The SENs: Thursday 13th April 2017

Recently, we invited Thematic SENs to participate in a Tick List Survey – identifying activities or policy areas that SEN members were keen to address in the year ahead. One of area identified was working to combat loneliness and isolation. A useful resource on this issue is the VHS Loneliness Briefing Paper. SEN members looking to contribute further in this area should note that the Scottish Govt will host a stakeholder event in Edinburgh next Wed, 19th April that will begin a discussion on what its proposed National Isolation Strategy should contain. In a similar vein, for SEs in the Highland and Moray areas, Glasgow School of Art is carrying out a research project with the aim of developing a toolkit that would support social enterprises to share best practice in this area. Wednesday saw the launch of the Social Enterprise Action Plan at the Milk Café in Glasgow. The SE Action Plan is a three-year programme – listing around 92 specific actions – that will support the SE Strategy that was launched back in December. As the document says: “This sets out a wide-ranging, ambitious and long-term framework to help realise the full potential of the social enterprise sector. These are important first steps that we will take, working across government and with partners, to deliver on our vision for social enterprise over the next three years. Subsequent action plans will follow in 2020 and 2023”. See full press release. NHS Health Scotland have published their eighth Inequality Briefing, titled ‘Income, Wealth and Poverty’. The briefing explores what role financial factors play in creating health inequalities across the country, and examines the evidence for effective actions that can be taken to reduce health inequalities. The briefing identifies income as the most significant social determinant of health, while it signals that a change of tax and social policy could have a profound impact on health inequalities. NHS Health Scotland have asked that feedback on the briefing be provided by taking this short survey. Responding to feedback from their integration forum in January, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (ALLIANCE) are now hosting a number of regional Strategic Commissioning Forums throughout April and May. SEN members with an interest in following health and social care integration can attend sessions in Aberdeen, Ayr, Clydebank, Dumfries, Edinburgh and Perth. The forums will provide an overview of how strategic commissioning is being progressed locally from a third sector perspective as well as what future opportunities there will be for third sector parties in this area. Contact the ALLIANCE communications officer for further details. The Digital Skills Report, published earlier this month, revealed a poor level of digital engagement across the third sector. The report focussed on charities, but in it there are important lessons for social enterprises about how to use digital platforms to maximise social impact. Following on from the report, a new Digital Toolkit has been launched – an extensive, free online resource offering advice and tutorials on everything from email campaigns to social media and the benefits of using analytics. Spoon Café, a catering service run by Glasgow SEN member Unity, has reopened its doors after a month-long refurbishment project at its Trongate site. The café, which offers training and work experience to adults with learning difficulties, now boasts a bright, airy and welcoming dining area, while the shop façade has also undergone a major facelift. Work is also underway to design a recognisable logo for Spoon’s Pay It Forward scheme, where customers can provide a free meal for people affected by poverty or homelessness. The long-term aim is to develop a universal logo with a strong brand identity for similar Pay It Forward schemes in operation across the country.  Notices VACANCY: Outdoor Activity provider Stramash are looking for a new chief executive. Application notes can be obtained by emailing Mairi Ferris. The closing date for applications is the 30th April. VACANCY: Edinburgh-based creative agency BOLD have the opportunity for an account manager on an initial six-month contract with the possibility for an extension/full time position. Applications close on the 30th April. VACANCY: Social Enterprise Academy are currently taking applications for a business development officer based in Edinburgh and southern Scotland. Anyone interested must apply before the 24th April. VACANCY: Blue Energy SIC are taking applications for an Initiatives Director. Salary up to £45k depending on experience. Deadline midnight Monday 17th April. See full job spec and application instructions hereTENDERS: Path Vegetation Control, Scottish Borders Council; Supporting People With Learning difficulties, West Lothian Council; corporate taxi service, East Ayrshire Council; Supply and Delivery of Fresh Bakery Products, Dumfries and Galloway Council; Homelessness Prevention, City of Edinburgh Council. EVENT: Impact Engagement are hosting their Health and Wellbeing 2017 conference in Glasgow on April 25th. The event will discuss a range of topics including the association between health and access to green spaces and recreation, the benefits of play and the importance of active travel. Reserve your place hereFUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme is now taking application for its sixth year of funding. The programme offers a fully-funded year of training and mentoring plus a grant of up to £10,000 for social entrepreneurs who have a community-led business idea. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 26th April. Apply hereFUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Edinburgh Trust Community Programme have opened funding to support new and innovative community projects that can help improve lives, reduce poverty and “get the best out of people and resources in our communities”. Grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 are available. Applications close on Friday 21st April. Download application form.  Dates for the Diary Moray SEN, 13th April
Scottish Borders SEC, 27th April Happy Easter,