The SENs: Friday 2nd December 2016

The theme in our Conference last week, ‘Keep it Local – Strength in numbers’ was about how community-based social enterprises can play a greater role in delivering local services. Participatory Budgeting (PB) is one particularly creative measure that can support this objective. PB is all about ‘community led commissioning’ – and with communities having a direct say during commissioning processes, then money is more likely to go (and stay) locally. PB Partners have received funding from Scottish Govt to run 10 masterclasses on PB – and Senscot is in discussion about co-hosting one of these masterclasses (for SENs/SEN members) early in 2017. So far, 16 communities and 12 Councils have accessed the Govt’s Community Choices Fund to support PB at a local level. More soon.

The ESF Tackling Poverty and Social Inclusion information went live on Scottish Government website this week.  Promoting social inclusion and combating poverty and discrimination are key priorities in the 2014-2020 European Social Fund (ESF) Programme.  The £9.7m Social Economy Development Programme and £18.9m Aspiring Communities are part-funded by ESF and Scottish Government – meaning there is no requirement for applicant organisations to provide match funding. Please note the application, guidance and timeline are not yet available but will be soon – we will keep you posted.

Niall McShannon of Clydesdale Community Initiative wrote an open letter to the Third Force News in response to an earlier article on the tensions between large third sector organisations and grassroots organisations. In the powerful and thought provoking letter Niall seeks more ‘appreciation and humility’ in the relationship between the local organisations ‘that represent true community engagement and empowerment’ and the larger ones. See more.

Yesterday saw the launch of the next phase of the Self-directed Support implementation plan for 2016-2018.  The reception provided the opportunity to hear from people about their experiences of SDS and find out how systems, processes and support have changed to better meet people’s outcomes and to hear from Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell. Check out #SDSScot on Twitter for comments on the launch. As one of the Health SENs priority issues, we’re keen to hear from members involved in SDS – connecting them up to share experiences. Contact Mary.

The Scottish Government held three supplier information events this week – in Glasgow, Inverness and Edinburgh. The events outlined the procedure for procuring the 2018 Scottish Employability Support Services contracts. Senscot attended the Edinburgh event which focussed on the proposed procurement methodology, the timeline, funding model and the possible ‘lotting’ structure of the contracts. Further notes from the event are available here.

Sarah attend the CPG on Tourism this week.  Attended by Mike Russell, Minister for Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, the session focussed on the implications of Brexit on the tourism industry.  Three particular issues were highlighted: free movement of labour, access and, reputation.  It was highlighted that 17% of staff employed in Scottish tourism sector are from the EU.  Senscot is organising a meeting focussed on SE and Tourism on the 19th Jan at the Grassmarket Community Project. For more information, contact Sarah.


TENDERS: Together for Children in Aberdeen – Aberdeen City Council, Delivery of Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Edinburgh Wellbeing Public Social Partnership – The City of Edinburgh Council, Allan Community Centre Upgrade – Stirling Council and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.

SURVEY: The Scottish Government want to make it as easy as possible for suppliers to bid for public sector contracts.  Can you help? The feedback received will help shape the future content of Scottish Government guidance for suppliers who bid for public sector contracts.

FUNDING: The Weir Charitable Trust are now accepting applications for their next round of awards. Applications are open until 5.00 pm on Tuesday 28th Feb 2017 with outcomes advised in May 2017. The Trust will consider funding specific activities and services in sport, recreational facilities, animal welfare, health and cultural projects. Average award granted to date is £3,500.

AWARDS: Many congratulations to a stalwart of the north east tourism industry, Roger Goodyear, who was honoured on last week by his peers at the 2016 Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.

NEWSLETTERS: Latest Health and Wellbeing and Dundee SEN newsletters contain news, events, tenders, funding and much more!

EVENT: Social Firms Scotland is holding its AGM in Inverness on 8th Dec. This will double as a celebration of the impact of social firms and The Libertie Project and The Calman Trust will be featuring on the day.

CHRISTMAS: Theatre NEMO is hosting a Christmas Cracker of a show at St. Andrews in the Square on 13th Dec. The evening will consist of performances from its Taiko Drumming, Guitar and Drama groups as well as another great exhibition by our Visual Art group.

EVENT: Managing Change & Improving Productivity in your social enterprise can prove to be a challenge. The Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service is holding an event for Social Enterprises who are keen to improve business efficiency by learning more about applying lean techniques and want the opportunity to establish links with other like-minded organisations. 

Dates for the Diary

Fife SEN, 7th Dec
West Lothian SEN AGM,8th Dec
Moray SEN, 8th Dec
West Lothian AGM, 8th Dec
Edinburgh SEN AGM, 13th Dec
Glasgow SEN, 14th Dec
Perth & Kinross SEN, 24th Jan

Best wishes,