The SENs: Friday 11th December 2015

Senscot has been supporting Thematic SENs since 2010. Today there are 5 – Health; Sport; Culture; Community Food and, most recently in partnership with Social Firms Scotland, Employability – with over 300 SEs are currently engaged. Unlike many local SENs, the thematic SENs are not separately constituted and also have Roundtables that bring together strategic partners from public and other national agencies. After 5 years, the time was right to review this activity – to reflect the changing landscape for the SE community in Scotland. This review is now just about complete and we will have news of our ‘refreshed’ approach in the New Year. Things will not be changing too radically but, we hope, that it will see better use of the resources we have available; greater connectedness with key partners; more joined up activity between the SENs – all leading to a model of support for thematic SENs that is more in keeping with the challenges and opportunities that will be presenting themselves over the coming years.  West Lothian SEN this week circulated a statement to its members voicing concerns regarding the governance of its local Third Sector Interface (TSI) – Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian (VSGWL). The statement is strongly worded, yet measured, and tries to clarify issues that will be of importance to its members who may also be members of VSGWL in advance of the latter’s AGM next week. Aside from the local issues – which the statement addresses very clearly – there is the recurring role of Avanté Consulting in carrying out reviews on behalf of Scottish Govt. It seems to have a monopoly on TSI reviews?  Three SEN AGMs this week – Fife, West Lothian and Edinburgh. Each has seen significant progress during the last year. Fife has developed a working relationship with the local authority and is taking full advantage of development support offered through BRAG Enterprises. West Lothian’s membership has increased to 40 members and, working with the Council, has delivered support and training to a range of new SEs. Edinburgh has seen the growth of the ‘Buy the Good Stuff’ brand with focus on key themes including Food, Health, Sport and Culture. Sport SEN member, Youth Football, has recently launched its new magazine bringing news and articles for folk involved in grassroots football across Scotland. This is its 2nd issue and includes an interview with the legendary Sir Alec Ferguson. See magazine online. The NatWest SE100 index is highlighting the strength of the Scottish social enterprise sector – combined turnover of over £205m; with a profit increase of 44%, from £2.9 to £4.2 million. It also highlights SEN member, Bad Idea, as a case study. See press release. Last week, we highlighted Audit Scotland’s new report – Health and Social Care Integration – reviewing progress made to establish new Integration Authorities. Bookings have now opened for a free workshop on 26th January. Places are limited – but you can sign up here.  Glasgow SEN member, Locavore, is in the last week of a crowd funding campaign for an exciting new initiative – a Social Enterprise Supermarket! The vision is to change the food system for the better. Unique in Scotland, the store will provide of fresh local and organic fruit & vegetables as well as an emporium of unpackaged foods & goods that includes everything from grains & pulses to oils and beer. To find out more and donate to its campaign see here. The Scottish Government is hosting a workshop to discuss the Environmental Co-operation Action Fund. The event will include general queries and, if you are thinking about applying, questions on eligibility, priorities, and project proposals with a view to encouraging high quality applications. Attendees are encouraged to read the guidance prior to the event. Whilst registering, you will be asked to indicate which of the scheme priorities you are interested in and you will have the opportunity to identify any specific questions you wish to discuss. Booking information here. Notices TENDERS: Business Consultancy Framework – Scottish Borders Council, Framework Agreement for the Provision of Specialist Business Support – Falkirk Council, Arts and Wellbeing Service Model – NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.  ADVERTISING: Good write-up of the Glasgow SEN member media co-op and Maryhill Integration Network in this article on ethical advertising in the Guardian. CONFERENCE: Following on from the success of last years’ conference The National Third Sector GIRFEC Project will be hosting its second National Learning event on February 26th 2016 at the Glasgow City Hotel. CHRISTMAS: A diverse bunch of individuals with experience in social enterprise and other industries are looking to raise £900 to feed people experiencing food poverty at Christmas because no one should be alone and hungry on Christmas Day. CO-DESIGN: Over the next 6 months TMP will be facilitating the co-design process for the creation of "Social Innovation Northern Ireland". AGM: Just over a week to go until the WHALE AGM and showcase event featuring live music, theatre, crafts, mince pies and more. Takes place on 17th December. Dates for the Diary Stirlingshire SEN, 14th JanPerth and Kinross SEN, 25th JanDundee SEN, 28th JanPerth and Kinross SEN, 23rd Feb Best wishes, Kimkim@senscot.net