The SENs: Friday 6th November 2015

By this time next week the 11th SE Conference and Ceilidh will be done for another year. This year’s event is just about sold out with 116 folk signed up – 4 places still available – if anyone fancies coming along. If so – book your place here – the Programme includes some of our familiar sessions such as Dragons Den; The Big Question; and SE Showcase – and will also include workshops covering EU Funding; SCRT; Thematic SEN World Café; and What Matters To You (Fairer Scotland). The SE Conference and Ceilidh was originally set up for SEN members to gather together, on annual basis, not just to discuss some of the challenges they jointly face but also to provide an opportunity to mix in less formal circumstances. Today, attendees remain primarily from grassroots organisations.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees of the ‘Social Enterprise Awards Scotland 2015’ announced at a celebration event in the Scottish Parliament this week. Full list of winners can be seen here.

As you may be aware Argyll and Bute Social Enterprise Network previously gathered feedback and undertook survey analysis with members over the past 8 years.  This year, it was possible to build on this work by making links with the national social enterprise census.  Social Value Lab was engaged to undertake further research and analysis to produce a report mapping social enterprise in Argyll and Bute.  The mapping report reveals that the social enterprise sector makes a substantial contribution to the Argyll and Bute economy with a combined income of almost £40.7m, a spending power of £38.7.8m and total assets of £15.1m.

Centrestage Communities is in the news this week with its innovative project to tackle food poverty, in partnership with FareShare.  Fiona Mackenzie explains “The Centrestage approach uses food and the arts to bring people together to unlock the skills and energy of the community. With our new community hub we are now delivering a sustainable service owned and operated by the local community themselves”. Read full article. The learning from this will be incredibly valuable and timely for the short life working group on food poverty set up by the Scottish Government, which will be chaired by Martin Johnstone from the Church of Scotland.

This week Sarah attended the UKs first symposium on intangible cultural heritage, hosted by Museums Galleries Scotland and TRACS.  The keynote of the day was Dr Janet Blake who presented her Provocation Paper discussing human rights and sustainable development which provides the policy framework within the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.  Although the UK Government has not signed the convention, the session showed a real desire to safeguard our living culture in Scotland.  The third sector and social enterprise are key to connecting with communities and developing innovative ways to take this forward.  See the day’s tweets here.

On the 19th Nov – at the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh – SCRT will host its own Conference where an array of speakers address not dissimilar themes in how to invest in and finance the work of our third sector. The Conference – Social Finance; Social Investment; Social Banking: What makes them Social? – is the first of its kind in Scotland. To book your place, see here.  Senscot is sponsoring 6 places for Senscot or SEN members. To book one of these, email Rachel.

News this week from Voluntary Action Scotland – its annual conference in October saw the election of a number of new Board members including a new Convener, Derek Marshall, Dundee Factory Skatepark and Dundee SEN, see full list. VAS have also published the 2014/15 Third Sector Interface Impact Report which can be viewed here.

This week newsletters published from Sport SEN, Edinburgh SEN and Glasgow SEN.


TENDERS: Website redesign, hosting, CMS – Scottish Human Rights Commission, Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service – Dumfries & Galloway Council, Corporate Resource Partner to Assist Change – East Renfrewshire Council and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.

WORKSHOPS: Two free workshops for SMEs and social enterprise organisations taking place on 24th November in Glasgow, ‘Project Management – Achieving Goals’ and ‘Online Video Marketing & Video Localisation’.

EVENTS: The Community Ownership Support Service (DTAS) is holding a series of free-to-attend Community Empowerment Act events, ‘Asset Transfer: Communities at the Centre’, for those involved in Community Planning Partnerships. Each event will include roundtable sessions with communities who have successfully secured assets. First workshop in Livingston on 19th November.

FUNDER: A ‘Meet the social funder’ event takes on the 9th in Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy as part of Fife Business Week. There will be opportunity for networking and to contact different funders and investors in the third sector.

AWARDS: Congratulations to Gregory Chauvet, Managing Director at Glasgow Bike Station, for being awarded the ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Herald Society Awards 2015.

VOTE: A number of SEN members (Kidzeco CIC, Outfit Moray, Rosemount Lifelong Learning and more) are in the final RBS Challenge Fund. It takes just a few clicks to make your vote count.

FUND: VAF has announced the launch of the Scottish Government’s new Healthier Scotland Engagement Fund. Grants of up to £500 (or £1,000 in some cases) are available to support an event or engagement activity with a group of five or more people to gather the participants’ thoughts about how to create a healthier Scotland.

Dates for the Diary

Perthshire SEN, 30th Nov

Falkirk SEN, 1st Dec

Glasgow SEN, 4th Dec

Moray SEN, 10th Dec

Edinburgh SEN AGM, 10th Dec


Best wishes,