Dear members and friends,
A reader sent an article called ‘The top 5 regrets of the dying’ – cheerful stuff. In spite of some cheesy ‘Hollywood’ language, I found it interesting – comparing notes. The writer says she nursed terminally ill people, in their homes, during their final 3 – 12 weeks of life. Hearing some speak of life regrets – things they would do differently – she says the following 5 themes came up repeatedly: (1) I wish I had lived more true to myself, rather than the expectations of others (2) I wish I didn’t work so hard (3) I wish I had the courage to express my feelings (4) I wish I had stayed in touch with friends (5) I wish I had let myself be happier.
The most common regret reported was (1) above; along with (3) this is the failure to do, or even say, what we really wanted in life. I believe I was the opposite to this – out of arrogance as much as courage – I have mostly disregarded advice or caution. (2) Work for me has had an exaggerated importance – a sense of being driven by some unconscious need – something to prove. (4) The loss of friends and relationships is a major regret in my life; avoiding attachment is a form of cowardice – we can only reap what we sow. (5) The state of being happy or otherwise is, I believe, set very early in life – by the time we leave nursery; after that there is only tinkering. Personally, I feel relatively fortunate on the happiness scale – but I suspect I have always had low expectations. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12075
Rousing article by former MP Brian Wilson in the Scotsman – about land reform in Scotland; he was in Mull this week – fired up for the annual conference of Community Land Scotland. Wilson thinks that Holyrood has gone to sleep on the whole land reform issue – "Not one line of legislation, beyond what it inherited, has been originated by our devolved parliament – the subject has been quietly filed under ‘gone away’." The SNP manifesto promised a ‘land reform review group’ – when this happens, we’ll tell by its remit and membership whether this Govt. has the political will to change the relationship between citizens and the land we live on. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12077
The dormant bank accounts money was well named – it’s been so protracted that it put us all to sleep. Eventually this week it has materialised as ‘Young Start’ – £9m up to March 2013 – to be delivered by the Scottish Lottery in dollops of £10k – £50k – for the benefit of Scottish children and young people. (8-24) We think this money will flow quickly out to the third sector – worth checking the tick boxes. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12080 Hits on our website are showing a continuing interest in Scottish Govt’s ‘people and communities fund’ – created specifically to support community-led regeneration. Here’s the link again, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12047
"Social Enterprise (oxymoronic noun) – interim non profit private provider – paving the way for proper private takeover". This ironic definition of SE, as seen by the English Govt, is quoted by Les Huckfield in his latest briefing. His detailed and comprehensive report looks at the blurring, in England, of the boundaries between SE and private companies – concluding that SE will get only the crumbs under the table. Les calls his briefing ‘Killing Social Enterprise Softly’. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12081
The founder members of the new Voluntary Code of Practice for SE in Scotland (the steering group) has decided to launch the Code on March 27th – at the Social Enterprise Exchange in Glasgow. See, http://senscot.org/docs/VoluntaryCodeofPractice.pdf
Good piece by George Monbiot on one of his favourite themes – the corporate takeover of Britain. He’s talking about the network of unelected committees, boards and commissions, operating below the public radar – through which govt’s pursue the aims which were not in the manifesto. This piece is mainly about England; it would be telling to have a similar examination of our Scottish Establishment. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12086
We don’t know the ins and outs of the procurement wrangle between Glasgow City Council and the Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) but Green MSP Patrick Harvie called it a shambles. Whatever’s going on the potential loss of 5 out of 8 Glasgow offices is very serious. CAB volunteers are the front line troops in the fight against poverty – needed now more than ever. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12091
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: Action for Children, Alness Community Association, Scottish Women’s Aid, Social Enterprise Scotland, Plantlife Scotland, Yoker Community Campus, FEAT Enterprises, PSS Scotland
EVENTS: Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, 17 Mar; The Value of Carers’ Centres, 20 Mar; The International Child and Youth Care Network Conference, 21 Mar, Leading Scotland Conference, 28th Mar;
TENDERS: Domestic Abuse Community Support (DACS) Service, Baling of Mixed Plastic Bottles, Support to Social Enterprise in Fife and Graphic Design and Print Buying for Ochils Landscape Partnership. For more details see http://www.readyforbusiness.org Join the Linked-In group at http://tinyurl.com/7ltz7oz and follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/RdyForBusiness
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: As part of the Developing New Markets Programme, ReadyforBusiness is running a series of local events across the country. Six events are scheduled between April and June (list to follow). The events aim to bring a shared understanding between the public sector commissioning and procurement community and the third sector at a local level. Leading third sector organisations will take part in dialogue and discussion with local public sector representatives – with actions to stimulate future engagement being identified. Worth looking at this recent Audit Scotland report – urging Councils to work more closely with third sector organisations. See, http://www.se-networks.net/shownotice.php?articleid=631 For more Networks News, see http://www.se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=233
The SE Exchange is 10 days away. Over 1,000 delegates have now signed up. One of the most impressive parts of the event is the use of social enterprises in the ‘supply chain’. Around 30 social enterprises have been contracted to provide products/services on the day from entertainment and catering to social media and recycling. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12088
Big day in Fife last week with the annual Social Enterprise ‘Opportunities to Grow’ Trade Fair, held at the . Big winners were: Fife Social Entrepreneur of the year – Lynne Ogilvie; Fife Social Enterprise of the year – Furniture Plus; and Dragons Den winner – The Royal Oak Community Club. Congratulations to all those involved.
The social enterprise community is frequently reminded of the importance of promoting good news stories – sharing good practice. It makes sense and is to everyone’s benefit. However, we also have to be honest and realise that the social enterprise model has its risks and, as a result, will have casualties. Recently, the media has covered the closure of the both Social Enterprise Clydebank; Erskine Print and Erskine Furniture. There’s an important piece of work to be done looking at causes of being unsuccessful. ‘The failure of pioneers allows those that follow to succeed’. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12083
This week’s bulletin profiles the Spoon Café that is located on the Trongate within Glasgow’s Merchant City. Spoon Café is part of the Unity Enterprise stable and as well as operating as a café and running an outside catering service, Spoon also provides employment to those who experience disabilities and/or social disadvantages. Spoon has recently been selected as one of 5 social enterprises to provide on-site catering at the SE Exchange at SECC on 27th March. For more, see
Harry Reid reviewing Richard Holloway’s autobiography, ‘Leaving Alexandria’.
"Before I met Richard Holloway, I disapproved of him. I thought he was a serial self-publicist, who had made overmuch of his doubts and his eventual loss of faith. We met in an unlikely setting: a small community centre situated between two bleak housing estates in north Edinburgh. I was moderating an event which he was discussing some of his books. He addressed the small audience briefly and well. Then, at the questions, I noticed how he never patronised anyone, but answered sometimes halting and confused queries with understanding, empathy and clarity. He created a warm solidarity, and the evening became an unlikely success. I became a Holloway fan then and I have been ever since. This very fine book confirms and indeed strengthens my admiration for a questing, unquiet man who is good, gifted and gracious." See review, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12090
That’s all for this week.
Good luck with your adventures
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