The SENs: Friday 17th March 2017

This week Senscot and the Scottish Community Alliance hosted a Participatory Budgeting (PB) Masterclass delivered by Jez Hall (PB Partners and Share Future CIC). Scottish Government is promoting PB through the £2m Community Choices programme. Over 25 Local Authorities have already begun using PB within their community engagement work, much of it reported on the PB Scotland website. The aspiration of the Scottish Govt for Community Choices us an ambitious one, which means new opportunities for social enterprises seeking to engage with communities and secure public sector contracts. Here’s a link to the presentations from the Masterclass. PB Scotland is now seeking to create a dedicated group of PB champions, who are able to support others on their journey. People with the skills, commitment and capacity to learn, and then, to share that learning, see more. Supported by the Community Learning Exchange Programme, Senscot is organising a study visit to Centrestage Music Theatre CIC  (Wed 29th March) to learn about their distinct approach to dignified food provision. The recent What Works Scotland’s research report outlines how they use food and the arts to engage people, help to improve life chances and (re)build communities, see flyer.  There are still a few places left – contact  if you’d like to join the visit. Following last week’s announcement re the new employment support services contract issued by Scottish Govt, we would encourage you to attend the Supplier event in Perth on March 29th if you are interested in being part of a bid.  Email to book your place. Scottish Government will undertake a separate procurement exercise for the Reserved contract Lot: ‘West’ (covering the East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire Local Authority areas).  The Contract Notice will also be issued via PCS.  See more here. Last week, Senscot attended the RBS gathering of the winners of the SE100 Social Business Awards in Gogarburn – hearing from speakers on the topic of leadership. Niall McShannon, CCI Scotland posed the questions – What is the point of running a social enterprise? Is it to maintain a healthy balance sheet or should the social impact created be considered more valuable? Niall went on to say “The private sector is extremely efficient at making profit but it’s not half as efficient as it would like to think it is in terms of delivering projects," before going on to be succinct about the challenges of running his organisation profitably. See more. Applications are now open for the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme 2017, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), supported by Big Lottery Fund. They are looking for people starting up and running organisations creating social and environmental impact. SSE can help them at all stages, from idea through to scale. The programme provides free support for a year: a grant of up to £10,000; a learning programme; mentoring; and a community of people who run social and environmental projects. All programme info here.   Sarah attended the CPG on Culture this week – Cultural Regeneration: Can Planners and Artists Work Together?  Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, delivered a presentation on the Understanding Scottish Places platform  a mechanism for understanding the similarity of places across Scotland. Deliberately designed to avoid a simplistic ranking of places as better or worse, Understanding Scottish Places focuses on the shared characteristics of towns. Petra Biberbach, Chief Executive of PAS, also spoke about their project- bringing planners together with artists.  Notices TENDERS: Managed Print Service – River Clyde Homes; Commercial Cleaning Programs, Halls of Residences – Heriot Watt University; Dumfries & Galloway European Social Fund Stage 1&2 Provision – Dumfries and Galloway Council and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on TwitterINFORMATION EVENT: DSEN are hosting an Implementing the Community Asset Transfer Legislation Event.  The Community Empowerment Act is now in place with the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) Guidance launched in January. This information event will give you an update on the CAT process and how it is being implemented in Dundee. BUILD IT FUNDING: Firstport’s next deadline for Build It awards has been set for Thursday 13 April 2017. Fully completed applications must be submitted no later than 12 noon.  Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend in person to pitch to our panel on Tuesday 30 May 2017. JOB ADVERT: Stirling based mental health charity, Action in Mind, is seeking part-time Finance Officer with immediate start. COMMUNITIES AND SPORT FOR CHANGE: Comic Relief’s Sport for Change strategy runs across UK and International funding, while focusing on our four key themes. Within this initiative, we are seeking proposals which use sport (physical activity) as a catalyst for change, helping people do two key things: take ownership – feel part of increasingly inclusive and cohesive communities & feel empowered – to identify and solve the social issues affecting their communities. CALL FOR PARTNERS: The Wise Group is currently developing bids for the Fair Start Scotland contract and is looking for partners in Scottish areas.  Fair Start Scotland is the Scottish Government’s new Employability Support Service which will commence from 3rd April 2018.  Dates for the Diary West Lothian SEN, 21st MarchEast Lothian SEN, 31st MarchMoray SEN, 13th AprilScottish Borders SEC, 27th April Best wishes, Kim