Dear members and friends,
Months of torment from chronic itchiness – countless tests – GP baffled – long awaited appointment this week with dermatologist. Cheerful chatty chap – meticulously checks side effects of my various pills (7 daily). ‘‘None of these existed when I trained’’ he smiles. ‘‘S`pose I was on a desert island’’. I ask ‘‘which of these drugs would I die for the want of?’’ He looks at list – ‘‘You can live with high blood pressure – cholesterol – reflux wont kill you – but the prostate medication – if you cant pee – you die’’. This surprises me – seems so mundane – but I suppose its simple engineering. The outlet pipe obstructs – water backs up – the flooded machine shuts down. Jings! I’m being kept alive by medical science – like millions of other oldies. Read this week that, for the first time, the UK has more pensioners than children – 11.6 million of us. The question becomes – what to do with these extra years tagged on at the end – for those who are alone and skint, it can be grim.
Get word that an old colleague ‘taken into care’ asks after me – so I visit Gregor’s new home. The woman in charge has a face that could bend nails – scary. Seems an ordered but soulless regime, lacking personal clutter – demoralising to visit, never mind stay. This sets me thinking again about models for an oldie cooperative – run by the residents – co producers of their own care. I’ve got that old familiar feeling – a new idea/enterprise building momentum. This could be the one where I finally hang my hat.
The £30m Scottish Investment Fund goes live next week carrying high expectations. The last significant traunch of investment for social enterprises was the Futurebuilders Scotland programme (FS) – from which lessons were learned. If you recall the launch of FS was swamped by a deluge of applications – many inappropriate – criteria were modified in midstream causing confusion and frustration. The EKOS evaluation of FS recommends that any future fund should have clearly specified and communicated criteria/objectives from the start. It appears some work still needs to be done in this regard. For example, many people will have a different take on `investment readiness`. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7477
Last week this bulletin expressed unease that the Lottery has created a new body, the DINC Forum, with a remit to take an overview and advise on Big Lottery and Govt. funding for Third Sector infrastructure development. The DINC Forum has only met once so far (next meeting in September). Here`s the minute,
John Fellows, Head of Marketing and Communications at BIG Scotland, has emailed to say that our piece was factually incorrect and may have been misleading. Here are his comments, http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7474
This week I read one of the best pieces I’ve seen about the underground economy – about the entrepreneurial energy and social capital of the urban poor. It’s the summary of a book called ‘Off the Books’ by Sudir Venkatesh – it’s set in Chicago but it could as well be Glasgow. I wish we had this kind of academic researchers in Scotland – who get out among the people and the street life. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7473
The annual S2S social enterprise fair is already a successful event – our sector’s biggest. But I can’t help feeling that it has the potential to make even greater impact – to reach the general public – our fledgling sector’s annual fiesta. . Next year S2S will be taking place at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh on 23rd April. The contract to manage the event, for the next 3 years, is now out for tender. Closing date 18th September. See more http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7475
Alessandra Buonfino of the Young Foundation said recently ‘It is relatively easy for a business to be accountable – to its shareholders. And it is relatively easy for charities to be accountable too – they are there for the public good. But it is a lot more complicated for social enterprises to bridge the ambiguity of accountability – who should they be accountable to?’
I’m a ‘left winger’ – I hold that the best social enterprises are embedded in, and accountable to the constituency they serve – vehicles of community empowerment. ‘Right wingers’ will tend to regard the accountability issue as an unfortunate necessity. This piece from the BBC illustrates the mainstream medias improving grasp of our world. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7468
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: incl. posts with: Edinburgh Cyrenians, Edinburgh Community Backgreens Association, Fife Society for the Blind, SCVO – Supporting Voluntary Action, Scottish Government, Homeless World Cup, C-MEE
EVENTS: Attitudes to Learning Within The BME Communities Conference, 9 Sep, Glasgow; Learning Without Limits, 12 Sep, Angus; Study tour (Community Food and Health (Scotland)), 17Sep, Aberdeen;
NETWORKS 1st News: Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network members are gearing up for their biggest week yet. As well as hosting visits during the World Forum, they will have a presence throughout the whole event with their own stand and table at the Gala dinner. To top it off, today also sees the launch of their new website – www.makingbusinesssense.org.uk. For more NETWORKS News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=46
HISEZ has won the contract to develop and promote social enterprises in north Scotland. Over the next three years, HISEZ will provide encouragement and advice to social enterprises with potential as well as bringing them together to share ideas. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7471
Meanwhile, the parallel service in lowland Scotland – Aspire to Enterprise – is running series of seminars over the next couple of months. They’re FREE and open to anyone interested in developing social enterprise activity. Here`s more info`, http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7470
Good story in the Herald this week on the success of Bookdonors – the Borders social enterprise selling second hand books online. Set up in Galashiels in 2005 by Lawrie Hayworth, the organisation has now moved to premises in Selkirk, employs 15 people and is growing at a rapid rate. Last month alone, they had 5700 orders covering the UK, European and international markets. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7472
The Edinburgh Mela offers the most varied and culturally diverse programme amongst Edinburgh`s festivals. The event has grown out of a desire to bring together and understand different cultures, and this year sees it move to a larger site in Leith (Ocean Terminal). The programme of events runs through to Sunday (31st). If you fancy going down, here’s the programme, http://www.edinburgh-mela.co.uk/
This week’s bulletin profiles a long-established venue in Govan that is home to a wide range of community groups and third sector organisations sharing the common aim of meeting the needs of the people of Govan. The Pearce Institute offers facilities for meetings, conferences, social functions, recreational pursuits and leisure activities. They have recently received support from the Big Lottery as a contribution to a major restoration project. For more info, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=7478
This is from Geoff Mulgan’s book ‘Good and Bad Power’
The great Italian political thinker Azo, writing in the thirteenth century, described the legacy of Rome as one in which ‘the people never transferred power except in such a way that they were at the same time able to retain it themselves’. This is a good description of democracy, and is incompatible with a deskilled and passive public. It requires the people to sustain their own capacity to exercise power, in parallel with the state and sometimes in conflict with it. Orthodox constitutional theory describes elected governments as the sole repository of legitimate authority. Yet real democracies seem to depend for their vitality on this external challenge to complement the internal challenge of competing political parties. The democratic ideal realizes itself both through politics and outside it.
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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