Senscot Bulletin 05-12-2003



Dear members and friends,


Back from Spain with a cough – but no finca, yet.  The white villages (pueblos) around Ronda
are mostly named from the Berber occupation – you still see Moorish faces.  The best place to get the feel of the
individual villages is in the bar – where the oldies preside – playing cards –
gossiping.  No one buys much – no-one

            In my
favourite village, the bar-owner Manolo worked in Marbella – speaks good
English.  We click – he makes it okay
for me to buy everyone a drink (seven beers). 
Folk smile – nod.  “What about
the old guy in the corner?”  “Miguel’s
wife has died.  Now he drinks too much
brandy – he has heartbreak.” Miguel rattles his glass but Manolo says, “Nada
mas – no more, go home for your siesta.” 
So sad.  Things happen to people
and they don’t know if they want to keep going on.  For some the quality for life – the passion – matters more than
how long they live.  Perhaps they are
the brave ones.

            I sit at
the one table outside – close my eyes – enjoy the November sunshine full in my
face – doze. A woman’s voice brings me back. 
Small, fifty-ish, sharp as a tack this one has a mission.  “Lo siento – I’m sorry,” I say, “Pero, no
hablo Espanol – I can’t speak Spanish.” 
Quickly she’s back with Manolo, “Pilar says that if you are to buy a
house in this pueblo you must see the former house of her mother.”  I smile, “Please thank Pilar for her trouble
but say that I don’t even have a house in Scotland yet and that must come



In a piece last week, Third Sector magazine called Will
Hutton “arguably the most important social thinker of the past decade.”  What we like about him is that we can
usually understand what he is trying to say. 
The article, which we have posted, has several interesting ideas – this
is his take on corporate social responsibility: “What we want from the business
sector is not that it gives £50,000 out of every £20m of profit to supporting
‘good causes’, driven wholly by what will help its image.  We want our companies to do business
honourably, to treat their workers decently, not to sell shoddy goods and to
want to build long-term relationships with investors.” (



The main impact of Scotland UnLtd’s work is that it gives
small grants (2 or 3 thousand pounds) quickly – without fuss – to individuals
who have an idea that will benefit their community – to places grants don’t
often reach.  In the past year Scotland
UnLtd has made 84 Level 1 grants, and as this is a permanent rolling programme
– they’re always on the lookout to make more. 
But there is a second level to their programme.  The best of Level 1s and others active in
the social enterprise field can apply for a Level 2 award, which delivers
potentially £50,000 over three years, along with tailored support.  Last Monday myself and the other trustees
spent the day interviewing the shortlist and selecting six winners.  For me it was an uplifting day spent with
inspirational individuals – the moving spirits of the social enterprise movement.
The six winners and info on applying:



Many people we’ve spoken with over the past year – including
Barbara Philips, who runs the Social Enterprise unit at the DTI – are of the
view that in order to attract investment the social enterprise sector will need
to learn how to measure the social return on investment.  A new toolkit for measuring such social
value has been used since last December by four social enterprises in a pilot
organised by think-tank New Economics Foundation (NEF) called SROI (Social
Return on Investment). The new toolkit assigns monetary value to a whole range
of non-financial performance indicators. If this tool can be shown to work it
has the potential to change the way public agencies make procurement decisions.
The research will be published in January.



Margaret Nesbit of Midlothian Voluntary Action produces the
most comprehensive updates on publications for our sector in Scotland that
anyone could want to read.  We can’t
better it, so with MVA’s permission we’ll simply pass Margaret’s list on to
members. This week, 12 items. Thanks Margaret:



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: 30 vacancies, including posts at Ardalanish Farm, The
Edinburgh Childcare Partnership, LinkLiving, Camphill Blair Drummond,
Capability Scotland.


EVENTS: Toonspeak perform in North Glasgow, 6-13 Dec; ‘Radio
Morning’ on community radio & cultural development, Glasgow, Dec 9; Glasgow
CVS ‘Managing Change’ training course, Glasgow, 10 Dec; ‘Learning by Doing’ –
Tales from the Fife School of Social Entrepreneurs, seminar event, Alloa, 11
Dec; Gallus Network AGM, Penicuik, 12 Dec; Theatre Nemo Christmas Fun Night,
East Kilbride, 12 Dec; Black/Minority Ethnic Trainers / Facilitators: FREE
networking/consultation day, Glasgow, 12 Dec; “Deepening Democracy” free
workshop, Edinburgh, 18-20 Feb 2004.


The Upstarts Awards for social entrepreneurs are calling for
nominations, which must be made on line at
before January 7th 2004. Six award categories.


For details on these and more:



This week’s bulletin profiles an organisation that has been
on the go since 1859. Kibble Education and Care Centre, located in Paisley, has
been has played a key role in both sustaining and developing the work with
young people at risk for almost 150 years. It has gone through many guises from
Reformatory to Industrial School to Approved School and then to List D School.
Following desegregation of local government in 1996, Kibble was faced with the
choice of shutting its doors or moving into the `social market` and sell
education and residential care services to local authorities throughout
Scotland. Choosing the latter course, Kibble has emerged as one of the most
successful social enterprises in the country and continues to provide a range
of services to young people at risk that include educational, residential and
community services. For more info’, see
(project profiles).



Around 50 people attended an Extraordinary General Meeting
of the Community Recycling Network Scotland (CRNS) in Perth yesterday.  The EGM was called to announce a massive injection
of funds to CRNS from the Scottish Executive. 
The Executive has agreed to invest £40,000 this financial year and a
further £300,000 per year for the next two years to help the fledgling
organisation take advantage of the huge opportunities available within the
recycling sector.  This is fantastic
news for CRNS.  For further information,
see press release



If you have ever harboured dreams of the rural idyll – ‘the
good life’ – take a few moments to read this beautiful advert for the position
of weaver/tuner on the Isle of

“This is the start of the process of getting more folk onto the farm –
reviving the rural communities and reconnecting with the land”.  Many of these issues are identical to the depopulation of the
mountain villages of Andalusia.  I
wonder if I could live there.

            On my way
home I spent a day alone on the Costa del Sol – visiting old haunts that I have
known all through the 70s, 80s and 90s. 
There is probably nowhere on this planet which has seen so much property
development during this period.  Laurie
Lee walked the road from Gibraltar to Malaga in 1934 – took him five days: “The
road to Malaga followed a beautiful but exhausted shore, seemingly forgotten by
the world.  I remember the names – San
Pedro – Estepona – Marbella and Fuengirola….they were Salt-fish villages –
thin ribbed – sea hating, cursing their place in the sun.  At that time one could have bought the whole
coast for a shilling.  No Emperor could
buy it now.”  (


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

Best wishes,



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