The SENs: Friday 17th February 2017

Last week, Cabinet Secretary, Angela Constance announced a £1m package of ‘early actions’ in advance of the impending SE Action Plan. One of these ‘early actions’ is the establishment of a ‘Partnership and Procurement Hub’ which will strive to improve the sector’s ability to collaborate and tender for contracts. This project is a partnership between Senscot, Social Firms Scotland, Scottish Community Alliance and Co-operative Development Scotland and will build on the existing work of our current Partnership and Procurement Co-ordinator, George McConnachie. George’s work involves delivering workshops across Scotland; one to one support; co-ordination of shared learning from existing consortia and direct support to emerging consortia – and has included working with groups of SEs in Argyll and Bute; Glasgow; West Lothian and East Lothian amongst others. More info over coming weeks. Over the last year, Senscot’s work with the 5 Thematic SENs – Health; Community Food; Sport; Culture and Creative; and Employability (supported by Social Firms Scotland) – has seen a focus on specific priority areas: health & social care integration; self-directed support; sport for change; tourism; food poverty etc. With over 400 SEs engaged with one or other of the Thematic SENs, we are looking to delve deeper and have put together a ‘tick list’ for members to inform us of other issues we should be addressing at future meetings – either existing activities/issues or something you’d like to explore through the exchange of learning and experiences with other SEN members. If you could take 2 mins to tick the list – it would be greatly appreciated. As part of Ready for Business, Senscot attended ‘Social Enterprise – Adding Value to Public Sector Contracts’ yesterday – an event hosted by South Lanarkshire Council in Hamilton.  An impressive line-up of public, private and third-sector speakers outlined their respective views of the trends, challenges and opportunities relating to procurement in a social enterprise context.  Regarding the private sector’s experience of seeking third sector suppliers, John Logan (from construction firm, Sir Robert McAlpine) offered some food for thought with his comment that “not enough social businesses want to engage with us”.  This is not the only private sector voice to have expressed frustration at the lack of social enterprises with the skills and capacity to deliver – or are genuinely ‘ready for business’.  The challenge has been set – if your organisation is looking to supply goods or services then a useful starting point is to sign up to the social enterprise business directory. For SEN members interested in how the learning from Buurtzorg can be applied in Scotland, check out the Neighbourhood Care Learning Workshop – applying the Buurtzorg principles in Scotland. The Improvement Hub’s Living Well in Communities team are hosting a session next month (Wed 15th March) that will be of interest to those who would like to find out more and support this work and offers a great opportunity for those involved in developing their models of neighbourhood care to reflect on the work so far.  Find out more or register here. Exciting news from David Duke, founder of Street Soccer Scotland and Sport SEN member, re plans to establish a multi-million pound complex combining accommodation for homeless people with a community café and football pitches in Glasgow. The Change Centre is an idea that David has been developing for quite a while and his ambitious plan will see accommodation for 32 homeless people centred around a community centre style building featuring two five-a-side football pitches (available for public hire), a café with a training kitchen, a grandstand for spectators, meeting space, IT suite and changing facilities.  Notices TENDERS: Specialist Children Services – Pre and Post Bereavement Services, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde; Challenge Fund – Childcare, Stirling Council; Community Based Support – East Ayrshire Council and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on TwitterOPPORTUNITY: The Employed 3rd Sector programme offers third sector organisations the opportunity to host a University of Edinburgh student for a four-week summer internship. These unique work experience projects will be funded by the University.  Applications close on the 28th February 2017. WORKSHOP: As part of the University of Dundee’s Entrepreneurship Week 2017 we are pleased to have the Dundee Social Enterprise Network delivering a workshop providing an understanding of what a Social Enterprise is, how to start and run one and what support is available to you to get one off the ground. Also hear from inspirational social entrepreneur speakers. CALL FOR EVIDENCE: The Scottish Parliament’s Health & Sport Committee is currently examining Integration Authorities’ (IAs) approach to engagement with stakeholders and whether or not IAs are doing enough to involve patients, carers, the third sector and other stakeholders over the design and future of health and social care in their local area.  More info and details on how to respond herePROCUREMENT PROGRAMME: Social Enterprise Academy fully funded Procurement Training Programme is for people leading charities, social enterprises and other third sector organisations, who are interested in developing new income-generating streams through procurement contracts CONFERENCE: Citizens Advice Scotland Conference on Resilience: Developing Responses to Welfare Reform on Thursday, 16 March 2017.The conference will bring together those involved in welfare reform mitigation at a local and national level including government, third sector and private sector to discuss and develop partnerships and policy solutions which enhance resilience amongst Scottish communities and citizens.  Dates for the Diary Clacks SEN, 20th FebScottish Borders SEC, 9th MarchMoray SEN, 13th April Best wishes,