Senscot Bulletin: 29.05.20

Medical research, into the psychological impact of quarantine, has found that it causes symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress.  PTS is when anxiety/panic from past physical trauma, reoccurs in the present: ‘fight or flight’ responses activated when there is no danger. It’s now apparent that lockdown pressures found this very weakness in my own inner defences; it’s as if my normal ‘stress-proof membrane’ has sprung leaks: sleep problems, disturbing flashbacks, shortened fuse – generally ‘on edge’.  I mention this debility not in distress – but in solidarity with, what I imagine is, the majority of the population, with raised levels of anxiety; many worse than myself. My fantasy is to escape in the car to the hills and lochs of the Trossachs – a brief respite.To know what matters and what does not, is the basis of wisdom; although I’m too often the impetuous maverick, I appreciate the importance of good judgement – particularly in those who give public advice.  In my opinion, neither Boris Johnson nor Donald Trump is ‘mature’ enough to hold high public office; by exposing the shallowness of their decisions, it is likely that Covid will see them off.  Dominic Cummings decision to prioritise his own family was not a ‘glaring’ error – I might have done something similar; but Johnson’s response of unqualified support was bad judgement – which undermines quarantine. Every day, more and more, our interpretation of ‘social isolation’ becomes a matter of personal choice/responsibility; the PMs position makes a delinquent excursion to the Trossachs easier to justify – for millions of us.———————————–

There are growing calls for a ‘wellbeing’ economy after Covid: “for social justice on a healthy planet”; Katherine Trebeck and Peter Kelly have taken the trouble here, to identify the various mechanisms in Scotland which could contribute to this; a social movement is required, to combine and coordinate many progressive threads.  Meantime Scottish Govt. has appointed its ‘economic recovery advisory panel’ – which George Kerevan says has the wrong people.  His article is convincing – that ‘this lot’ have nothing new to contribute.  Scottish Govt. referred to its February budget as a ‘wellbeing budget’ – which it clearly was not.  Their use of progressive terminology to mask deeply traditional thinking is really annoying – undermining.

————————————

Following a rare clumsy remark about Nicola Sturgeon, Sarah Smith got a hammering on social media – until the ‘Scottish establishment’ closed ranks in her defence.  Kevin McKenna uses this incident for a fascinating glimpse at the workings of our ‘establishment’ – “not above or below politics – but beyond”.

————————————

Interesting article in Prospect Mag. about the economy after Covid; it’s based on the thinking of Depression-era economist Joseph Schumpeter – who saw that disrupting existing industries and activities, opens space for innovative new entrants – a process he called ‘creative disruption’.  Possible future scenarios are explored.

————————————

The Conversation carries an article by two Scottish academics, saying that impending amendments to the Children’s (Scotland) Bill fall short of protecting the rights of children to participate in decisions when parents separate.  Scottish law may not match the requirements of UN Rights of the Child.

————————————

Since becoming President, Donald Trump has used his twitter account to spread falsehoods about his political opponents; on Tuesday afternoon, for the first time, Twitter affixed a series of Trump tweets with a ‘get the facts’ warning – because they violated Twitter’s ‘civic integrity policy’. At long last.

————————————

A recent post on lockdown by Nigerian poet Ben Okri:

“This period gave me back nature.  I walked in parks for the daily exercise we were allowed.  I found the trees a great gift.  For the first time in an age I could hear the wind in the leaves and the full-throated songs of birds.  I hope we don’t go back to the old normal.  We have to change.  Society has to alter its orientation.  Perhaps we consume too much.  Maybe what is best for us is to be still.  The freedom of nature seems to be one of the few revolutionary truths in our lives.  When society pauses, nature sings.  She must be part of what we listen to if we are to survive.”

We’ve had a busy week collating all the feedback and notes from SE Reset week – and trying to ensure that we have captured everything. It’ll be next week now before the full report is ready. However, we have put together this general overview – that gives a flavour of some key elements that emerged. Participants from frontline social enterprises tended to fall into two broad categories: a) those that have furloughed the majority of their staff and are delivering limited or no services; and b) those that are responding to local community need – have kept their ‘doors open’ to enable them to deliver emergency services. A particularly striking factor has been that – in spite of the crisis – people remain optimistic and encouraged by the increased levels of community involvement, social capital, innovation and collaboration.  Our challenge is to ensure that we can build on this as we move forward towards recovery. To get a better grasp of the impact of the crisis on our sector, the TSI network is running this Covid 19 National Third Sector Impact Survey.

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

Changing of the guard at DTA Scotland this week as Louisa Macdonnell joins as their new CEO – replacing Ian Cooke. Louisa arrives from Scottish Enterprise, having returned following a recent secondment at the Scotland Office. We wish Louisa all the very best in her new role. It goes without saying that we also pass on our best wishes to Ian Cooke in his retirement. Ian took on the role in 2009 from Angus Hardie and has overseen the development and growth of the development trust movement in Scotland as it has established itself as one the leading community-led representative organisations in the country. Adios, Ian.————————————Congratulations to our colleagues in Australia who informed us this week of the progress being made in setting up a national alliance of social enterprises networks. We were delighted here this week that the Alliance of Social Enterprise Networks Australia (ASENA) was formally launched – comprising social enterprise networks from each of Australia’s seven states and territories. Good luck in your adventures!

————————————

One of the best examples of peer-to-peer support in recent years has been Scottish Community Alliance’s hugely popular Community Learning Exchange (CLE) programme. The last CLE – before lockdown – involved a visit to Oban and Mull that included participants from across rural Scotland. See full report.

————————————

The relative density of social enterprise in rural areas of Scotland compared to urban areas is something that has been highlighted in all recent Censuses. This excellent dissertation by Ailsa Higgins from Glasgow University shines a light on the Geographies of Social Enterprises in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

————————————

Frontline News: Sport SEN Virtual Meeting on Wed 3rd June (2.30-3.30pm) – looking at key considerations when planning to re-open your facilities and deliver sport and physical activity again.  Graham Finnie, Lead Manager (Facilities team at sportscotland) will provide advice. To join in, contact jude@senscot.net:

May edition of SE Health and Wellbeing Newsletter is now available – covering members’ news as well as summaries of the Health SEN and Future Mental Health and Wellbeing sessions at last week’s SE Reset:

Social Business Start-Up Schools – run by the SE Academy – is now available online, and is open to anyone in Sutherland, Easter Ross, Wester Ross & Uist planning a new social enterprise or social business:

The Rural SEN met virtually during Reset Week = with one outcome being the wish to connect more and raise the profile of rural social enterprises. They meet again on Wed 3rd June. To join in, sign up here.

————————————

Continuing our theme of highlighting the response of SEN members to the current crisis, this week’s bulletin highlights the work of Angus SEN member, the Murton Trust – having secured funding via the Supporting Communities Fund. Their project covers three different themes in Angus – food production, food distribution and support for enterprising organisations engaged in delivery of critical services. Murton Trust has been an active member of various networks and groups across Angus for a number of years and has help in the setting up and now running of the new Angus SEN and the Angus Tourism Cooperative. They are acutely aware of the power of being an organisation within a larger support network has never been more important at this point in time – and hope their current project can have a lasting impact in the years ahead.