Senscot Bulletin: 02-09-205


(Going out weekly to over 2700)

Dear members and friends,

The bulletin will continue to go out as a personal email and I’m glad we had the sense to consult with you about this – we could have lost a sizeable chunk of our readers.  For those who prefer – there will also be a link to a website version.  For Senscot this has been a positive experience as over 100 people contacted us and such feedback brings the network alive.  Many of you took the trouble to say nice things about my musings – even the bleak ones.  My sincere thanks – such warm encouragement fair lifted my heart.
Recently I’ve had trouble with my waterworks – so my current dread (always something) is cancer of the prostate.  Last week I attend the urology clinic – six of us waiting uneasily – ‘He looks like a ‘dribbler” I thought.  The consultant is a jolly fellow – asks lots of questions – then the rubber glove – finger up my rear end.  ‘Is that painful?’ he asks ‘well its not comfortable’ I squeak. ‘Can’t feel anything sinister’ he smiles ‘we’ll get you in for a flow test.’  Now the prostate dread has faded – replaced by a pattern of tight pains in my chest. I’ve probably got…….
 The swallows at my bit have started behaving funny.  I hope this is not them getting ready to go.  Some pairs are still feeding a second brood – can’t see how the weans could make it to Africa yet.  Angelic on the wing, swallows can be crabbit critters as neighbours – they frequently dive bomb me outside the house.  Garden birds appear harmless – but watch yourself.  Hundreds of Senscot Bulletins were recently bounced by the filters of major institutions, like councils.  The offending word? Bluet*ts!
The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition (SSEC) will hold an EGM in Glasgow next week to consider a motion to incorporate as a limited company and to appoint a board of directors.  After long resistance the Executive has agreed to fund the Coalition until March 2007.  Emma Hutton who is moving on will be missed. We attach the job adverts for the new posts.  There is potentially a vital role for the Coalition to contribute to the Social Enterprise Strategy being prepared by Communities Scotland – and to influence the party manifestos for the 2007 elections. These are times of opportunity but SSEC’s authority will depend on us all getting together to build membership and consensus.
Social Economy organisations in Scotland can choose how we wish to link with Scottish Executive activity through Voluntary Issues or through Enterprise Development.  Many use both – many use neither.  Government policy is to persuade more of us to go down the sustainable business route.  But for this to become a more attractive option our Enterprise Agency, Scottish Enterprise, would need to improve its understanding and appetite for what we do.  There is a two-way credibility gap which could be helped by the creation of a specialist Social Enterprise Team within Business Gateway.  (Along the lines of the Cultural Enterprise Office).  This would only be needed for 2/3 years until ‘Social’ and ‘Business’ have bonded.
The Office for National Statistics reported this week that both the richest 10th of the population and the poorest 10th have seen their disposable incomes grow by a fifth since the mid-1990s.  Unfortunately, these rises are worth £119 a week to the first group, £28 to the second.  So the absolute difference between the two is widening.  This issue of inequality and the harm it does to people and society is the subject of an article by Peter Wilby in the Guardian last week.  The gap between the rich and the poor is not a popular subject – especially among those of us who are doing nicely.  New Labour very carefully avoids the issue but there’s no getting away from it.  If we are to reduce inequality it’s not just a matter of the poor having more but also the rich having less.
A new social enterprise network starts up next month. This is the second thematic network and is targeted at social enterprises in the field of sports, recreation and leisure. The first meeting is taking place on 21st September at 7pm in the Bells (Whisky) Sports Centre in Perth. For more info’, contact

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

JOBS: 55 vacancies, incl. posts with: Forth Sector,  Govan Youth Information Project, Midlothian Women’s Aid, Bits and Bobs, Enable, Equal Say, YoungMinds, Equal Futures, Lochaber Environmental Group
SPECIAL OFFERS: Community Self Build Scotland have rooms to let to other social enterprises/vol sector groups in the soon to be completed project in the Abbeyview area of Dunfermline in Fife.
EVENTS: Social Enterprise Academy – Creative Enterprise Learning Journey, 15-16 Sept, Holyrood Events, Green Jobs, 16 Sep; Social enterprise ‘Supercoaching’ workshops, Glasgow, 12-16 Sept; Scottish Centre for Regeneration, SCR Events Programme, 22 Sep; Making sense of impact assessment?, Edinburgh, 27 Sept; Social Firms Scotland, Banging the Drums for Social Firms, 22 Sept
Very impressed with the Big Lottery Fund’s new Young People’s Fund.  Over 2 years it will distribute £20m to 11-25 year olds in Scotland alone.  The UnLtd programme of personal awards has already shown how the confidence of individuals can be boosted to go out and ‘go for it.’  The organisers are also to be congratulated on the level of involvement they have built into the new programme of young people themselves.  This includes 32 regional panels to sift applications in line with local priorities.
Do you think there would be a demand in Scotland for a new fund to provide risk capital to Social Ventures? It would be the same principle as commercial venture capital funds – but a more ‘patient’ variety.  SIS (Social Investment Scotland) which provides loans to our sector, have started a project to investigate whether there is a market gap for such a fund and if so how it should work.  If this is of interest they would like to hear from you.
Terry McDonald has been the CEO of the St.Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Oregon since 1984.  His organisation has a turnover of $13 million, most of it generated through their waste and recycling operations.  CRNS has seized a rare opportunity to bring Terry to Edinburgh on 16th September in the Parliament building at 10am – 2pm. email Iain Gulland at  details:
This week, we profile an out of school childcare provider, based in Troon. Schools Out In Troon is a parent managed enterprise that runs a 48 place Out Of School care club.  They provide a service to around 120 families and are the biggest local provider in the area. Schools Out In Troon is registered with the Care Commission and operates from a local church hall – altho` not affiliated to the church. New Opportunities & Awards for All funding provided helped them get started but now have been sustain themselves through income generated from fees. For further info`, see
‘When we follow our bliss doors will open where we would not have thought that there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.  It will be something out of our own unique potentiality for experience; something that has never been and never could have been experienced by anyone else.  We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ Joseph Campbell

‘Sometimes I see something so moving I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave.  If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave.’  from ‘Underworld’ Don de Lillo.

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

Best wishes,