The SENs: Friday 12th February 2016

Last year, Social Firms Scotland (SFS), supported by Senscot, established the Employability SEN – which now has over 50 members. One of the main reasons for establishing the SEN was to provide a strong collective voice in the employability arena, specific for social enterprise as well as taking a more pro-active approach to influencing policy both locally and nationally. Given how important this role is, we’d appreciate if social enterprises working in employability – either involved with the SEN as well as those who would like to be involved – could fill in this short 4 questions survey on policy and representation. If you’re not engaged in the employability SEN but would like to be, contact Jayne at SFS or Kim at Senscot.

Senscot attended an event this week at HMP Barlinnie which was jointly organised by the Scottish Prison Service, Glasgow Community Justice Authority, GSEN and SFS. The event was also open to members of the Employability SEN – with the objective of exploring partnership opportunities between social enterprises, offenders and the prison to deliver employability outcomes. We heard from a range of speakers including an ex-offender who returned (12 days after his release) to share his experiences; Matt from Freedom Bakery provided some inspiration on what can be done and Throughcare Support Officers gave an idea of some of the support the prison can offer.  The event was well attended and is just a starting point for potential developments. A report will be available soon.

For many Sport SEN members there is an inevitable link to health and wellbeing. Some of the latest initiatives include Active Communities recruitment of Community Health Champions (open day on 18th March) and Broxburn United Sport Club’s expansion of its Alive & Kickin’ over 50’s programme. It is also introducing new activities such as Buggy Boot Camp for young mums; and Burn It (Ladies only) outdoor fitness sessions.

Mary (our SE and Health Co-ordinator) attended ‘Creating More Choice & Doing Things Differently’, a health and social care event organised by Dundee SEN. Adele from Dundee Carer Centre outlined its services focusing on Self Directed Support, including brokering, direct payment advices and learning & development. Mark from SDS Scotland presented on social innovation and SDS, highlighting the opportunity for social enterprise to make a valuable contribution. With inspiring presentations from local social enterprise involved in SDS, Mark’s keen to hear more from Health SEN members on their interest in SDS. To find out more contact Mary.

GSEN’s Tourism Group met this week, at the Glad Café, to discuss future opportunities.  Working closely with Glasgow Central Marketing Bureau (GCMB), GSEN, and supported by Senscot, the group is keen to develop a package to encourage visitors to use their facilities.  This is an exciting opportunity for the social enterprises involved, not only in raising their profile and bringing in new business but also their engagement with an international market. If you are interested in becoming a member of GSEN and/ or the GCMB tourism group, please contact Elizabeth McKenna.

Located in central Edinburgh, ESEN member, The Melting Pot – pioneers of the co-working movement – refurbished their premises last year. They have great value options for individuals and teams of all sizes and from all sectors. Whether you just need a business address, a drop-in office for a day, or a place to work full or part time, on your own or in teams – it can cover it all. Co-working prices have dropped by 20%. Look at the offers here.

Newsletters published from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Employability SENs and Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber.


TENDERS: Self Directed Support – Option 2 – South Lanarkshire Council, Digital Interpretation For St Magnus Cathedral – Orkney Islands Council, Inclusive Childcare Support Service – The City of Edinburgh Council and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.

CONFERENCE: The upcoming Holyrood magazine’s annual eHealth conference is the ideal opportunity to hear the latest updates on the eHealth Strategy. The event is free to members of the third sector.

EVENT: The joint event from between FCFCG and the Growing Together initiative on 3rd March: “Growing well together” will be sharing best practice and collaboration between community gardens and the NHS (Glasgow).

CONSULTANCY: Scottish Government inviting bids from third sector organisations in Scotland for very short sharp projects (up to 10 person days) where statistical or analytical skills could make a difference to your organisation.

FUND: A call for pilot integrated energy efficiency projects to be led by local authorities with their partners was issued by the Scottish Government.

CAFÉ: Queens Cross Housing Association is looking to explore options to outsource its existing ‘Courtyard’ facility to an existing social enterprise café/catering company.

Dates for the Diary

Inverclyde, 16th Feb
Perth and Kinross SEN, 23rd Feb
Stirlingshire, 25th Feb
Moray SEN, 1st Mar
Fife SEN, 9th Mar
South Ayrshire SEN, 9th Mar
West Lothian SEN, 9th Mar
Perth and Kinross SEN, 23rd Mar
Glasgow SEN, 6th Apr

Best wishes,