Dear members and friends,
Carl Jung, one of my heroes, believed that some people are innately more sensitive than others. American psychologist Elaine Aron says that this applies to around a fifth of the population and is due to the biological difference in the way their nervous systems work. She calls such people `Highly Sensitive Persons` (HSPs) and has devised a self-test questionnaire on her website. I’m an HSP and can’t decide if it’s a blessing or a weakness. HSPs tend to be acutely aware of the emotions of others and deeply affected by people moods. In company, we tend to be overstimulated – even overwhelmed – and need lots of alone time to recover. Knowing this, we can take evasive action – spend more time in the garden.
It was cold today but the bright sunlight proved irresistible and I worked outside for hours – building a rustic arch from windblown timber. Manual work is sometimes considered inferior – but it seems to me a high human function – as dignified as we’re capable of. Sometimes, watching skilled artisans, I feel a child-like admiration. When I’m digging, sawing, hammering – on the tools – I get totally absorbed – body and soul. I’m tired now – on my bed at 8pm – the goldfinches are fluttering around the thistle seed feeder – the sun is starting to set. This is a different kind of tiredness from being with people – restorative. https://senscot.net/?viewid=7149
(200 of these intros can be browsed here – https://senscot.net/index.php?W21ID=172)
Our SNP Administration needs to make an important (and overdue) decision on how seriously it intends to promote Community Empowerment in Scotland. The English Government is consulting for a White Paper this summer but Scottish Government doesn’t know yet what it wants to do – or even which department will lead on it. Local People Leading’s recent rejection from the Lottery confirmed that community empowerment doesn’t even appear on BIG’s radar yet – and that Scotland has a serious policy vacuum in this whole area. The problem is partly historical because the previous Labour Administration intentionally depleted our community sector – the only people left debating Community Empowerment in Scotland are some government funded professional and academic interest groups who earn their living from communities. Here is LPL’s position statement on community empowerment. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7159
The dialogue with Government about community empowerment (which doesn’t exist in Scotland) is hotting up in England. The DTA is an association of over 300 community owned organisations and it claims that the proposed white paper is seriously flawed. We attach a short summary of their evidence. Here’s a sample. “But above all we believe that a community empowerment programme must include a strong focus on community anchors, community assets and community enterprise. In our experience this is the single most effective way to achieve long term sustained community empowerment.” As with our (again delayed) Social Enterprise action plan – Scotland is running 2 years behind England. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7111
Social entrepreneur Craig Dearden-Phillips is founder and CEO of successful social enterprise Speaking Up which has recently been awarded a £3m funding package from the Government. This thoughtful interview touches on some of the implications of accepting such “free” money and other pros and cons of getting close to Government https://senscot.net/?viewid=7152
Discussions between Scottish Enterprise and COSLA about the transfer of responsibility for local economic regeneration have degenerated into a power struggle (see link). But no one seems much surprised or bothered – in the opaque leisurely world of civil servants it’s just another delay. Have you noticed how many documents relating to Third Sector policy are currently stalled somewhere awaiting decisions. Policy makers should know that these delays are very dispiriting to front line workers. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7154
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: Senscot, The Melting Pot Edinburgh, Routes to Work South, Blake Stevenson, Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Community One Stop Shop, Re-union Canal Boats
EVENTS: 14 events, Advanced presentation skills workshop, 16 Apr, Glasgow; S2S Third Annual Social Enterprise Trade Fair, 23 Apr, Dundee; Southside Festival, 28 Jun, Glasgow
NETWORKS 1st: S2S takes place next Wednesday (23rd April) at the Caird Hall in Dundee. This year, NETWORKS 1st will have a stand available for those SENs who haven’t already booked one. If you’re interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org For more Network news, see http://www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=6310
Big social capital event in Newcastle on 23rd June. `Health, Wealthy and Wise` will look at the role of social capital in our communities. Speakers include Professor Robert Putnam and Hazel Blears. http://www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=7158 For more on social capital see www.social-capital.net
Like Sean Connery I grew up in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh where the big employer was the S&N brewery. It feels wrong that such a proud Scottish institution is now owned by Carlsberg. A reader from Burton on Trent informs us that the town’s main heritage – the Bass brewery – is now owned by Coors who have decided the loss-making brewing museum is to close within 3 months. The community has launched a campaign for time to set up a Trust to save the museum. This is a cultural heritage issue.
Last week, we published a list of european funding for Lowland Scotland. This week, it`s Highland and Islands` turn. 45 organisations have secured over £15m. See list http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7173
Following on from last September’s `Fit for Purpose` conference in Glasgow, Senscot has carried out a series of case studies on social enterprises operating in the field of health improvement. The idea was to explore the extent to which social enterprises are engaging in commercial contracts and to contrast the experiences in Scotland and England. The work has been supported by the Scottish Government’s Third Sector Division. See conclusions and full report. http://www.senscot.net/view_res.php?viewid=7155
This week’s bulletin profiles Diversity Films, a new community interest company based in Glasgow. Set up in 2007 by a group of media professionals, it aim is to work in communities to nurture, train and develop a new generation of filmmakers. They are currently working in Greater Easterhouse and Scotsoun but plan to roll out their activities in other areas of the city. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=7172
A.C. Grayling is professor of philosophy at Burbeck College. This week he reflected in the Telegraph about the relationship between wealth and happiness.
“The philosophers and poets of antiquity never tired of repeating that a rich person is he who has enough. If his needs are modest and his habits frugal, then so long as his resources provide enough to meet both, he is rich. But the man is poor who, despite owning millions, restlessly yearns for more because he feels he cannot have enough, and in particular who lacks the things money cannot buy – ah yes, for these unpurchasable treasures can never be left out of the picture: friendship, love, a sound digestion and a reliable, natural ability to sleep at nights, are indispensable to the possibility of happiness, if not directly supplying it. The true equation between happiness and wealth is this: that happiness is wealth. Unlike wealth in the form of money and possessions, such happiness can never be quantified, only felt; and if one has it, it does not matter if the level of it always stays the same.” Here`s the full article https://senscot.net/?viewid=7153
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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