Dear members and friends,
My cottage is off the public road – just a rutted track to an old church – but a popular walk with locals; like Dan and Briege – an attractive couple in their early thirties, with a black Labrador called Monty. Dan with his small builders business would give advice on my projects – Briege, a singer with a band – long red curls – a wild eye. Local goss’ has it that, in drink, they’d argue late into the night – that sometimes she’d storm off. Then about 2 years ago, she moved out – and Dan’s head went down for a while. It must have been ‘a sair one’, cos he let himself go – clothes – hair – beard – wandered about half drunk – with a stoop – even Monty got dejected. Sometimes he’d bring a bottle and watch the footy at my place; if he fell asleep I just put a blanket on him. Then I didn’t see him anymore – then his cottage was re-let.
For lunch today I took my cheese sandwich out into bright spring sunshine – suddenly from nowhere a black Labrador is slobbering all over me – it’s Monty; and there’s Dan approaching shyly with a lovely young woman on his arm. Warm greetings and introductions – I rustle up coffee and shortbread – chat away like old times. Her name’s Lara – Polish extraction – she’s training to be a plumber with his pal Billy – they met on a job. Two young people – who’ve both been wounded by love – but they’re trying again – so tender with each other.
If you’ve ever tried to change your bank account, you will know that they don’t make it easy – but if the Government goes ahead with the People’s Bank, I’ll certainly bite the bullet – move my account. Even now, money is pouring into the Post Office and National Savings at an unprecedented rate – because it’s trusted – folk know it’s not a rip off. Labour MP for Telford, David Wright, put the case well in the UK Parliament this week. https://senscot.net/?viewid=8006
The People’s Bank would be a social enterprise – where profit is reinvested in expanding and improving services rather than distributed to shareholders – and this is increasingly touted as a model for the wider economy. The UK Civil Society Almanac 2009, published last month, says that social enterprise is the primary source of income (71%) for most civil society organisations – generating £82 billion – not the £27 billion usually quoted. The social enterprise movement needs to stop being defensive and accept responsibility for leading a major shift in the way society organises itself.
Scotland’s 57 CVSs have formed a new umbrella body called Voluntary Action Scotland – which will meet formally for the first time on 16th April. Harry Whiteside, who chaired the Steering Group process, said: “We need a more cohesive network that is more recognised. At the moment we are getting lost within SCVO”. See link http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8019
I’m still trying to get my head around the Scottish Govt’s call for a single ‘Interface’ between the Third Sector and each Community Planning Partnership – how will this work? In the official guidance note (02/02/09), Interface ‘functions’ specify support for voluntary organisations (CVSs), volunteering (VCs) and social enterprises (LSEPs). http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8014 As with all Scottish Govt policy, no mention is made of our community sector – thousands of wee local groups – mostly operating below the radar. This crucial activity urgently needs its own national umbrella body – maybe the Local People Leading campaign could evolve into this. The English Govt has a Community Empowerment Fund which distributed £9.25m last week. Scotland has no equivalent funding. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8015
In 1999 when Senscot started, one of our main supporters was the Big Issue in Scotland (TBIS). 0ver the years, Senscot has maintained close ties with TBIS and over the coming weeks, the Big Issue magazine will be giving greater coverage to the social enterprise sector in Scotland and the UK. Running alongside this new focus, Senscot is beginning a new collaboration with the TBIS recruitment team. From this week, our web page will carry the TBI Jobs logo with a link to their site. People wishing to advertise with us (still free), will also have the opportunity to have their job ad posted on the TBI site – at a cost of £100. The TBI Jobs page attracts over 6000 hits per week. See http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8007
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but submit jobs and events and we’ll post them on our site. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php. This week:
JOBS: incl. posts with Dennistoun Community Youth Project, The Melting Pot, Growing Communities Fieldworkers, Glasgow East Womens Aid, Mercy Corps, The Engine Shed
EVENTS: Open Day, ACE Centre, 20 Apr; Community Sector Trading, DTA, 5 May; Fintry Renewable Energy Show, Fintry Development Trust, 9 May; Facilitation Training Day, Talk Action, 15 May; Social Capital and Community Resilience, Edinburgh, 4 June; Peas vs. Pills Health Workshop, Edinburgh, 6 June;
NETWORKS 1st News: Colin writes: An increasingly important issue for LSENs over the next 12 months will be the emergence of the new ‘Interface’ between the Third Sector and Community Planning Partnerships. Scottish Govt has been clear that the functions of the ‘Interface’ will include support for social enterprise at a local level. Networks need to consider how they will relate to this new form of engagement. For more Networks News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=82
Two weeks to go till S2S, Scotland’s main trade fair for our sector. Numbers are filling up so book now to make sure you get a place. We’re told there are now only a few stands still available. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7994
DTA Scotland has recently launched its own consultancy service – The Pool in Scotland (TPiS). The Pool is unique in that it draws on the knowledge and expertise held among development trust members and applies this to community regeneration, asset development and cultivating local enterprise. It will use this experience to provide advice to Govt, local authorities and to help develop community ownership of assets. Crucially, it will also generate additional income for members and DTAS. For more info’, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8008
One of the best examples in Scotland where Trade Unionism meets Community Action is the Clydebank Independent resource Centre (CIRC) – which launches a new report on Thursday 16th April, called “To Bankers, from Bankies. Incapacity Benefit: Myth and Reality” – the report is critical of current welfare reform – particularly changes to Incapacity Benefit. See http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8020
Glasgow Caledonian University’s Post Graduate Certificate in Social Enterprise is now underway. The programme, run in partnership with the Social Enterprise Academy, is the first of its kind in Scotland. It started last month and has 20 participants. See more, http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8004
The Academy has also announced the appointment of their new Programme Manager for Highlands and Islands. David Bryan, currently with CRNS, will be joining The Academy in May.
This week’s bulletin profiles a community organisation in Dumfries and Galloway that has become increasingly enterprising over the years. Machars Action, set up in 1995 and instrumental in getting Wigtown recognised as Scotland’s national Book Town, has evolved over the years to provide a range of services that now generate income in their own right. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=8010
Of all the books I constantly revisit – the one with the most underlined passages is now Jack Kornfield’s ‘A Path With Heart’ – Here’s a gem:
“The difference between one who is awakened and one who is not is simply a question of whether or not the person grasps at a limited story. So the Buddha said, ‘‘Those who are unawakened grasp their thoughts and feelings, their body, their perceptions and consciousness, and take them as solid, separate from the rest. Those who are awakened have the same thoughts and feelings, perceptions, body, and consciousness, but they are not grasped, not held, not taken as oneself.”
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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