Dear members and friends,
Clad in my jeans, wellies, gloves, kneepads – surrounded by my tools – I feel functional – empowered. It’s an elemental thing – makes me happy – but I keep a chair handy for regular pauses. Monday morning I start my new patio project – digging the founds. All going well till 10am when I strike rock – a boulder. It takes me 3 hours to uncover it – 30inches deep 20 inches. across – my 6ft steel spike can move it in its hole – but how to lift it? After soup and a siesta I wrestle with this monster for a further 3 hours – an enthralling contest. At one stage, with a combination of levers and pulleys I raise it 18inches – but it slides back.
Round about six I’ve had it for the day – mentally and physically spent. I’m sitting just looking at the thing when a builders van drives up and a guy gets out to ask directions. I tell him where he wants to go – then say ‘‘This stone’s got me beat – cant budge the thing’’. He walks over – looks at it – kneels with his palm spread on it – as if taking its measure. From the van he takes a cole chisel and a mash hammer – kneels – places the chisel in the centre of the stone – hits it hard six times – a hairline crack appears, he hits it another twice and the stone splits meekly into equal halves. He smiles – declines a ‘‘fiver for a pint’’ and drives off. All under five minutes. I sit for sometime wondering how I feel about this.
On my quick visit to London last week, I learned of an important distinction being made between civic and civil society. Civic society can be seen as `the local state` – where citizens participate in Health Boards – schools – community councils etc. Civil society is where citizens associate and take action independent of the state. For me, community empowerment is, by definition, about independence – in the civil realm – but in England, this is still very much contested territory. The issue has come to ahead with the £141m allocated last October to finance local Anchor organisations. It seems that this programme has been ambushed for months by the powerful lobby within the statutory sector which sees anything outwith state control as potentially dodgy. This is a crunch issue. Here is a good English policy roundup from the Development Trusts Association https://senscot.net/?viewid=7309
Regular readers will be aware that I am a great admirer of Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. As well as being one of the world’s most creative and successful social entrepreneurs – he is also an economist – and his conceptual framework for ‘social business’ within the world economic system – sits comfortably with me. Last week – delivering the commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT) – he set out his agenda for tackling world poverty with special reference to the role social entrepreneurs can play. A truly inspirational piece. This is his prepared text. https://senscot.net/?viewid=7306
The generous resources currently available to develop the social enterprise sector, have fuelled the debate about what is, and is not, a social enterprise. Increasingly the private sector is sniffing around wondering if we represent a threat or an opportunity for them. Interesting piece by academic Rory Ridly-Duff for those of you who enjoy the definitional stuff.
Is this the biggest charity shop in Scotland? The Emmaus community in Glasgow (22 former homeless men and woman) will later this month open a 10,000 sq.ft. recycled furniture shop in Bridgeton in Glasgow’s East End. Donated furniture is refurbished before resale. I could become a customer. Emmaus has over 400 international communities, including 13 in the UK. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7303
Senscot AGM will be held on Thursday 26th June at Glasgow Opportunities, 36 North Hanover Street (right next to Queen Street Station). Roddy MacDonald from Scottish Government, Third Sector Division will talk about the imminent Action Plan. Buffet at 12.30 for a 1pm start. We have space for 50 so, if you fancy coming along, please contact email@example.com
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/index.php?W21ID=86&W21SUBID=0. This week:
JOBS: 20 vacancies, incl. posts with: Forth Sector, Mull & Iona Community Trust, Central Scotland Forest Trust, Carrick Community Councils’ Forum, The Big Issue, Govanhill Youth Project
EVENTS: 18 events Edinburgh Treefest and Woodmarket, 15 Jun, Edinburgh; The Art of Conversation, 16 Jun, Glasgow; Self Leadership Seminar with Karen Darke, 26 June, Edinburgh; Southside Festival, 28 Jun, Glasgow; Social Enterprise World Forum, 5 Sep, Edinburgh
NETWORKS 1st: Colin writes: The third SEN Reps Meeting took place in Alloa yesterday (Thursday) with discussion mainly on the pros and cons of our draft `blueprint for the Networks`. (http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7308) The document is being produced in response to requests at the previous Reps Meeting for an overview on the aims and objectives of LSENs, possible structures (if any) and offering some suggestions that we feel will fit with the ethos of grassroots Networks. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st
Senscot will be well represented at Monday`s DTA Scotland Conference in St. Andrews. Over 170 have registered to hear amongst others Richard Lochhead (Minister for Rural Affairs and the Environment) and Robert Crawford (Glasgow Caledonian University). There are only a handful of places left. Deadline is 5pm today. (http://www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=7200). Here’s an example of the work being done by DTAS member, Braemar Community Ltd, up in Aberdeenshire. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7294
Senscot attended a Policy Forum on the impending Social Investment Fund on Wednesday in Glasgow. Roddy MacDonald told the gathering of Scottish Govt`s intention to invest £30m over the next three years in building capacity, capability and financial sustainability in the third sector. They are looking to support enterprise through strategic investment in individual organisations with a view to them reaching their full potential. The fund will be part of the new Action Plan due out any time now. With other funds also available such as Increase and the Climate Challenge Fund, there do seem to be some real opportunities ahead for the sector over the next three years.
This week’s bulletin profiles an expanding social enterprise based in Alloa but serving the wider Forth Valley area. C-MEE provides gardening, decorating, repairs and estate management services to individuals and community groups in areas (geographic and thematic) of particular disadvantage. The organisation is working towards a sustainable future and has secured a number of contracts with local housing associations. In the last week or so, they have also secured funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust to help build their capacity in carrying out more commercial works http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=7296
I’ve just watched the DVD of ‘No Country for Old Men’ – Cormac McCarthy is certainly bleak isn’t he, but there are glimpses of hope. This is the last scene in the film (and the book). Ed Tom , the narrator (Tommy Lee Jones), recounts a dream about his father: ‘‘We was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin` through the mountains of a night. Goin` through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin`. Never said nothing`. He just rode on past and he had this blanket wrapped around him and he had his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryin` fire in a horn the way people used to do. I could see the horn from the light inside of it. About the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin` on ahead and that he was fixin` to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all the cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up.” https://senscot.net/?viewid=7293
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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