Dear members and friends,
In his novel Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut reflects on death and the atrocities of war with the phrase – `so it goes`; it occurs 106 times. Since reading the book, this phrase has been part of my inner language. Something about its fatalistic acceptance of mortality and life’s randomness; its admonition, not to take the world too seriously – `so it goes`.
As someone who finds the care of even a pot plant stressful – I can’t understand people who saddle themselves with the welfare of animals; the family next door (whom I like) live with all manner of creatures. When they went on holiday recently, I agreed to keep an eye on their three chickens – in return for fresh eggs. (I got 15 in one week). But, as I feared, I got fond of them – and the hen, Molly, now follows me around – I tell her stuff.
Monday, in fresh spring sunshine – pottering in my adopted wood, I hear frenzied barking and squawking. On investigation, I find Molly dead – savaged by some dog – of which there is no sign. My neighbour – upset – insists on dealing with this herself; by the time she comes to thank me for my trouble, she’s calm – philosophical. “So it goes”, she says. I smile in recognition – “Kurt Vonnegut?” But she doesn’t know the name – leaves looking puzzled. It hardly compares to the bombing of Dresden – but Molly was my pal. So it goes.
The English govt has slashed its third sector infrastructure over the next 3 years – from 42 to 9 ‘strategic partners’ (see the 9 awardees – 5 of which are multiple partnerships) https://senscot.net/?viewid=10858 In this election year, Scotland’s Third Sector Division is only making 12 month awards. Some of these are still in process – so no list is yet available. Our attachment was assembled by ourselves – is not endorsed by Scottish Govt – and is only indicative. See https://senscot.net/?viewid=10859 From what we gather, the big money (£8m) goes to the 32 new single interfaces, which is a bold call; the next 12 months will determine whether this mechanism ‘takes’ or not. Senscot will be part of a ‘supporting social enterprise’ partnership with the SE Coalition and Social Firms Scotland – working together – (£320k). DTA Scotland and the new Community Sector Alliance (£150k) will be `supporting community enterprise`. In addition, an extended £500k Social Entrepreneurs Fund will be managed by Firstport and a new £4m Enterprise Fund has this week been put out to tender (see, https://senscot.net/?viewid=10849). We also hear that DTA Scotland will be expanding its work facilitating the transfer of assets to communities (£250k) – the jigsaw takes shape.
Should Scottish Govt. invest our allocation of the ‘dormant accounts’ money in a UK wide Big Society Bank – or should Scotland pursue a separate social investment sector? Last week, Alistair Grimes (Reviewing a recent NESTA report) wrote of the ‘london village’ mentality – and its indifference to events ‘in the provinces’. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=10825 This week, Craig Campbell (CEO of Social Investment Scotland) takes up the same theme. https://senscot.net/?viewid=10848
We hear that Community Jobs Scotland is due to start in August 2011. The programme, being delivered by the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition and SCVO, will provide 2,000 opportunities for young people across all 32 Local Authority areas. Only third sector organisations will be able to provide opportunities – i.e. charities, social enterprises and community and voluntary organisations – with the intention of getting young people into sustainable employment. Third sector organisations can now express an interest in getting involved. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=10851
The Scottish Centre for Regeneration is to close at the end of March – no official statement is available. During Senscot`s lifespan, we’ve observed Scottish Govt`s uneasy interface with community led regeneration. The 10 year story has been one of gradual withdrawal from ‘spirited’ engagement with real life community activists – to a more ‘measured’ exchange of views between professional community workers and academics. I’d love to know the cost of these conversations. Any replacement arrangements need to be more community led – perhaps through a collaboration with the new Scottish Community Alliance. There is no current link available.
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php . This week:
JOBS: Spruce Carpets, Jewish Care Scotland, Berwick Community Trust, The Village Storytelling Centre, Tailor Ed Foundation, Rosemount Lifelong Learning, LoganPM, The Big Issue in Scotland Magazine
EVENTS: Tackling Drug Deaths: Putting Evidence into Action, 30 Mar; What is Social Enterprise?, 5 Apr; Website Health Check, 6 Apr; What are my outcomes?, 7 Apr; Social Media for the Third Sector, 7 Apr
TENDERS: Supply of Electrical Equipment and Consumables; UK-Kilmarnock: Provision of Special Needs School Transport Service 1 Year Contracts 2011; Rural Grass Cutting & Weed Control Service
NETWORKS 1st: Colin writes: We’ll be doing our best over the coming weeks to keep you informed of Scottish Govt`s support for social enterprise during 2011/12. With the election coming up, information will be restricted, but the bulletin (above) gives a list of what we know so far. Of particular interest to SEN members will be this week’s announcement of a new £4m Enterprise Fund. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=10849 We also expect to hear shortly about the new Business Support contract and if SEN members will be able to access business support from those with direct experience of the issues faced by grassroots social enterprises. For more Networks News, see http://www.se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=182
Two major community land purchases are underway just now in Scotland; in south Kintyre, the former Machrihanish Airbase https://senscot.net/?viewid=10847 and on Lewis, the 27,000 acre Pairc estate (200 crofts) https://senscot.net/?viewid=10844 The second of these has greater legal implications – as a hostile acquisition – of which there are very few.
Still in Kintyre, we hear that the successful social enterprise, Campbelltown Recycling is to have its funding cut – while the council negotiates with Shanks to shift waste, unsorted, to a plant near Edinburgh. Senscot knows of other such examples. Councils need to realise that jobs created by recycling waste locally are an important community asset – Community Benefit Clauses !! https://senscot.net/?viewid=10843
A reader from Australia, Vern Hughes, writes to say that the contemporary fashion to turn everything into a social enterprise – is diminishing the bedrock of civil society – citizens banding together to help each other – without either grants or business plans. https://senscot.net/?viewid=10846
Scotland’s largest social enterprise event – S2S – takes place in less than a month. The event, at the Corn Exchange ion Edinburgh on 20th April, is expecting around 700 people to attend. Places are still available for stands etc. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=10617
This week’s bulletin profiles an Art Centre, based at Findhorn that runs a local and international programme of exhibitions, events, classes and art residencies throughout the year. The Moray Art Centre, the only ecologically-built exhibition space in the North of Scotland, has three flexible, rentable Classrooms, four individual Artist Studios, a Gallery with meeting and study areas and a main hi-spec gallery. Since opening to the public in July 2007 over 14,000 people have visited the Centre either to see exhibitions or take a class.
For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=10850
Ernest Hemingway – living and writing in Paris in the early 1920s. “There were few people in Lipps brasserie and when I sat down on the bench against the wall with the mirror in back and a table in front and the waiter asked if I wanted beer, I asked for a distingue, the big glass mug that held a litre, and for potato salad. The beer was very cold and wonderful to drink. The pommes a l’huile were firm and marinated and the olive oil delicious. I ground black pepper over the potatoes and moistened the bread in the olive oil. After the first heavy draught of beer, I drank and ate very slowly. When the pommes d l’huile were gone, I ordered another serving and a cervelas. This was a sausage like a heavy, wide frankfurter split in two and covered with a special mustard sauce. I mopped up all the oil and all of the sauce with bread and drank the beer slowly until it began to lose its coldness and I finished it.”
That’s all for this week.
Good luck with your adventures
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