The SENs: Thursday 29th March 2018

This week sees our 8th – and final – SE Briefings of 2017/18. This month’s theme is ‘Community Tourism – the role of social enterprise’ – and is part of a series of Senscot Briefings which aim to showcase the approach that social enterprise is taking to address a range of complex social issues across Scotland. This month’s Briefing will explore how bringing local people and businesses together with third sector partners can help increase both visitor numbers and the quality of visitor experience – to the benefit of the local community. By encouraging local communities to take ownership of tourism in their area can help preserve historic and cultural heritage, improve management of land and assets for community use, encourage the development of new business opportunities, and improve the quality of services. This month the Briefing includes a case study on Dornoch CIC as well as a spotlight on accessible tourism through Euan’s Guide.


This week we attended the Scottish Community Alliance (SCA) quarterly meeting – main agenda items included an update from Helen Webster, (SG Third Sector Division), on ‘Third Sector Interfaces – future role and relationships’ and an update from Alasdair McKinlay, (SG Community Planning and Engagement) on ‘Local Governance Review – local democracy matters’ it is currently assumed that the review will result in new legislation – the Local Democracy Bill – which will provide the legislative backing for this proposed shift towards communities of the ‘locus of control’ over decision making. Here’s an interesting thought piece by Angus Hardie (SCA).  We’ll be inviting Alasdair to come and speak to SENs on this issue in the coming months.


Based in Glasgow, Employability SEN member Milk Café works to support refugee and migrant women in the city through English language support, work experience, form filling and workshops for personal development. Building on its existing services and support, Milk Café now has ambitious plans to build a new boutique hostel for the city. The hostel will provide practical support, work experience, training and emergency accommodation for refugees and asylum seekers. The team are currently conducting some research to shape their plans, help them out by completing this five-minute survey which asks about your expectations of a stay in a hostel.


If your organisation is interested in procuring employability services from public service providers, please consider attending a free workshop on the Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), hosted by GSEN and Social Firms Scotland (SFS). DPS aims to allow suppliers in the third sector meet gaps in employability provision at a local level. Staff from the DWP will speak at the session, while a SFS member who successfully delivered DPS contracts will share their experience. P4P will also be on hand to explain the support they can provide SEs with bidding for DPS contracts. The workshop is free and will run from 1.30pm to 4pm on 18th April at the Robertson Trust in Glasgow. See more details.


Ayrshire-based social enterprise programme What If…Girvan is to become the first social investor with OASIIS. Focusing on UNESCO Biosphere sites – places where local communities, environmental groups, and businesses can work together – OASIIS aims to connect environmentally-minded social entrepreneurs and local businesses through a global online platform. Any social enterprises or local businesses based within the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere are welcome to register on the OASIIS platform at You can also contact Tabi – or 0750 4524 792 – for opportunities to connect with other businesses, create new partnerships, enter new markets and learn from other social entrepreneurs.





TENDERS: Same Day Courier Services – The City of Edinburgh Council, Research into Public Sector Procurement Opportunities – P4P, Occupational Health Services for Students –  West of Scotland Uni.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Any group of volunteers can apply for Volunteering Matters Action Earth grants of between £50-250 to run environmental activities in Scotland’s green spaces. Find out more here.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Year of Young People National Lottery Fund is offering grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 to projects that focus on young people’s health and wellbeing. Find out more and apply.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The Co-op’s Local Community Fund is opening its next round of funding applications. Deadline 8th April. Apply now.


FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: The 3rd April deadline for the Scottish Government’s Self-Directed Support Fund is approaching. The fund aims to increase the delivery of independent support for people who require social care. Find out more and apply.


CAMPAIGN: Police Scotland is running a new initiative in conjunction with Paisley-based charity I Am Me, aimed at reducing disability hate crime in Scotland. ‘Keep Safe’ aims to set up a network of safe spaces at local businesses such as cafés, libraries and shops for vulnerable adults and children. If your organisation could contribute, you can find out more here.


WORKSHOP: Viridor is working with Glasgow City Council to host a workshop on developing an online digital marketing strategy, aimed at SMEs and social enterprises. Find out more here.


WORKSHOP: The Circle hosting a workshop on how to write better content marketing for SMEs, community groups and social enterprises £108-£216 approx. Find out more and register.


NEWSLETTER: The March West Lothian SEN newsletter is out, with news of upcoming Community Learning Exchanges and an exciting opportunity from the School for Social Entrepreneurs. Read the newsletter now.



Dates for the Diary


25th April, ASEN

26th April, DSEN

15th May, Health SEN

16th May, GSEN


Best wishes,