The SENs: Friday 6th January 2017

With the launch of the SE Strategy in December and a complementary Action Plan emerging over the coming months, 2017 is going to be a significant year for social enterprise in Scotland. Another report that will have an important bearing on how the SE Action Plan shapes up – particularly at a local level – is the Evaluation of the TSI Network (see Exec Summary) that saw the light of day just before Xmas. This much-awaited report offers 18 recommendations that, in essence, look to place TSIs as a key strategic partner in the delivery of locally agreed outcomes – as opposed to specifically focussing on the delivery of four functions. With the report acknowledging SE to be the ‘most contested’ of TSIs’ core functions, it will be important for all parties (including SENs and their members) to contribute to a discussion that finds the most effective and appropriate way of supporting SEs at a local level.

On 10th January, the Supplier Development Programme is delivering an introductory tender workshop for organisations wanting to bid for Social Care contracts.  Tendering for Social Care Services is a full day course covering a number of different subject areas and will provide an overview for third sector organisations and social enterprises on how to tender for public sector contracts – with a specific focus on contracts for Social Care Services.  Full details and how to book are here.

SE Health & Wellbeing Roundtable member, NHS Health Scotland produced a recent briefing on Health Inequalities and Human Rights. It is keen to build greater connections with SEs and third sector orgs in general – in recognition of the key role they play in addressing health inequalities. As part of this work, it has identified a member of staff to focus on possibilities and opportunities around strategic commissioning – and is currently advertising additional posts. Mary Sinclair (SE and Health Co-ordinator) and other Health SEN members are meeting with them to see how SEs can be involved / supported in this activity. For info, contact Mary.

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 to demonstrate the added value that social enterprises can bring to public sector contract delivery. ‘Social Enterprise – Adding Value to Public Sector Contracts’ will also examine the challenges involved in becoming ‘tender ready’ and look at some of practical aspects of delivering community benefits. The event will take place in Hamilton on 16th February and further details are available here.

A reminder that there are a couple of spaces left at the Social Enterprise and Tourism Learning Exchange at the Grassmarket Community Project on 19th January.  This is a great opportunity to hear more about The Grassmarket Community Project and The Experience – two social enterprises both delivering to a tourism market –  as well as looking at potential tourism opportunities for your own social enterprises.  We also have a budget to help cover travel costs.  For more info’, please contact Sarah.

Congratulations to Mel Young, a tireless advocate for homeless people around the globe and co-founder of the Homeless World Cup, who has earned the 2016 Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award from the United States Sports Academy. See more.


TENDERS: Community Repairs Advice – South Lanarkshire Council; Interpreting, Translation & Transcription Services / Provision of Support Services to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry – Scottish Government; Volunteer Provision, Training and Management Service – Scottish Canals and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.

REVIEW: The Venture Trust published its Annual Review in late December. The Review highlights, amongst other things, its first ever programme dedicated to supporting military veterans struggling with the transition to civilian life and its major new three-year grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

STORIES: Building on the enthusiasm generated at the first 100 Stories eventin November, Healthcare Improvement Scotland will be holding its first event of 2017 on 24th Jan. Registration is free and will be on a first come, first served basis.

PAPERS: Museums Galleries Scotland is inviting submissions of papers for presentation at its 2017 Conference – ‘Inequalities: Bridging the Gap’. Deadline for submissions is 15th Feb.

COMMISSIONING: ‘Coping with Cuts’ is a series of free workshops where providers and commissioners get together to talk and think about how to work in a context of reducing resources. Forthcoming session on 24th Jan will focus on commissioning – how can commissioning help organisations and communities do things differently while maintaining a realistic picture of the cost of support and the range of services required?

INVESTMENT: Pioneering micro-finance organization Grameen in the UK has secured £250,000 in investment from Social Investment Scotland to increase the availability and affordability of business loans in deprived communities across the country.

FUNDING: The Community Learning Exchange programme is accepting applications till the end of March for proposed visits that take place up until the end of June. Contact Jane for more information.

LEARNING: Life-Pod announced a new Joint Award with The Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) that provides a certified learning pathway for hoarding practice.

Dates for the Diary

Inverclyde SEN, 24th Jan
Perth & Kinross SEN, 24th Jan
Glasgow SEN, 1st Feb 

Best wishes,