Dear members and friends,
Wandering round an Anglican church in London recently, I spot a simple wooden madonna – probably medieval. I sit with it for a while – peaceful – not so much praying as remembering my school days. Remembering how, before bed, the juniors stood around an old statue like this in the long gallery reciting a prayer. Remembering how secure this felt, I try to recapture it – but of course we never can.
Four years in the beautiful wilds of Derbyshire at a Jesuit boarding school. The Society of Jesus was founded in 1540 by a Basque professional soldier from Loyola – in religious terms it’s the SAS. Jesuits are reputed to believe that by the age of 7, the essential characteristics of a person are set. I think this is true. They saw their job as adding the discipline and the polish to make us ‘‘Catholic English Gentlemen’’. That they failed with me is hardly their fault. They didn’t get me till I was eight – already struggling. My mother had died – I had moved about among relatives – early signs of rebellion and defiance. A child who knew the pain of loss – wary of attachment. Without sound bearings, we learn to improvise – to invent ourselves. By nature and nurture, I was resourceful – but thrawn. Already predisposed to go my own way – challenge authority – probably a bloody pest. I’ve more or less lived this out – I think we all do. The early years so critical.
When I worked at the front line in Scottish communities during the 70s, 80s and 90s – I had no time or patience for debate about third sector infrastructure – a circle of professionals and academics, disputing bitterly about trivia. But it was this failure of our community sector to put in place effective national representation, which allowed the Labour Party – in its bloated municipal fiefdoms – to move against rightful community leadership. It was a deliberate ideological purge. Over the past decade, Senscot has been part of persuading govt. of the benefits of investing in effective social enterprise infrastructure. As part of the Local People Leading campaign, we believe that the case for our community sector is every bit as compelling. Several like minded supporters have helped with the drafting of this two pager called ‘‘Three in One’’. We are keen to attract wider support. http://www.senscot.net/view_res.php?viewid=8956
Glasgow City Council wants to make savings of 20% in its £84m budget for third sector organisations delivering services. Glasgow Council of Voluntary Service has consulted with its members and produced a full report of their views. No-one doubts the seriousness of this situation – that services, and some of the most vulnerable citizens will be affected. https://senscot.net/?viewid=8958
I went to hear Muhammad Yunus at Glasgow Caledonian University last December – inspiring – and I’m interested whether the Grameen microcredit model would work in the context of poverty in Scotland. I have my doubts – but would love to be wrong. A seminar to address this very question will be held next Thursday 10th Dec in Glasgow when Professor Latifee – MD of the Grameen Trust – will be in attendance.
The Guardian has been running an excellent series about legal forms for social enterprises, alongside English Solicitors Bates, Wells Braithwaite. The latest one is about CICs and makes clear – even to me – where they sit on the landscape. The main attraction seems to be that they don’t need voluntary boards – that the founders can retain strategic control by sitting on the board as paid directors. https://senscot.net/?viewid=8949
Do you know about the Huffington Post – that amazingly successful progressive electronic publication – which may be pointing the way for the future of newspapers. This piece by Jerri Chou says that social entrepreneurs will lead the future of business. https://senscot.net/?viewid=8953
Excellent article in the current New Start Mag about the massive potential impact of Glasgow’s Digital Media Quarter emerging around Pacific Quay and its environs. https://senscot.net/?viewid=8954
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but submit jobs and events and we’ll post them on our site. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php. This week:
JOBS: Church of Scotland, Victim Support Scotland, The Three Eyes Project, Health in Mind, The Big Issue Company Ltd, The Scottish Society for Autism, Almond Enterprises Ltd, The Scottish Government
EVENTS: Placemaking Seminar-evaluation & observation 9 Dec; Xmas Arts Market 13 Dec; Facilitation Training (London), 17 Dec; Introduction to Women’s Studies 18 Dec
NETWORKS NEWS: Colin writes: As we said last week, the 2009 Ceilidh proved a great success. We’ve now completed our report – to see if you agreed with us – but also to find out ways to improve the event in the future. http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/shownotice.php?articleid=98 71 attendees responded (59%) and, thankfully, the response has been very positive. The venue and the Dragons` Den remain very popular although` a bit of thought has to go into the Market Place and Speed Trading. For more Networks News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=120
The winners of the inaugural Social Enterprise Awards were announced last night in London. Scotland was well represented by Alloa Community Enterprise, the Breadmaker and Social Enterprise Clydebank. Unfortunately, they were pipped at the post. Amongst the overall UK winners were Pack-IT (Cardiff), Brighter Future Workshops (Liverpool) and Bikeworks (London) – all social firms. On a brighter note, two LSEN members were recognised at this year’s SURF Awards with Playbusters winning the People Category and Dundee International Women’s Centre being highly commended. See more, http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8957
The BIG Lottery in Scotland is looking to improve its application process and materials. With an eye on new funding opportunities being launched next year, they’d welcome feedback on their existing processes. See more, https://senscot.net/?viewid=8946
Triodos Bank, with Social Enterprise Mag, runs an annual photography competition to capture the work of social enterprise. The winning photographs feature in their Social Vision Calendar. The 2010 calendar includes Fintry Development Trust and The Bread Maker, recent winner of The Best New Social Enterprise Scotland Award. If you’d like one, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s bulletin features a Dundee-based social enterprise that now provides cleaning services across the city. Formed in 2005, the Clean Close Company was initially a partnership between Dundee City Council, Local Housing Associations and the local Stobswell Forum, employing two members of staff. Over the years, it has evolved into a thriving business employing over 20 staff and has expanded its services to include ground maintenance, facility management and holiday/sickness relief. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=8945
I get a lift every time I read this poem. I think I’ve shared it before. No apologies. A Mistake by Czeslaw Milosz.
“I thought: all this is only preparation – for learning, at last, how to die. Mornings and dusks, in the grass under a maple – Laura sleeping without pants, on a headrest of raspberries – while Filon, happy, washes himself in the stream. Mornings and years. Every glass of wine, Laura, and the sea, land, and archipelago – bring us nearer, I believed, to one aim – and should be used with a thought to that aim. But a paraplegic in my street – whom they move together with his chair – from shade into sunlight, sunlight into shade, looks at a cat, a leaf, the chrome steel on an auto, and mumbles to himself, ‘Beau temps, beau temps’. It is true. We have a beautiful time – as long as time is time at all.”
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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