Tollcross traffic and walk by the Meadows between two rows of trees, all looking as grave as Elders of the Kirk – but wait till the wind blows. Dogs are hunting for smells. A few men are practising approach shots on the dwarfish golf course. Some children are incomprehensibly playing. And between two heaps of jackets a boy scores a goal – the best one ever. Past the Infirmary I go back to the traffic, cross it, and there’s Sandy Bell’s Bar. Tollcross to Sandy Bell’s Bar – a short walk with a long conclusion.
That’s all for this week.
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Senscot is a Company, registered in Scotland. Company Reg No. 278156: Scottish Charity No. SC 029210