A recent Audit Scotland Report has re-ignited debate around Self Directed Support (SDS). The Report identifies a number of good examples, but suggest there is little real evidence of the necessary transformation required to see SDS implemented consistently and successfully across the country. In particular, it highlights that SDS is not working for people with mental health issues (see TFN article). Our own feedback from SEs delivering these services on the ground suggests a lack of forward planning by Health and Social Care Partnerships and the budgets they are making available. This obviously impacts on the availability and quality of service provision – with a number of SEs also seeing funding being withdrawn. A SEN meeting – specifically on this issue – will be hosted early in October. For more info’ on this, contact email@example.com. Dementia was identified at a recent SEN meeting as an issue that many SEs are addressing, with examples such as Lingo Flamingo, ArtLink Central and Dementia Friendly East Lothian CIC. Given the interest, we’re facilitating another Joint Thematic SEN Discussion to explore the role of SE in more detail with a view to promoting this to public sector partners. The discussion takes place on Tuesday 12th September at our Walker Street, Edinburgh, office. 10.30am to 12.30pm. Register here or email for more info. Senscot and Social Firms Scotland hosted a meeting this week focussing on employability in cultural and creative social enterprises. The discussion threw up some interesting issues and opportunities including Fair Start Scotland, SDS relationships and working with the private sector. Some SEs are delivering employability programmes to and for corporates – some paid and some unpaid. We would be interested in hearing from you if this is an area you currently work in or have delivered in the past. Please drop Sarah@senscot.net an email. Senscot is now ‘bedding in’ at our new premises in Glasgow. We’re not quite ready to host meetings etc but, hopefully, will be in a position to do so within the next few weeks. However, we now have phone lines installed – with some new numbers for info: Senscot Legal – 0141-332-8084 (unchanged); Senscot – 0141-280-2570 (new); and P4P – 0141-280-2560 (new). Full postal address is 24 George Square, Glasgow, G2 1EG. Culture SEN members will be delighted to hear that the Scottish Govt, Creative Scotland and Young Scot are launching a National Youth Arts Strategy, with Scotland’s young talent being put at the heart of its development. 35 volunteers, aged 14 to 23, were unveiled during a meeting with culture secretary Fiona Hyslop, at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh last week. Over the next two years, the group will engage with young people and stakeholders to influence the next phase of the strategy – Time to Shine. Hyslop said: “I’m a firm believer in the power of arts and creativity to bring people together and to change lives for the better.” Read the full press release. Edinburgh SEN member Assist Social Capital CIC and Insights US have been supported by the EU LADDER project being hosted by ALDA (the European Association of Local Democracy) to implement a project aimed at supporting sustainable economic development within UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. The project is based on inclusive decision-making via an online platform and will focus on how communities, businesses and social enterprises can facilitate a move towards a sustainable economy. The platform welcomes responses from local people, social entrepreneurs, social enterprises, business owners, to biosphere managers, and local authorities. Click here to make your contribution.