The SENs: Friday 3rd March 2017

In light of the SE Strategy and the impending Action Plan – and early actions – a number of Scottish Community Alliance (SCA) members met this week to consider how they could improve the benefit to their members from the Govt funded services on offer to social and community enterprises – including both new and existing services. Between them, the SCA members represent nearly 2000 social and community enterprises. They have agreed to meet more regularly and also to jointly engage with support organisations so that services are better tailored to the specific needs of their members. The objective is a more co-ordinated and cost-effective use of the resources being directed to the sector. This would be to everyone’s benefit. At the Senscot’s last Ceilidh in 2015, Matthew Adams pitched at the Dragons’ Den for the Ally Bally Bee Project. His pitch – to create the world’s first personalised children’s book on dementia. At the time, the project was in its infancy but Matthew had a clear idea of what and how he was going to achieve his goal. We’re delighted to hear that Matthew is now on the cusp of reaching another milestone – completing the project website and allowing the book to be personalised online. To do so, they are looking to raise £3k via this kickstarter videoEdinburgh Social Enterprise (ESE) will be running their Social in the Gardens event this year during the Edinburgh Festival on the 2nd and 3rd August 2017. ESE has set up a working group – which met this week – to oversee the planning and co-ordination of the two-day event. The Social in the Gardens event will include a social enterprise market place as well as a full programme of entertainment. If you are interested in getting involved – or would like further details/more info’ etc, please contact Many SEN members will have been busy over recent weeks filling ESF application forms. We heard more than 250 have been received!! Couple of other bits of news of the european front that may be of interest. SCVO produces a monthly European Network Bulletin – giving useful info on issues that will be of relevance to many SEN members. It’s worth a look. Also, news last week that Senscot and Social Firms Scotland are now able to re-engage with the EU SEN – after a 12-month hiatus. As part of Scottish Govt’s ‘early actions’, we will participating again in the EU SEN. In spite of the impending Brexit, the EU SEN is valuable source of connections, ideas, information from which the Scottish SE community can learn from. Disappointing to hear that funding for sport in Scotland will be reduced by 20% over the next three years – which will have an impact on many Sport SEN members. Sportscotland, itself, has described the news as ‘heartbreaking’ – and is conscious of the impact not only on sport itself but on the key role it plays in addressing health issues and bolstering communities. On Wednesday,Senscot attended the SPT national conference titled “New Approaches in Social Transport: The PSP Model”. The SPT Public Social Partnership is one of 6 strategic PSP’s supported by Ready for Business, with the focus on delivering community and demand responsive transport whilst building capacity and delivery.  The conference looked at the key elements of a PSP approach to delivery and heard examples from SPT and further afield, including Edinburgh and Dumfries, with a view to assessing the case for a national community transport PSP. With a high turnout from both community transport operators and local authorities – so we’re optimistic of more progress in this area in the future. See programme.  Notices TENDERS: Community Based Support – East Ayrshire Council; Transport and Delivery of Meals on Wheels Service – Shetland Islands Council; Attainment Challenge Contracts – North Lanarkshire Council; Scottish Health Survey 2018-2021 – Scottish Government.  Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on TwitterEVENTS: The SE Exchange takes place on Tuesday, 21st March at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh. Costs – SES members £75 + VAT; Other SE delegates – £100 + VAT; Some bursaries available too. See link to book. INVITATION TO TENDER: Whiteinch Centre Limited are seeking submissions for the contract to operate the Café premises at the Whiteinch Centre Limited, available from May 2017 to May 2018. NEWSLETTER: DSEN’s February newsletter. GUIDE: OSCR has produced a new guide – Being a Charity in Scotland – using simple graphics and straightforward language, to help charities understand their responsibilities. With charities making up around 70% of social enterprises in Scotland (SE Census), this new guide will be helpful to many SEN members. ASDA SE Supplier Development Programme: Do you know of any ambitious social enterprises or charities producing a product that could sell in a supermarket like Asda?  If you do – then they might be interested in applying for the Asda Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy. See link above for details. TRAINING: This two-day workshop will equip each participant with the skills to bring about change at a local or national level. Participants will go on to support the work of Scottish Rural Action in campaigning on the issues of greatest importance to rural Scotland, as well as leading their own campaigns. An organisation named Digital Mums that retrain mums to be social media managers and during their training they place them with a real business.  You can read their Brochure with more information on what it involves – if you’re interested just get in contact with Sarah Forde  Dates for the Diary
SASEN, 8th MarchScottish Borders SEC, 9th MarchWest Lothian SEN, 21st MarchMoray SEN, 13th April Best wishes,