Senscot Bulletin: 19.06.20

From her barber’s shop in central Edinburgh, Linda has cut my hair since the 1990s; normally five-weekly, my last haircut was March 4th – so I’ve missed three visits.  The cumulative effect of these multi disruptions is stressful; ‘lockdown’ teaches adaptability.  From a van that stops in our neighbourhood, I now get fish of better quality and value than the supermarkets.  For the first time, I’ve experienced Amazon’s seductive book delivery service. My patterns of consumption have gone freelance.

Doing some rough carpentry, I go to buy timber – but there’s such a social-distancing queue that I return home – find a way to use/recycle a former shed door.  Why not my first option?  Our health centre is closed; you tell the receptionist your symptoms, and she gets an appropriate doctor to phone you.  After full discussion, the doctor instructs local pharmacy to deliver me an antibiotic for urinary infection; nae bother.  I’ve been arguing for years that we need to sensibly, reduce our consumption of healthcare.

During lockdown, I’ve spent less, and became more aware of my levels of consumption; this accords with the worldwide trend to explore the possibilities of a different kind of economy.  Of all the books available on this subject, the most rewarding for me is, ‘The Economics of Arrival by Trebeck and Williams; not only because of the impressive level of detail they offer, but because their book sits alongside the Wellbeing Economy Alliance – a leading global collaboration of organisations, working to transform the economic system.

Following the next bulletin, 26 June, Laurence will post @larryslunchette.net – which requires separate subscription.

———————————–

Senscot’s office in Edinburgh, looks out on the statue of Robert Dundas (Viscount Melville)– now defaced with anti-slavery graffiti.  But Prof. Tom Devine told Kevin McKenna forcibly this week – that attacking statues is a distraction; we need to understand, that the Scottish nation, as a whole was complicit in the slave trade. It would surely be more useful to examine the levels of racism which still prevail in Scotland – like the racist thugs in Glasgow on Wednesday; check out MSP Humza Yousaf’s speech in the recent Holyrood debate. He repeats verbatim George Floyd’s strangled begging for breath; and we feel again the rage that erupted at the savageness of man.

———————————–

Although the sums are large, the main barrier to a Citizens Basic Income is societal reluctance – to pay out money, without any requirement to work or qualify for it, is too much for some; though I think Scotland’s getting closer than England.  Nicola Sturgeon says: “My position has gone from having a keen interest in exploring it, to what I now describe as active support”.

———————————–

The UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) enjoys a high global reputation for professionalism – but, as feared, the Tories have announced that it is to be folded into the Foreign Office. While the aid budget can now be used to influence security and diplomatic areas – that is not what aid is for.

———————————–

This FT article by Vidhya Alakeson, calls for the govt. to put a thousand high street properties directly into community ownership to encourage long term strategies for their high streets.  The community run Midsteeple Quarter project in Dumfries is a great example of how local people can take the lead.

———————————–

It matters too much to me whither the waitress smiles – is in a good mood or not; don’t know why, but I’m unusually affected by the moods of others. Recent research has shown that this ‘sensitivity’ is inherited  – with a substantial genetic basis.  Aged 80, I still don’t know if this trait is a blessing or curse.

———————————–

One of my favourite Doris Lessing quotes:

“The storyteller is deep inside everyone of us. The story-maker is always with us. Let us suppose our world is attacked by war, by the horrors that we all of us easily imagine. Let us suppose floods wash through our cities, the seas rise . . . but the storyteller will be there, for it is our imaginations which shape us, keep us, create us – for good and for ill. It is our stories that will recreate us, when we are torn, hurt, even destroyed. It is the storyteller, the dream-maker, the myth-maker, that is our phoenix, that represents us at our best, and at our most creative.”

Senscot is holding an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) this morning (11am) – at which three special resolutions will be put to members. On approval, these resolutions will finalise – from Senscot’s side – our plans to merge into a new entity with Social Firms Scotland (SFS). For their part, SFS will be holding its own EGM next Wednesday 24th June 2020 to do likewise. All being well, Social Enterprise Connect Scotland will formally come into being as of 1st July 2020. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to update you further on SE Connect Ltd – including an organogram of the staff and board structure as well as how it sees its role and functions with regard to representing and supporting social and community enterprises and social firms across Scotland. More next week.

NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website.

During our SE Reset Week in May, one of the most common themes for discussion was around re-opening – and what guidelines would be available to social enterprises as they look to prepare to open their facilities and services again. To follow up on this, Senscot, Social Firms Scotland and the SENs are hosting a series of session next week – 25th and 26th June – on the theme: ‘SE Reset – Moving towards and planning for Re-opening’. Among the sessions scheduled are: childcare; customers and visitors; Retail/ reuse; collaboration and collective purchasing; and scenario planning with others planned. Booking details available on Monday.

————————————

The Social Action Inquiry Scotland has been launched by a number of national funders, along with SCVO.  As Scottish society begins to plan its recovery from the current Covid crisis, one of the most striking aspects of the current crisis has been the response at a local community level – with local organisations working together to support those most vulnerable in the communities. The funders and SCVO are looking to commission research on what has happened; how this work be sustained; and what gaps still exist – via, what they refer to, as Social Action Hubs. Whilst this support is very welcome – it will be important not to forget the existing network of the local organisations from TSIs to community anchor orgs – as well as local SENs.

———————————–

This Pioneers Post article by Gareth Hart (Chair of Plymouth Social Enterprise Network) touches on an ongoing conundrum within our sector as it seeks to effect change – to try and do so from the inside and risk being ‘co-opted’ or being seen as ‘selling the jerseys’; or from the outside – and risk being ‘ignored’. Gareth reflects on this dilemma as the sector looks to recover from Covid 19 with its ‘build back better’ campaign.

————————————

Frontline NewsSocial Enterprise Academy is inviting folk to their 2020 Awards – with over 50 schools from across Scotland receiving awards. Their Virtual Awards Room allows you to join whenever you like – from wherever you are – and find out about the work being done in each school. Also includes a message from John Swinney:

The Co-op Local Community Fund to help communities to come together, co-operate and have a positive impact on community wellbeing – physically and virtually. Closing date is midnight on 28 June 2020:

RBS Social and Community Capital is launching a £1m Coronavirus Response Fund from Monday 22nd June 2020 – offering unrestricted grants of £5k to £50k. Full details available on their website from Monday:

Community Resources Network Scotland (CRNS) has recently launched its new website – check out link:

————————————

With this being Loneliness Awareness Week, we are hosting an all Thematic SEN virtual meeting this afternoon at 2pm with the theme of loneliness and isolation. To participate, contact jude@senscot.net . On this theme, and the response of SEN members to the current Covid 19 crisis, we spotlight the work of

Beith Community Development Trust (BCDT) in North Ayrshire. BCDT has been busy over the past few months redesigning their services and assisting their community. One of the services they have re-focused in recognition that connections are more important now than ever, is their telephone befriending Lend an Ear service – and are currently on the look-out for more volunteers to enable them to expand their reach. In 2018, Senscot produced this Briefing on Loneliness and Social Isolation