Dear members and friends,
This is the best weather I can recall in Andalucia at New Year – clear skies – hot sun – but the air is cold. Most days I go to the sea – still and shimmering – sit in an old chair, placed so the water laps my feet; an old geezer on a chair – wearing a coat – paddling. One stormy day, I still walked the shore – drinking the wild air – the sea roused – all roar and flying spray – spectaculo.
When Laurie Lee walked this shoreline in 1935 – the beach from Gibraltarto Malaga was shingle. The present sand must be imported for tourism. Along ourstretch of beach, the surf has exposed the original shingle and I’ve started collecting tiny fragments of terracotta – polished by years on the seabed. Pottery has existed since 6000BC; for thousand of years, the great empires of history have traded across these very waters. I like to imagine that my polished shards were made by Egyptians, Greeks, Phoenicians etc (they could equally be fromTorremolinos – circa 1985).
And if we have been lucky enough to love the sea since we were children – her lure will always stay with us. And no matter where we go, we will always return – and always be rewarded; for she can change our moods and make us feel things we like to feel. And there is never any end to the call of the seashore – no matter how old we become – the old man and the sea.
Our system of representative democracy is the province of political parties – and, like any ‘closed’ system, is exclusive. JM Coetzee, the South African writer, holds that because the system is impervious to challenge from outside itself – that our democracy is totalitarian. Our SNP Govt is currently drafting a community empowerment bill – but it’s difficult to discern if its intent is cosmetic or radical. Many of us believe that the true empowerment of communities requires a degree of economic independence – developing and managing local economies. Community-owned Development Trusts, Housing Associations, Enterprises etc – acting as local Anchor Organisations – show the way to go. https://senscot.net/?viewid=11822
Social enterprise is a relatively recent term – and is essentially a restatement of values practiced by pioneers like Robert Owen hundreds of years ago. In the current issue of Resurgence magazine – Ed Mayo (General Secretary of Co-ops UK) relates how ‘experimental economists’ are challenging the basic assumptions "that people are naturally and primarily competitive and self-interested – and that the economy is best shaped by this bleak fact". Mayo traces the scope and scale of the growing co-operative sector (impressive) and suggests that co-operators are more likely to lead sane and fruitful lives. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11820
In my opinion, social enterprises should not get involved in issuing interest yielding bonds. I stand with Muhammad Yunus – social aims and investor profits are incompatible. If you are minded to invite investment from individuals make it clear – you’ll get your money back – eventually – but not a penny more. It’s surprising how any people there are who will be satisfied that their capital is being used to relieve uffering – to make a better world. This piece is by someone who doesn’t agree with unus – but it’s a useful outline of current ‘social bond’ discussions. See,https://senscot.net/?viewid=11818
Big turnout on 20th December for the funeral of John Pearce at West Lothian cematorium in Livingston. John once wrote, "Social enterprise is a practical manifestation of an altogether bigger project – namely changing the way society operates". He was unwavering in living out his commitment to this bigger vision. His book, "Social Enterprise in Anytown" is part of his legacy. This is the obituary which appeared in the Herald. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11823
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: Tobermory Harbour Association – Business Administrator, Cre8te – Business Adviser, Stirling Young Carers Education Project – Young Carers Education Officer, Coconut Corner Childcare Centre – Treasurer
EVENTS: HISEZ – Creating Enterprise to enable Social Benefit, Just Enterprise – Finance Training for the Third Sector, Talk Action – Consensus Decision Making
TENDERS: Fast Track Physical Rehabilitation & Therapy Services, Management of the Climate Challenge Fund and the Community and Renewable Energy Loan Scheme, Construction work for multi-dwelling buildings and individual houses
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: Firstly, we’d like to offer our best wishes to all SEN members for the year ahead. It looks as if it is going to be a busy year with 8 SEN meetings already scheduled for January. On the 27th, the first Networks Rep meeting of 2012 will be taking place (11am – 1pm at 43 Bath Street, Glasgow). The Reps Meeting is, as always, an opportunity for SENs to meet up and share information and knowledge with one another. The meeting will also offer an opportunity for SENs to discuss their progress re negotiations with Third Sector Interfaces for funding in the year ahead. Other issues are also coming to the surface such as Milo and EFQM and their potential implications for SENs. For info,contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more Networks News, see http://www.se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=223
From 1st Jan 2012, charitable companies and charitable Industrial and Provident Societies will be able to apply to OSCR to convert their legal form to Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs). OSCR has been handling new applications for SCIO status and conversions from unincorporated charities & Trusts since April 2011. The SCIO legal form is unique to Scottish charities and provides a high degree of protection against personal liability for trustees. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11827 . Senscot Legal offers a very competitive package both to new and existing organisations and has already assisted numerous organisations with SCIO applications over the last nine months. If you are interested in becoming or converting to a SCIO, contact Alan or Karina at email@example.com
Further new legislation coming into force next week, will allow credit unions, for the first time, to offer services directly to social enterprises, charities and community groups – with a view to letting them compete more effectively with banks and other lenders in providing financial services. The legislation also means that all of an organisation’s staff, members and service users can join one credit union. Another important aspect is that they will be able to do business lending – offering an alternative source of finance for start up and existing organisations and businesses. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11816
Have you heard of a ‘Jelly’? It’s is a casual co-working event where people can collaborate, share tips, swap ideas and simply get down to business (see,www.jellyweek.tumblr.com)Worldwide Jelly Week is later this month (16th-22nd Jan) when 62 ‘Jellies’ will be taking place in 22 different countries across the globe – with two in Scotland. In Edinburgh, the Melting Pot is collaborating with Firstport, Community Enterprise Ltd and the Social Enterprise Academy to offer a free day of advice on business development, learning needs and problem solving. In Glasgow, Govanhill Housing Association and Assist Social Capital are also hosting a similar event. See more, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11829
Social Enterprise Scotland (formerly our Coalition) launched a short video at the recent Cross Party meeting on social enterprise in December. The video highlights the social and economic impact of social enterprises in Scotland. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=11821
This week’s bulletin profiles a community enterprise that owns and manages a range of the facilities within Tobermory Harbour on the Isle of Mull. The Tobermory Harbour Association (THA), founded in 1983, has embarked on an ambitious long term programme to build, purchase, lease, and acquire assets to provide ‘facilities for all’. Their programme has included the development of a number of major projects – the Ledaig Car and Bus Park; the installation of pontoons; the new Harbour Visitor Centre, Taigh Solais. Their latest venture involves the development of a community wind farm on the island. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=11825
I’m really enjoying Eckhart Tolle’s latest thin volume – ‘Stillness Speaks’ – which I think is his best. He has a real gift fro the language of our ‘inscape’ – some special insights.
‘Much suffering, much unhappiness arises when you take each thought that comes into your head for the truth. Situations don’t make you unhappy. They may cause you physical pain, but they don’t make you unhappy. Your thoughts make you unhappy. You interpretations – the stories you tell yourself make you unhappy. "The thoughts I am thinking right now are making me unhappy" – this realisation breaks your unconscious identification with those thoughts.’
That’s all for this week.
Good luck with your adventures
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