Dear members and friends,
Despite Sunday’s foul weather, I drive 35mins up the M9 to the Circa restaurant near Doune (beautifully sourced and served haddock and chips); on the way back, at the Kincardine turnoff, my offside front tyre punctures – pull on to the hard shoulder. At 78, I’m physically challenged to change a wheel – but no phone/no alternative; none of the individual tasks is beyond me – the jack, wheel-nuts etc – I’ll just take it slowly; the Hibs game (away to St Johnstone) has started on the radio – a welcome distraction.
The ferocity of the passing traffic surprises me – lorries and buses shake the car; a puncture on the driver’s side would be too dangerous for me to fix. The drizzle, and spray from speeding cars, is relentless – winding the jack takes me 20 minutes – then Hibs go one down. By half time I’ve fitted the spare wheel – but the radio is strangely silent; when I try to start the engine, the battery is completely flat: drained by the radio you stupid boy!
Standing beside my car 4pm – 5pm, thumb raised – not a single good Samaritan. Except someone has reported my forlorn presence – because eventually a beautiful, gorgeous, police Land Rover – ablaze with lights, pulls in behind me. Police Scotland get me back underway with impressive courtesy and efficiency; but those two scary hours, at that roadside, asked some painful questions about my ongoing competence as a road user. My driving license expires on 20.12.2019 – I think that’ll be enough for me. Hibs drew 1-1.
It’s difficult not to conclude that the President of America has scant regard for the rule of law or for the truth – which is dangerous. This week marked 44 years since Richard Nixon resigned – because the Supreme Court ruled that the President is not above the law. This tells us that in response to Watergate ‘the system’ worked – but it’s not yet apparent if it can handle Trump. America’s mid-term elections in November will give an indication of the mood of the American people; a return to ‘rules based’ order – or an endorsement of the rogue President. Bob Woodward (who famously with Carl Bernstein exposed Watergate) has a new book: ‘Fear: Trump in the White House’ – to be released in September. Bernstein says the present situation is worse than Watergate.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Yuval Noah Harari, through the popularity of his bestseller – ‘Sapiens: a brief history of humankind (2014)’. His new book – ’21 lessons for the 21st Century’ is published on 20th August – and I was captivated by this exclusive extract, posted on the Wired website (a longer read). “As the pace of change increases, the very meaning of being human is likely to mutate and physical and cognitive structures will melt”. Harari suggests that as biotechnology and machine learning continue to improve, it won’t be your computer/phone/bank account being hacked – but the organic operating systems of humans themselves.
Since the behavioural sciences first attracted my interest the 1960s – the most significant insights have come from neuroscience: how most of our adult difficulties link to unfortunate childhood experiences. In partnership with nurseries and primary schools – the social enterprise ‘With Kids’, has been promoting ‘early intervention’ in Scotland for 10 years – with particular emphasis on the benefits of play therapy. ‘A Weans World’ is a conference to be hosted by With Kids on Fri. Sep. 7 in Glasgow (see Conference details). Practitioners and supporters will explore the benefits of their work with small children, and the challenges facing early intervention services.
I believe that the essentials of the human experience are unchanged for the 200 millennia of homo sapiens; that Harari’s predicted ‘mutation’ (above) is not credible. Oriah Mountain Dreamer reflects the eternal human longing for the adventure of being alive.
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living, I want to know what you ache for and if you dare dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are, I want to know if you’ll risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your sorrow if you’ve been opened by life’s betrayals; or if you have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.” See full poem – The Invitation.
Senscot hosted a SE Forum in Edinburgh this week – involving around 20 SENs and TSIs. The theme was two-fold – looking at how SENs and TSIs can participate and contribute to Scottish Govt’s Local Governance Review; and progressing discussions between SENs and TSIs around a more joined-up approach to supporting social enterprises at a local level. Brian Logan (Scottish Govt) gave an overview of the Local Governance Review and the Democracy Matters initiative – local conversations about community decision making. Glasgow SEN is taking a lead amongst SENs – holding an event in Glasgow on 27th Sept. The meeting also reflected on the progress of the SE Action Plan and the impact of the various ‘actions’ at a local level. In some areas, the respective roles between SENs, TSIs and local support for social enterprise require further discussion – although more clarity is expected within the coming weeks. Those who attended the event on Wednesday are keen to continue the dialogue – with a further meeting planned for the autumn.
Keep up to date with the latest jobs, events and funding opportunities in the social enterprise sector.
This week has been Community Land Week across Scotland – the first ever – and has seen a variety of community land owners open their doors to the public with a series of events – running through to Sunday, 19th August. Here, Linsay Chalmers (CLS) writes about the lasting legacy of community buy-outs.
SCRT was set up as a vehicle which could “allow the third sector to pool its financial resources for the mutual benefit of the sector and the communities it serves”. Many in the sector have felt that this objective conflicted with an understanding that investments made by charities had a duty to maximise financial returns. OSCR is now seeking to produce new guidance for charity investments and is running a consultation – with the expectation that the new guidance will view maximising social impact as being as important as financial returns. The consultation is open until 21st September.
P4P has this week launched a new and refreshed website. The new site goes live today – 17th August 2018 – and includes new content such as the Partnership Page and Future Opportunities as well as familiar pages such as the Ready for Business (RfB) Third Sector Register and P4P’s recent Collaboration Toolkit. P4P’s next webinar – ‘Consortia Models’ – takes place on 24th August.
This week’s bulletin profiles an organisation – based in Kilmarnock – providing a range of tailored, holistic support options for survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse, aged 13 years and above. Break the Silence was formed in 2004 and offers a series of options for support that include; one to one professional counselling using qualified Psychotherapists; outreach counselling; couple support; complementary therapies; advocacy; group activities, and volunteering opportunities. It also offers training for public, private and third sector organisations and individuals – all delivered to raise awareness of the issues and challenges experienced by Survivors. Break the Silence also represent Survivors at key fora – both locally and nationally. All services are confidential and personal information is held securely and in line with ICO data protection regulations.