The SENs: Friday 3rd February 2017

Yesterday, Scottish Govt announced that £96m worth of contracts will go out to tender to deliver a full programme of employment services from 2018 – to deliver employment support across Scotland. Particularly encouraging is that one of the contracts is to be reserved for a supported business. Pauline Graham (Social Firms Scotland) provides some helpful background. This comes at a time where we are seeing more and more social enterprises in the field of employability looking to work in collaboration with others. Social Firms Scotland and Senscot have been actively supporting this work via the Employability SEN over the last couple of years, see details. The Scottish Government’s new two year Aspiring Communities Fund (£18.9m) is now open – with a closing date of 7th April 2017. The Fund aims to help enable community groups and third sector organisations in our most deprived and fragile communities to develop and deliver long-term local solutions that address local priorities and needs; increase active inclusion; build on assets of local communities to reduce poverty; and enable inclusive growth. SCVO’s European Network Bulletin has a helpful round up of all the ESIF funds that are currently open. With Tariq sadly moving on this week, we are now looking to recruit a new Research and Communications Officer. As well as overseeing Senscot’s IT and social media requirements, the post will also involve a significant research element that will support our various bulletins and newsletters as well as promoting our work with both local and thematic SENs. Here is a link to the application pack. Closing date for applications is next Friday – 10th February. For SEN members interested in food poverty & insecurity, we recommend you check out Nourish Scotland who produce a monthly newsletter – full of great articles on food related news & events.  With much debate currently taking place on whether it’s appropriate to use surplus food to tackle hunger, February’s edition includes an interesting briefing paper from the Food Research Collaboration on this topic. Also worth checking out is Health & Community Food SEN member Edinburgh Community Food’s new Beginners Cooking Group for Men. Senscot is currently working in collaboration with South Lanarkshire Council, Ready for Business, VASLAN and the Supplier Development Programme to hold an awareness raising event on 16th February to demonstrate the added value that social enterprises can bring to public sector contract delivery. See more Last week, Mary (SE and Health Co-ordinator) joined Edinburgh Social Enterprise at their ‘A Social Enterprise Approach to Health and Social Care’ event. This excellent session successfully brought together local public sector and social enterprises, with a combination of presentations, workshops and particularly fun speed dating session – pairing up social enterprise and public sector partners. Building on the many conversations taking place on the day, Lindsey (ESE Health Development Officer) is now further connecting event participants. There’s still some funding available for the rest of this financial year for the Community Learning Exchange. Applications must be submitted by the end of March 2017. Here’s the most recent newsletter for more information.  Notices TENDERS: Framework Agreement for Provision of Care at Home Services – Perth & Kinross Council, Challenge Fund – Childcare – Grant Opportunity – Stirling Council, Employability Pipeline Strategic Intervention – Dumfries and Galloway Council and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on TwitterTOURNAMENT: Win 50,000 Euros. The Social Innovation Tournament promotes the generation of innovative ideas and rewards initiatives that fight against social exclusion. It covers projects in a wide range of fields – from education, health care and job creation to new technologies, new systems and new processes. FUND:  CAF has developed a three-year programme to enhance charity resilience and encourage further individual giving to support this goal. Together with grant funding of up to £50,000 per year to use appropriately, each selected organisation will receive bespoke expert advice and training. LEADERSHIP EXCHANGE PROGRAMME: ACOSVO welcomes individuals from your organisation or your membership to apply to its FREE Leadership Exchange Programme.  The initiative pairs leaders at middle, senior and executive levels to offer them brief cross-sectoral exchanges to learn from each other, develop an understanding of other sectors, encourage collaborative working and improve leadership skill capacity.  EXEMPTION: If you run a charity registered in Scotland or Community Amateur Sports Club, you may be able to get help with the cost of your water and sewerage charges. The Water and Sewerage Charges Exemption Scheme lets you apply for an exemption every year (from 1st April to 31st March). WORKSHOP: HR – Avoid the Costly Mistakes Croner have over 70 years’ experience helping business owners who have had issues in these areas, and using this knowledge, GRREC have put together an event to help you avoid the costly mistakes that others have made.  Dates for the Diary Edinburgh SEN, 7th FebMoray SEN, 9th FebScottish Borders SEC, 9th FebClacks SEN, 20th Feb Best wishes,