The SENs: Friday 11th May 2018

A few years ago, when the SENs were still in their formative stages, we canvassed SEN members about the viability of a bulk purchasing initiative to reduce collective expenditure on office and other supplies. At the time, there wasn’t sufficient appetite for the initiative to be viable, but this has been raised again recently by members and at our conference in December. We are interested to find out if there’s an appetite now that the SENs have matured and expanded. We believe that there are significant efficiency savings to be made on services such as IT support, insurance, accountancy and HR advice, as well as more basic supplies such as stationary, tea and coffee, and office furniture. We’ve set up a surveymonkey to see what interest there is in bulk purchasing between SEN members. It takes under a minute to complete – if there proves to be an appetite for such an initiative we will take efforts to put one in place. Take the survey now.


For over 10 years, the SENs Newsletter has been a great way for us to communicate both our work and network activity, as well as promoting the great work SEN members have been engaged in. However, after reviewing our communications in the run up to the new GDPR legislation, we have decided that the most effective way for us to support and inform SEN members is for us to merge this SEN newsletter with the main Senscot Bulletin. This involves us adding current subscriber of this newsletter to the main bulletin – allowing us to ensure that SEN members are getting the most relevant updates from the social economy straight into their inbox each week. We expect the new Senscot Bulletin to be launched in the next few weeks. If you want to keep yourself engaged and informed, you don’t need to take any action. If, however, you don’t want to keep in touch, you can unsubscribe here.


Edinburgh Social Enterprise’s annual Social in the Gardens (SitG) returns to the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens this year with its biggest ever line-up. Hosted on the weekend of the 27th and 28th July, this year’s event is anticipated to see in excess of 10,000 visitors due to the switch to the weekend. As ever, volunteers will be integral to the event’s success and Edinburgh Social Enterprise is keen to recruit up to 50 volunteers over the two days. Read the information packs on being a general volunteer, a volunteer coordinator, and a trained first aider. Once you’ve decided how you want to help out, you can fill in the application form here!


Glasgow City Council will soon be tendering its Social Work Framework, which represents a good opportunity for SEN members engaged in social care services to procure public sector contracts. The Framework is looking to purchase services relating to: mental health, older people and children affected by disabilities, technology enabled care and support, community-based employability support, and respite breaks. Find out more here. If you require support to bid for a place on the Framework please contact the Partnership for Procurement (P4P) team on or 0141 280 2560.


The Campaign to End Loneliness this week launched a new campaign to encourage people of all ages to make ‘small moments of connection’ with older people to combat the rise of loneliness and social isolation. The #BeMoreUs campaign encourages both individuals and organisations to sign up and share their work which demonstrates the value in making meaningful connections. At Senscot, we’ve taken an active interest in the contribution that communities and social enterprises continue to make to tackle this complex problem. See our response to the Scottish Government consultation, and our briefing on loneliness and social isolation. Take a look at the campaign video below:


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TENDERS: Digital Tourism Scotland Programme – Scottish Enterprise, Biomass Fuel (Woodchips) Supply – NHS Grampian, Provision of Education Bus Services 2018 – Falkirk Council.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) offers a range of financial support to local energy projects. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Greggs Foundation is offering grants of up to £2,000 for local organisations who build resilience in their community. Any not for profit organisation can apply. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: ALLIANCE is pleased to announce the opening of the next round of the Self Management Fund – Working Together to Strengthen Integration. Grants up to £30k available. Find out more.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The nationally recognised Cycle Friendly Employer Award supports Scottish organisations wishing to encourage cycling as a healthy, sustainable and accessible way to travel to work. Find out more.


EVENT: Edinburgh Social Enterprise is holding an event – free to members – which will explore how to protect your clients, staff and organisation. Find out more and register.


EVENT: Open Aye is hosting a ‘feel good’ woodland photo walk on Thursday 17 May, as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival 2018. Find out more and register.


VACANCY: Ferguslie Park Housing Association is seeking a temporary property services manager. Initially a 12-month position. Circa £42k. See details and apply.



Dates for the Diary


22nd May PKSEN

19th June, PKSEN

21st June, DSEN AGM


Best wishes,