Dear members and friends,
I’ve got a new favourite café – a simple place in Linlithgow – near the Council housing estate; good filter coffee and home baking – friendly prices. Only downside is the weans – sometimes wild; but big plus is Sally who runs the place – with such generous good spirits that I’m captivated. She’s an attractive 55 year old who has looked after herself; her effortless good humour embraces everyone; I’d love to know her story.
Sally’s vitality, causes me to reflect on my own disposition – which is often melancholic; I say this without regret – melancholy has its charms for me – as a defence from the overstimulation of people. It includes some sadness – but mixed with other things – things that I don’t want to let go of. For some – the sadness of loss is preferable to the anxiety of a relationship; easier to manage. But this could be a cop-out?
Wednesday afternoon – Sally is talking to a young woman nearby; “No-one gets what they want when it comes to love,” she says “the prize is to realise what’s ‘good enough’ – work at it”. I reflect on the wisdom of this; as she gathers my dishes – cant’ resist asking, “Did you get the prize, Sally?” She has enough of a smile to cushion her reply. “You don’t know me well enough to ask me that.” I’m wondering if I fancy her a bit.
At the start of a new year – Senscot invites financial support through individual membership subscriptions – average £25. Partner organisations are invited to take up associate membership – small organisations from £50 – large organisations from £100. See 2013 list – we’re over halfway to our annual 100 supporters, www.senscot.net/companymembers13.php. To donate see, www.senscot.net/donate.php.
Since it was announced in 2010 – Senscot has been an enthusiastic supporter of our lotto’s decision to establish JESSICA – as an independent trust – with a £15m endowment; its emphasis on local empowerment attracted widespread praise and anticipation. But the lack of action since then is something of a mystery. A new body, Resilient Scotland, has been set up to get the money out the door but that’s about all we know. Communities across Scotland are crying out for investment. Let’s get a move on. See, senscot.net/?viewid=10788.
George Osborne’s speech this week, makes it clear that the govt. has at last lost patience with the restrictive practices of the big banks – their resistance to reform. I sense that we’re now going to see measures which will facilitate the emergence of new alternative banking. Senscot’s championing of a new Scottish Community Bank continues to progress; Malcolm Hayday (who founded Charity Bank) – is in Scotland this week – working with Aidan and the support group. Here’s their brief. senscot.net/?viewid=13153. More next Friday.
I’m becoming increasingly aware of the Jimmy Reid Foundation – where it is positioning itself on the left of Scottish politics. It is emerging as a think tank – radical reports; I like its work on local democracy. Alex Salmond recently delivered the inaugural Jimmy Reid lecture – to 400 people in Govan; Robin McAlpine posted his reactions; this extract gives a flavour. See, senscot.net/?viewid=13149.
In his recent Jimmy Reid Lecture (above), Alex Salmond speaks of the ‘process’ of drafting a constitution – being as important as the document itself; teasing out the core values of the nation. This is precisely the aim of the ‘Thinking Together’ assembly – to be hosted by ‘So Say Scotland’ – on 28th Feb; It is at the Gathering – for 250 people – in ‘facilitated dialogue’. There is a ‘wing and prayer’ feel about this event which may enable ‘newness’. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13154
When I was a front line community worker – in the 70s, 80s and 90s – the relationship between local community activists and the Council was an adversarial one; two opposing camps. There is a new realisation among local govt. officials – that they will need to learn a new way of working; with and through local networks – resourcing local initiatives – which they won’t control. This piece is about a district in Barcelona called Roquetes – where co-working is being developed with local groups – previously antagonistic to the District Council. See, senscot.net/?viewid=13151.
My old friend David Donnison (a professor emeritus at Glasgow Yooni) has a good piece in the Scottish Review this week – practical ideas for reversing the UK’s gross inequality. David can remember his excitement when he first heard the result of the 1945 general election; he reminds us that pioneers like Beveridge and Bevan used the term ‘social security’ – and spoke of ‘the human right to the freedom from fear’ – a fear that is creeping back. See, senscot.net/?viewid=13150.
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php This week:
JOBS: Marketing & Communications Internship – Social Investment Scotland, General Manager – Eco Drama, Board Directors – Social Care Ideas Factory, Comm. Co-ordinator – Fife Employment Access Trust
EVENTS: Effective Trading, 21 Feb; Crowdfunding Workshop, 27 Feb; Out of the Blue Flea Market, 23 Feb
TENDERS: Rural Dumfries & Galloway LEADER – Rural Awards Good Practice Guide Tender and North Ayrshire Addiction Community Based Support Service. For more details, see www.readyforbusiness.org.
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: Over the coming months, a number of SENs will be carrying ‘mapping exercises’ in their respective areas to identify and quantify the size and scale of the local SE communities. Areas involved include Glasgow; Edinburgh; Dumfries and Galloway; and Dundee. Senscot has begun discussions with other national partners with a view to extending this work across the country. Over the years, as the SE community in Scotland has grown, we have never had a clear picture on the number of SEs that exist and the level of their contribution to the economy. We`ll keep you posted on progress. For more Networks News, see www.se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=278.
Dr Katsunori Sato, a researcher at Tohoku University, Japan, is currently visiting Scotland to find out about how we “do” social enterprise over here. Katsunori is interested to see whether Muhammad Yunus’s ‘Principles of Social Business’ are as relevant to developed economies like Scotland and Japan, as they seem to be to developing countries like Bangladesh. He has asked for our help to help him gather some info’ on SE in Scotland. We`d appreciate if you could spare 10 mins to fill in the attached survey. See, www.surveymonkey.com/s/HBZH2ZH.
DTA Scotland has managed to secure some funding from the Scottish Govt to offer the Knowledge & Skills Exchange Fund to DTAS Members for learning visits/study trips. Applications have to be in by the end of March – with visits completed by end of June. For more, see senscot.net/?viewid=13152.
Date for the diary: The Scottish Community Alliance (SCA) will be hosting ‘The Future is Local’ event at the Scottish Parliament on Friday, 26th April. 250 places are reserved for SCA members – see list of members, www.localpeopleleading.co.uk/ If you are interested in attending, contact your own Network.. More info’ soon.
This week’s bulletin profiles the Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL) which celebrated its 21st anniversary in 2012. GWL is an accredited library – with all books by or about women – and will be moving to new premises in Bridgeton shortly. In recent years, they have been focussing more and more on generating their own income through trading activity. This includes training provision; walking tours; audio tours; and a shop selling prints and other material. For more, see www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=13148.
The poignancy – and sometimes the heartbreak – of the transition from childhood – is captured by this passage from Japanese Author, Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Never Let Me Go’.
“I was weeping for an altogether different reason. When I watched you dancing that day, I saw something else. I saw a new world coming rapidly. More scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh, cruel world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go. That is what I saw. It wasn’t really you, what you were doing, I know that. But I saw you and it broke my heart. And I’ve never forgotten.”
That’s all for this week.
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