Dear members and friends,
The sunless summer has messed with my head again; day after day of dark skies – the gloom has settled into a melancholy that reaches everywhere – even my sleep. I’m far too crabbit – too close to combat; I’ve even barred myself from my favourite café – up at the garden centre – a stupid huff. And my head’s gone funny in other ways; sometimes I’m visited by a sense of unreality – like a detached observer of my own thoughts. ‘Me-ness’ – my sense of being Laurence – wavers; ‘being’ feels fragile; the feeling that "we’re all so mortal that we hardly live". This ‘depersonalisation’ could indicate several ailments – but I put it down to lack of sunshine – SAD – seasonal affective disorder.
My pal, Connie, gave me a row – told me to stop moaning and do something; "you’re not skint – you can take time off – you’re not a tree – follow the sun". So I have taken action; I now know that booking a Ryanair flight online is beyond my range of competence; gave it 50 mins of full attention – couldn’t hack it; a younger colleague did it for me – in 8 mins – how SAD is that? By the time you read this, I’ll (hopefully) be in Andalusia – paddling the seashore near Estepona. There’s nothing wrong with me that sunlight and headspace won’t cure. At least I hope not; otherwise, we’re looking at a visit from the men in white coats.
Senscot will host a seminar on 5th October – to discuss the concept of a Scottish Community Bank (SCB) -see, http://www.senscot.net/docs/ScottishCommunityBank(08.08.12).doc People have started to ask how SCB will be different; this is only the beginning of a journey – much is still unclear – but the vision is clear. We see a new independent financial institution – growing out of, and serving the Scottish Third Sector. As its value builds – so will our sector – progressively taking responsibility for our own investment needs. Senscot has a successful track record incubating new SE infrastructure – but this is new territory – only made possible by the partnership with Charity Bank and CEiS/DSL. If you would like to know more – or lend your support – come along to our seminar. To book your place, see http://www.senscot.net/agm2012.php
On Monday I visited the annual conference of the Scottish Development Trusts Association (DTAS) – which over the years, has established itself as the prime showcase gathering of our community sector; over 200 front line activists and practitioners – suits kept to a minimum. I was truly impressed by the collective vibe; it’s a pity the general public does not know more about the DT movement. It’s inspirational. See, http://www.senscot.net/docs/DTASDelegateList.xls
You may be aware that the present SNP administration has a manifesto commitment to establish a rural parliament for Scotland – based on the successful examples in several North European countries. This weekend, a Govt sponsored study team is in Sweden – evaluating different models; they will attend a gathering of over 1,000 rural activists – as they confer with their politicians. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12722
We certainly need new financial models for the way Govt engages with the third sector around service delivery; but personally I don’t believe that ‘bonds’ which reward private investors are the answer. Many of us are uncomfortable with the principle of ‘marketising’ social care; and on a practical level – the objective evaluation of social outcomes is a minefield. This critique of the situation in Australia seems to agree. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12720
Some of the big charities are starting to raise the alarm about food poverty among Scottish families – the prospect of children going to bed hungry crosses a ‘line’ somehow – Nicola Sturgeon, this week, called it ‘obscene’ – who would argue. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12721. While politicians and civil servants make plans – some of our readers may be interested in the practicalities of establishing a food bank – not a complete solution – but it will feed hungry children. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12409
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: Community Enterprise, The Patients’ Advocacy Service, Fablevision Studios, The Lodging House Mission, Show Racism The Red Card (Scotland), Transition Extreme Sports Ltd, Encompass, Lifelink
EVENTS: Irish Women of Our Past, 12 Sep; Better Business Planning, 13 Sep; SROI Practitioner Training, 18 Sep; Stand & Deliver – Together!, 20 Sep; Why the Financial Crisis? (And what to do about it), 20 Sep;
TENDERS: Care at Home in Midlothian, Occupational Health & Associated Services in Stirling, Employability Services – Try It Out re-tender in the Highlands and Aids for Daily Living in Edinburgh. For more details, see www.readyforbusiness.org.
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: Glasgow SEN is now recruiting a part-time co-ordinator. The post has been created in response to the growing demand for social enterprise services in the city and to ensure that the objectives of the Network are delivered. As GSEN raises its profile – it was one of the sponsors of this week’s successful CEiS Conference – it is determined to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. GSEN will become the 9th SEN to employ its own member of staff – reflecting the development and growth of local SENs as well as their increasing participation in local processes. Closing date is 17th September. See details, http://www.se-networks.net/shownotice.php?articleid=762 For more Networks News, see http://se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=258
Reader Vivien Reynolds writes to alert us – that application deadline for 2013 Churchill Fellowships is 1st October. Over 100 are awarded each year – average £6000 – to travel for 5 or 6 weeks. Here’s the gen, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12717
Social Firms Scotland will be holding its annual bash (including AGM) on Thursday, 20th Sept at the Glasgow Business Centre in Bothwell. The event is entitled, ‘Stand and Deliver – Together’. See details, www.se-networks.net/shownotice.php?articleid=745.
Big turnout for CEiS’s Conference in Glasgow on Wednesday. Around 200 folk heard a raft of presentations on opportunities and challenges facing our SE community and the communities they work in – from youth employment and public service delivery to social investment and engagement in the Commonwealth Games legacy. See attendees list, http://www.senscot.net/docs/CEiSDelegatelist.pdf The day kicked off with Local Government Minister, Derek Mackay announcing the successful applicants to the Govt’s International Social Enterprise Programme. They are Assist Social Capital, Challenges Worldwide, The Homeless World Cup, International Network of Street Papers and The Social Enterprise World Forum CIC. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12724
Social Investment Scotland (SIS) recently celebrated their 10th birthday. Their Chair, Alf Young, and a number of their Directors will be stepping down at the end of this year, having served their terms. They’re on the lookout for some new faces. If interested, see https://senscot.net/?viewid=12723
With DTA Scotland conference last, it’s appropriate that this week’s bulletin should profile a DTA Scotland member. The People’s Development Trust (PDT) has been established in response to the ongoing regeneration activity being undertaken within the East End of Glasgow. PDT has four main aims: to act as a vehicle for the involvement of local people; to own and manage community facilities for the benefit of local people; to develop and deliver a range of economic, social, and environmental services in response to local needs; and to generate income and build the asset base for re-investment in the local community. For more on PDT and their plans, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=12727
Ivan Illich was an Austrian Catholic priest – and a maverick social critic of the institutions of western culture. His 1971 book ‘Deschooling Society’ affirmed my own innate scepticism about formal education.
"Schooling – the production and marketing of knowledge – which is what the school amounts to, draws society into the trap of thinking that knowledge is hygienic, pure, respectable, deodorized – produced by human heads and amassed in stock… that learning requires a process of consumption of services presented in an industrial, a planned, a professional form; that learning is a thing rather than an activity. A commodity – that can be amassed and measured – the possession of which is a measure of the social value of the individual within the society. Learning is thus approached as a form of acquisition rather than a way of being in the world."
That’s all for this week.
Good luck with your adventures
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