Dear members and friends,
Sometimes it starts with sleeping badly on consecutive nights – underground turbulence. This may surface as a mood of sadness, which is ok – sadness and I are old friends – as valid a part of us as any; I just stay with it – no hassle. Sometimes this darkens into feelings of worthlessness and futility – all energy drains away – so that wee piles of clothes and dishes and documents appear for a few days – no big deal.
But there’s a further stage of darkness – an almost physical anxiety and foreboding – ‘we’re all doomed’. Like in Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ – some catastrophic collapse of the global food system – surviving humans are feral – hunt each other as food – the light of humanity surviving in tiny pockets… but part of me knows that this is nonsense – not to go there; just hunker down till it passes – as it always does?
Sitting in bed at half nine, looking out the window at heavy cloud – light fading early; drone of a landing plane – the last EasyJet from Standsted; Bob Marley sings quietly on the radio – sounds like he’s coping. We don’t need to accomplish great things – we only need to accomplish little things – that make us feel better – or not so bad. Like getting this column done – read for a bit – try to sleep. Please let me sleep.
In the USA, it is inconceivable that anyone would consider a life plan which excludes personal wealth – and so it is that, for them, social enterprises can be delivering social gain and private profit simultaneously – no asset lock. It is, of course, to be welcomed that business embraces social and environmental considerations – but in UK terms, this is private, not third sector activity. I mention this in the context of Big Society Capital (BSC), which launched this week to increase the flow of affordable capital to “Socially orientated financial institutions” (note the words). https://senscot.net/?viewid=11349. My concern is that the model being followed is the American one and that it will soon become very muddled what is and is not a social enterprise. BSC`s first investment – £1m to the Private Equity Foundation (PEF) – is a calculated statement of intent. If you want a glimpse of where they want to take our sector, read this interview with PEF`s CEO – chilling. https://senscot.net/?viewid=11346
The Social Enterprise Coalition in England has ‘rebranded’ as Social Enterprise UK – “to better reflect its role as the national body for social enterprise and better represent the UK social enterprise movement”. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, social enterprise is almost entirely a devolved matter – we have our own bespoke govt. programmes and representative bodies. For the English intermediary to assume that it represents us is objectionable – a lack of understanding and of respect. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11342
The Radio 4 news bulletin on Tuesday morning carried the story that over 2000 charities had had their funding cut by local councils in England. The numbers were compiled by the campaigning group ‘False Economy’ – from 265 freedom of information responses; the same day NCVO issued a statement that this estimate was ‘far too low’. I also think it’s far too early – the true picture is just starting to emerge.
Good piece from Gerry Hassan questioning the Scot’s attitude to power – asking where it lies in our over centralised country and calling for the re-emergence of our towns and burgh’s. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11341
Third sector organisations which host seminars, conferences etc – need to be considered about pricing. If it is a fundraiser – say so. I don’t mind paying £75 for tepid chicken – if £50 goes to a good cause; but I resent paying £100 to meet with colleagues and discuss work. Current pricing levels exclude ordinary people working at the front line – so that events are cluttered with suits. One of the worst examples of this was the Voice 11 event – £150 +VAT per head – which is crazy stuff.
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: Station House Media Unit (SHMU), Community Land Scotland, The City of Edinburgh Council, Turning Point Scotland, Forth Sector, Museums Galleries Scotland, Garvald Edinburgh, TalentScotland Graduate Placement at Stornoway Port Authority
EVENTS: Wait Until Tomorrow: A Daughters Memoir, 31 May, Branding-all you need to know to get your business off the starting blocks, 1 June, Making sense of reports: Getting the best from funded, 2 June, Mystery History Session, 9 June
TENDERS: Community Rehabilitation Service, Services for Older People Living at Home, Extra Care Housing, Scaffold @ various addresses, Ballingry Area, Supply and Fit of Ceiling Tiles,
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: Single Interface update: Renfrewshire Interface informs us of a social enterprise toolkit they have developed with SKS Scotland that is proving popular with local organisations. See, http://www.sksscotland.co.uk/Social-Enterprise-Toolkit(2403205).htm Also, we hear from Stirlingshire that the Interface will be providing ongoing admin support to the emerging Stirlingshire SEN. This adds to last week’s list of Interfaces where some real and tangible engagement has been taking place. Although, we are aware of three areas that are experiencing particular difficulties, we’ll continue to report on positive developments that are clearly taking place in many areas. For more Networks News, see http://www.se-networks.net/admin/editupdate.php?id=202
Big Date for your diary: This year’s Ceilidh (our 7th) will be taking place on 17th/18th November at our usual venue at New Lanark. The programme will include some of the old favourites (i.e. Dragons’ Den etc) but, also, we’re planning a couple of new/refreshed items. One important change to note this year, however, is that we will be charging a fee for the first time. With things being much tighter this year, we need to make sure that we can cover all costs. We are setting the fee at £30 pp (including room and board) for SEN members. Booking forms etc will be available over the next couple of weeks. See Ceilidh 2010 Report, http://www.senscot.net/docs/SECeilidh2010Report.pdf
The recruitment process for the new CEO of Social Investment Scotland (SIS) is being led by Munro Consulting (http://www.munroconsulting.com/SIS ). They are happy to chat with anyone interested in applying. They are looking for someone with leadership qualities who can stimulate growth in investment in social enterprise. This will be a hugely influential role in the growth and development of our sector in Scotland. For contact info on Munro Consulting, see http://www.senscot.net/view_job.php?viewid=11328
Dundee FC could be the next Scottish football club to explore the social enterprise model. See https://senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=11348
News of another successful community buy-out this week, with DTAS member, Sleat Community Trust (SCT) taking over ownership of the Tormore Forest in Skye. The buy-out was supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Highland Council and Triodos Bank. See more, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11338
This week’s bulletin profiles the trading arm of Mayfield and Easthouses Development Trust (MAEDT) in Midlothian. Set up in 2006, MAEDT has established a number of services and projects to meet the needs of their local community. The most recent is their trading arm – MAEDT Marquees. MAEDT Marquees hire out a range of marquees for community events, private parties, small weddings and corporate events, or as additional space for larger events. All profits are channelled into improved services for the local community. See more, http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=11340
This week’s profile is our 500th (our first was Birse Community Trust in Dec 2001). Many of those profiled have changed considerably over the years and some are no longer active. If you’d like your profile updated, contact firstname.lastname@example.org . See, http://www.senscot.net/fulllist.php
Novelist William Boyd writing about Anton Chekhov. “Nobody wrote like Chekhov before he appeared and after he had gone (in 1904) he had changed everything. The thirty or so mature short stories that he published in the last decade of his life depict a view of the human condition and a way of writing about it that is still hugely prevalent and entirely valid. Chekhov was highly conscious of life’s endless disconnections, its absurdities, plotlessness and its random cruelty. Comic, dark, secular, unconsoling, unsentimental, refusing to condemn or celebrate, his stories still ring with unmistakeable human truth over a hundred years after they were written.”
That’s all for this week.
Good luck with your adventures
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Senscot is a Company, registered in Scotland. Company Reg No. 278156: Scottish Charity No. SC 029210