Dear members and friends,
Obituary this week in the Herald for Bill Fleming, one of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs – whom I first got to know in the 1960’s on Scotland’s fledgling Beat Scene. I operated a beat club in Edinburgh – Bill was a publicist with Radio Scotland (when it was a pirate ship) – we became pals jointly hosting a weekly ‘Radio Scotland Roadshow’. When that ended we lost touch – for 40 years – then in 2005 in response to this Bulletin, he emailed to ask if I was ‘that’ Laurence Demarco. Since then we stayed connected – would meet for lunch.
The Bill I knew aged 20 was smart, ambitious – and like myself, a bit of a hustler. The realised entrepreneur I met 40 years later was accomplished and highly regarded. Self-made millionaires are typically full of themselves – but Bill spoke as much about his failings (including bankruptcy) as he did about spectacular success. The result was a rare blend of enthusiasm and reserve. He considered human progress, economic and social, to be driven by entrepreneurial activity and his passion latterly was nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs.
When we met last summer, Bill was sporting a skinhead. “That suits you”, I said ‘‘but I hope it’s not chemo’’. His smile told me it was. ‘‘Oh – I’m sorry’’… but he wanted to talk about it – and we did. The tumour was shrinking – soon they would operate… but I never saw him again. I’ll miss Bill’s energy – his humour – his wisdom – his friendship. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8053
Over the years Senscot has not been slow to identify good practice from wherever – and to replicate it here in Scotland. By the same token – anyone is free to copy what we do, and improve on it – the only expectation is that this developing expertise will continue to be shared freely – in the spirit of our movement. What does not work is when some Third Sector organisation, usually in London, seeks to control the affairs of ‘subsidiary’ bodies in the ‘provinces’. The most recent example of the breakdown of this flawed model is between the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society and its Scottish sister body – which has recently resulted in the resignation of JK Rowling as patron. Health and Social Care is devolved to Scotland; my advice to MS Society Scotland is to become an independent Scottish charity and tell the Londoners to take a hike. Stephen Maxwell of SCVO offers his usual considered critique.
Scottish Government intends to move to a position where funding to support Third Sector activity will be allocated through a single Interface with local Councils. The purpose seems to be to align the Third Sector with Community Planning Partnership (CPP) and Single Outcome Agreements (SOA). Fine in theory. This latest letter from Scottish Govt refers to the funding of Local Social Economy Partnerships (LSEP) which are meant to provide support for social enterprise. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8061
The Scotsman Newspaper – along with the Sustainable Development Commission Scotland has compiled a list of the 50 people in Scotland who are doing most to help the environment in their communities. We’re glad to see a few bulletin readers on the list. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8054
The UK Communities Secretary Hazel Blears wants social enterprises to move into vacant shops in High Streets and shopping centres for use as cultural, community or learning services. This seems a win/win proposal but would need local Councils to broker interim leases and Planning waivers. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8062
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/jobsevents.php. This week:
JOBS: incl. posts with Crew2000, Stepping Stones for Families, Midlothian Sure Start, Churches Action For The Homeless, Shelter Scotland, Edinburgh Carers Council, Arrochar & Tarbet Community Development Trust, Stirling & District Association for Mental Health
EVENTS: Community Sector Trading, DTA, 5 May; Fintry Renewable Energy Show, Fintry Development Trust, 9 May; Facilitation Training Day, Talk Action, 15 May; Social Capital and Community Resilience, Edinburgh, 4 June; Peas vs. Pills Health Workshop, Edinburgh, 6 June;
NETWORKS 1st News: Colin writes: Last week’s piece on the Third Sector Single Interface generated a lot of interest. This week, a couple of Network members forwarded the most recent letter from Scottish Govt (Third Sector Division) on the subject. The next Networks Reps meeting (6th May in Glasgow) will have the Single Interface Initiative as a priority topic. For more Networks 1st News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=84
Assist Social Capital will be hosting its 3rd International Conference on Thursday 4th June at New Lanark, This year’s theme is `Social Capital and Community Resilience`. Speakers include Manfred Hellrigl (Austrian Government), Deepshikha Mehra (Maharashtra State, India) and Nigel Lowthrop (Hill Holt Wood) who will be addressing how social capital helps communities in times of crises – be they economic, social or environmental. See details http://www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=8001
Two UK ministers – Liam Byrne and Peter Mandelson will host a ‘Social Enterprise Summit’ in London on May 12th – evidence of the ongoing political support in England for our movement. Attendance is by invitation only and will not cover Scotland. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8063
The legislation which enshrines co-operatives and credit unions is outdated – has for a long time inhibited the growth of these movements. Last week, Treasury proposals were published to update this legislation – warmly welcomed by sector representatives. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8064
Social Investment Scotland (SIS) is looking to improve its investment products for social enterprise. The intention is to provide packages that are more relevant, more sector specific and more affordable. A key part of this process will be a survey to find out about the needs of social enterprise for investment funding. Deadline is Tuesday 12th May. See details http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8052
This week’s bulletin profiles one of the first awardees of the new Social Entrepreneurs Fund – David Duke from Street Soccer (Scotland) Ltd. David has started up Street Soccer as a new social enterprise that aims to use sport to tackle social exclusion and thereby improve the lives of a range of socially disadvantaged groups. The start up phase is being supported by the Homeless World Cup. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=8067
Last week I recommended a beautiful essay by Margaret Wheatley called `The Place Beyond Fear and Hope` – but failed to attach it – apologies. https://senscot.net/?viewid=8055
I’m reading a biography of Albert Einstein by Anne Rooney.
‘‘ I believe in a God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and actions of human beings……We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books but it doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see a universe marvellously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves constellations.”
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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