The SENs: Friday 27th April 2018

Senscot welcomes the Scottish Govt’s draft strategy on loneliness and social isolation – particularly its recognition of the crucial role that communities play in addressing the many issues in this area. It is also worth noting that the draft strategy acknowledges the need to address loneliness and social isolation within a broader policy context. Based on input and discussion amongst SEN members, Senscot has submitted a response to the consultation – which closes today. Social enterprises are already making a valuable contribution to tackling social isolation and loneliness through a wide range of activities and services. SEN members have identified a need for a ‘whole system approach’ that addresses the many factors that contribute to this complex issue – highlighting the importance of comprehensive and integrated solutions. You can read more about this in the Senscot Briefing produced last year.


Over the last few years, the Scottish Community Alliance (SCA) has received funding for its Community Learning Exchange (CLE) programme – a valuable initiative which encourages the sharing of expertise between community organisations across the country. Senscot has worked with SCA to deliver a number of productive CLEs for SEN members in the past year, including trips to ROAR (Paisley); Tower Digital Arts Centre (Helensburgh); and Garioch Sports Centre (Inverurie). This ethos of collaboration and knowledge sharing is central to the social economy in Scotland and it is therefore great to hear that funding for the programme has been renewed for 2018/19. SCA is now taking applications for potential exchanges – see CLE guidance notes for the next year, and also download an application form.


On Wednesday, Senscot attended the ESE networking event aimed at new and established members. Members got an opportunity to hear about the support available to them via ESE, Firstport and Senscot – and also to hear about the SEN Community Bond. ESE has a range of opportunities for SEN members to connect with including an upcoming event on ‘Safeguarding’ with contribution from OSCR; P4P workshop on tendering/collaboration and the return of Social in The Gardens. For more, contact


Couple of thematic SEN events coming up – Senscot is developing a joint thematic event between SEN members who engage in adventure activities and the Tourism Network. We recognise that by bringing both groups together we can share best practice and explore ideas for collaborative working. If you are interested in attending or if you are able to host please get in touch with Rachel. The meeting is scheduled for 30th May in Stirling. Venue TBC.


The next Health SEN meeting will take place in Aberdeen on Tuesday 15th May. We’ll be talking about social capital and the Health SENs involvement in Unlocking Potential, mental health & wellbeing and social enterprise. There will be a short tour of CFINE’s premises, so well worth coming along if you can make it. Register here.


Senscot will be holding its 18th AGM on Friday 25th May (11am-1.30 pm) at the Scottish Youth Theatre, 105 Brunswick St, Glasgow G1 1TF. This year’s discussion topic will focus on resilience with our SE community – and will include a series of contributions from speakers offering their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities being faced by grassroots social enterprises. If you would like to attend, please see booking form.


Plans for a multi-million pound football themed homeless complex have been unveiled by Sport SEN member Street Soccer Scotland. The Change Centre aims to create a place of security, relationships and purpose for the homeless at a base near Edinburgh city centre. The proposals – the brainchild of founder David Duke – could see 32 en-suite bedrooms, living facilities and a community hub with six football pitches created at Morgan playing fields. A public consultation on the plans has been launched, with the complex expected to cost around £5 million to create. Read more on the Change Centre website.



TENDERS: Occupational Health Contract – Angus Council, Associate Trainers (Health and Wellbeing) – ITT –  Edinburgh College, Collection, Treatment, Recovery/Disposal of Tyres – Aberdeenshire Council.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Sportscotland’s Sport Facilities Fund (SFF) supports capital projects that create or improve places where people take part in sport and physical activity. The fund will target our resources around the development of projects that have the greatest impact on participation and progression. Read more and apply.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: SE development agency Firstport has launched the Social Innovation Competition to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, with three £5000 awards to be won along with a package of tailored support to refine and develop your idea. Find out more and apply today.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Hunter Foundation has launched a ‘100 Disrupters’ competition to support the Year of Young People 2018 in Scotland. Open to any young person up to the age of 26, THF will award 100 grants of £1000 to individuals or groups who are positively disrupting Scotland. Find out more and apply.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: There is a total fund of £315,000 available in 2018/19 to support a range of events that will reinforce the importance and amplify the celebration of St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay or Burns Night. Find out more and apply.

EVENT: The next Portobello Market is on Saturday 5 May. Gates open at 9.30am with the market running until 1.30pm in Brighton Park, just off Brighton Place. BG Cycles will be there offering a free bicycle checkup to keep you safe out there.

EVENT: The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland annual conference will be held on the 4th June at the Radisson Blue in Glasgow. Download a booking form here.


Dates for the Diary

15th May, Health SEN

16th May, GSEN

22nd May, PKSEN


Best wishes,