The SENs: Friday 30th October 2015

Tuesday saw the meeting of the Cross Party Group on Social Enterprise at the Parliament. The event focussed primarily on the findings of the recent SE Census. This has been the most extensive piece of research done to date on the size and scale of SE in Scotland and will act as a benchmark in the years ahead. There are many impressive stats – but, most of all, it paints a picture of a sector made up of small enterprises – 60% turning over less than 100k. How they are to be supported over the coming years is the important question facing our Govt as well as the sector itself – where the reality of the needs of the sector has to outweigh the rhetoric. Senscot, with many others, has been and continues to work on shaping a Vision for SE in Scotland. It will be important to agree on approaches that genuinely address the issues our Census has thrown up. We only have a handful of places left for the SE Conference and Ceilidh – if you’ve not signed up yet you should do so now to avoid disappointment! To view the programme see here and you can book your place here.  The key role for social enterprise in community food was apparent at the 19th Community Food and Health (Scotland) Conference in Perth this week. Michelle from The Food Train welcomed participants – with Maureen Watt (Minister for Public Health) highlighting the need to tackle food poverty and making reference to the great work of Meal Makers and CFINE. There was a great choice of workshops, including sessions from Edinburgh Cyrenians, Grow to Work CIC & Carr Gomm. The conversations taking place during the networking opportunities were inspired by a lovely film shown from Drumchapel Life on Flat Pack Meals and insights from Jonathan Schifferes from RSA on measuring social impact on community food projects.  Diane Cameron, our Sport SEN Coordinator, recently attended an event intriguingly entitled ‘Community Sport in Scotland – Dying? Dormant? Dynamic?’The event sought to share a vision for a proposed new independent body which would evidence the scale and impact of sport in Scotland along similar lines to those in the Netherlands and Denmark.  This type of agency and subsequent body of research could go a long way in providing supportive evidence of sports social enterprises on their impact, which would be essential when seeking to deliver local services and to compete for tenders. See here for a summary of the outline aims of the proposed organisation plus a link to the blog by Charlie Raeburn, a long-time supporter of sport and the inspiration behind the proposal.   The final EU Masterclass took place today in the Borders. With 25 in attendance, the series of seminars has now reached more than 300 delegates in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen and the Borders. These seminars have shared some core information before the EU programmes are “open for business”. They include a level of detail about various ‘strategic packages’, such as: a) how ESF and ERDF Programmes will be delivered; and b) how potential applications will need to fit into these packages to secure funding. Scottish Govt will be in attendance at the SE Conference and Ceilidh to provide a further update on the social economy part of the programme.  Last Friday Senscot attended the Open Day of Clydesdale Community Initiatives (CCI) new premises at Langloch Farm. What was a derelict farm is now a fantastic space for CCI staff and volunteers. There was a range of interactive demonstrations on the day which included a log cabin construction workshop. See CCI Facebook page for more.  Notices TENDERS: Corporate Resource Partner to Assist Change / Provision of Room Booking & Parents Evening Appointment Systems – East Renfrewshire Council, Occupational Health Services – The Highland Council, Supporting Individuals and Families Affected by Substance Misuse in South Lanarkshire and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on TwitterFUNDING: First State Investments Scotland Fund launched this week for local voluntary / community groups within a 35 mile radius of central Edinburgh. Grants of up to £8k are available. At least 50% of the total project cost has to be applied for so total project costs must therefore not exceed £16k. GRADUATION: On Tuesday night 18 students graduated from a year-long programme run by School for Social Entrepreneurs Scotland, which provides start-up grants and business mentoring and is backed by the Bank of Scotland. WORKSHOP: There are two FREE capacity building workshops coming up for SME’s and Social Enterprises taking place on 18th Nov. The Introduction to the Data Protection Act and IT Security for Small Business will be held at GRREC Temporary Visitors Centre, Glasgow. FUNDING: Bursaries of between £100 and £1,000 are available to help volunteers wishing to undertake training to enhance their knowledge or improve their coaching skills to assist their club, organisation or community and develop their chosen sport.  LIVING WAGE: As well as the prize draw, one of the other focuses for Living Wage Week this year is social media and it would be wonderful if you could lend your support.  Dates for the Diary
Dundee SEN, 4th NovPerthshire SEN, 30th NovFalkirk SEN, 1st DecGlasgow SEN, 4th DecMoray SEN, 10th DecEdinburgh SEN AGM, 10th DecBest wishes, Kim

kim@senscot.net