Senscot Bulletin 02-04-2004

APRIL 2004


Dear members and friends,


Being in company seems to deplete me more than it does most
folk – so I spend a lot of time alone – recovering.  This makes me neither sad nor happy – it’s just who I am – a
crank.  Having no desire to be
accessible at all times, I have never been tempted to get a mobile phone – in
spite of peer pressure.  Recently a pal
remarked that it’s ‘selfish’ of me to be ‘deliberately unreachable’.  I was flabbergasted – but by their looks –
others, in the company agreed.  Must
have touched a nerve ‘cos I launched into a mini rant how mobiles are intrusive
– bad manners – polluting social life etc. 
My passion was winning the argument – ‘til one of their phones went.

intrusion of mobiles is worst on trains ‘cos you’re stuck there.  Recent Glasgow shuttle – lunchtime – old
friend Ted gets on – launches into eulogy about his new toy – a Blackberry
7230.  “This is a phone – computer –
camera – diary – address book – e-mails – texts – blah blah.”  Apparently this thing docks with his
computer and talks to it.  “It has
revolutionised the way I work…blah blah.” 
Manage to change the subject – he puts it down gently – smiles at it –
fondles it, like a baby.  At Falkirk
High young mother gets on with three year old called Chardonnay.  Chardonnay sits next to me – with her pint
carton of coke.  You’ve guessed?  The whole thing coups over Ted’s gizmo.  He yelps – whips out his hankie – mum mops
with tissues – but L.E.D. screen goes blank. 
“It’s crashed – everything’s wiped!” 
Ted gasps.  Everyone in the
carriage is grinning.



Aidan and I drove up to Inverness on March 23rd to spend a
few hours with the Strengthening Communities staff at HIE.  To sit and chat with public officials who
really understand and practice community empowerment was new for me –
invigorating.  Not ‘if’ the community
should be engaged but how best to assist. 
As the social economy expands fast, all across Europe, this is the way
Scottish Enterprise will go – they just don’t realise it yet.  The 2007 municipal elections will see the
end of the worst Labour fiefdoms – but in a way that’s not important.  Scotland’s great advantage is that Social
Enterprise is deep in the psyche of our people.  Often unformed – groping – unrealistic – but irrepressible.  HIE’s work with strengthening communities –
the land buy outs – now the community owned renewable energy initiatives – is
distinctly Scottish – is the future.



There have been several moves recently in the Scottish

— The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition, (which for
some reason the Scottish Executive won’t support), has received one years
funding from the Community Fund.  Post
to be advertised soon….

— Anne Marie McGeoch, who has been with CEL an amazing 16
years, is now going freelance and writes to tell us the future plans for
CEL.  Good luck Anne Marie.  (

— Denis Mooney, Chair of Scotland UnLTD, is moving to
Derbyshire and we understand that the Board has invited Keith Simpson,
Development Director of SACRO to take the chair.

—The trustees of the new Scottish Social Enterprise
Academy have appointed Jackie Scutt as the first Director of the Academy.  Jackie was the entrepreneur behind One Stop
Childcare in Wester Hailes.



Numbers for the conference on Wednesday have reached 100 but
Emma says that there is still room for a few more – e-mail emma@senscot net.  (



Senscot’s phone services are provided through the Phone
Co-op, the UK’s only consumer owned telecommunications business. We pay BT for
phone line rental, and all calls to the Phone Co-op, which is cheaper. I’ve got
this system at home now.  (



“That something happened to you is of no importance to
anyone – not even to you.  The most
important thing about you is what you choose to make happen – your values and
choices.”  Ayn Rand – Russian



YELLOW PAGES: Space constraints mean we can’t carry every
notice you send. But please send in any relevant items (before noon Thursday)
to and we’ll post them on our site.  This week:


JOBS: 39 vacancies including The Lennox Partnership,
Neighbourhood Networks, Co-operation & Mutuality Scotland, The Iona
Community, Social Firms Scotland, Community Woodlands Association.


EVENTS: Scottish Borders Council Initiative to support
social enterprise development – free events; CRNS conference, Stirling, 7 Apr;
Full Employment in Scotland conf., Glasgow, 19 Apr; Scottish Global Awareness
conf., Edinburgh, 24-25 April; Creative Clusters conf., Brighton, Apr 28-1 May;
Edinburgh Mediabase Intro to Screenwriting course, starts 4th May; The Way
Forward For Rural Scotland conf., Edinburgh 10th May; Public Sector Procurement
conf., Edinburgh, 14 May; 2nd International Social Enterprise Exchange, ‘ISEE
Europe’, Budapest, May 23-29; Edinburgh Treefest 2004, 12-13 June.


For details on these and more, visit ‘Yellow pages’ at: 



Scottish Centre for Regeneration has launched a ‘how to’
guide on ‘Community engagement’ (CE), incl.: intro to practical CE techniques;
publications; case studies; etc.


UK’s first directory of orgs providing loan and equity
finance to social enterprises and voluntary orgs, produced by Community
Development Finance Association.;
020 7812 9341. 



‘Redefining progress’ is the subject of ‘conversations’ to
be held in Glasgow and Edinburgh in April and May (
Contact e-mail given wrongly last week.



We said last week that the proposed Co-operative Development
Agency is a Liberal Democrat initiative. Martin Meteyard writes, “This just
isn’t true. The CDA was in Labour’s manifesto for the 2003 elections –
following sustained lobbying by the Co-operative Party.” Sorry Martin. Teach us
to check more thoroughly.  CDA
consultation document:



This week the bulletin profiles a project based in
Auchencairn in Dumfries and Galloway, set up to bring about improvements to the
local community. The Auchencairn Initiative was established in 2001 as an
independent organisation by the Community Council. The first projects they
undertook were to help increase the number of visitors to the village. Thanks
to the Initiative, the village now owns the local Post Office and recently
received £24, 212 from the Land Fund to purchase a development plot on the main
street of the village for an enterprise centre. Further info’:



Community based organisations all across Scotland are being
urged to become financially sustainable from their own income generation.  What funders must realise is that this
requirement may cut services to the most needy people.  This tension is well expressed by Mary Clark
in the attached letter.  These are
Mary’s personal views not Drumchapel Credit Union Limited. (



The 25th Celtic Film and Television Festival in
Dundee was opened on Wednesday by ‘Blind Flight’ a new film about the ordeal of
Beirut hostages Brian Keenan and John McCarthy.  Keenan was interviewed:         “People
know the basic story – these guys being held hostage in Lebanon for years – but
what I still get asked about most frequently is how we coped.  Hopefully this film gets to the integral
truth of it – that in the worst of all possible situations, the best of what we
are comes through.  That we survived is
entirely because of each other. 

“There are Ayatollahs in the White
House now.  I don’t believe in vengeance
and I don’t think that the apocalyptic rhetoric of the US government is any
more useful or meaningful that the language Islamic Jihad would use.  This is how our captors could look at two
guys beaten and blindfolded and chained in the dark and say, ‘Yes, these men
are evil.’”


That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures.

Best wishes,



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