Senscot Bulletin 07-11-2003



Dear members and friends,


My mother died of TB when she was just 30.  She asked a visiting priest, who was a
Jesuit, to arrange for me to attend one of their schools when I became of
age.  Eight years old I found myself at
Barlborough Hall Preparatory School in Derbyshire with 70 boys – 6 priests and
Matron.  It was a beautiful spot in the
country with woods and ponds and lots of games and visits to chapel – but my
overall memory is of harshness and fear. The priests were remote from daily
life – the older (11 years old) boys had authority as ‘captains’ – there was a
culture of sanctioned bullying.  The
pressure was to conform – I felt alone in a wolf pack which devoured
weaklings.  I was miserable – going

One day playing cricket I dived
for a ball – landed in a petrol driven lawn mower.  Made a real mess of my head and left hand.  Suddenly my world changed – everyone was
kind.  My aunt and my sister came down
to visit from Scotland.  Amazingly my
sister had changed into a beautiful young woman, “Have you seen Demarco’s
sister – like a film star”.  Instant
popularity.  I got invited to join the
gang that ruled the place.  Instead of
being scared all the time I became one of the terrorists.  It’s surprising how easily one adapts.  In due course I became a ‘captain’ – joined
the system.  Grown up now I despise
bullies – will never join a ‘gang’ and don’t trust the state.



Here in Scotland, we don’t have a Social Enterprise Sector –
not officially.  The Executive’s Review
of Policy for the Social Economy (ROSE) document ‘carefully’ makes no mention
of social enterprise as a discrete sector within the social economy.  It’s difficult for Senscot and the other
members of Scotland’s Social Enterprise Coalition (SSEC) to understand or
accept the Executive’s stance on this – because it cuts off our members from
the unprecedented government energy which drives the English social enterprise
movement.  In the absence of any
explanation or even discussion at official level, the ‘blame’ for this
institutional denial in Scotland has passed to SCVO – who are seen rightly or
wrongly as clinging to control.  A
public debate is needed about this issue. 
Meantime we had the situation last week of Jonathan Bland up from London
saying that the UK Coalition will try to help SSEC get some core funding.  Are we still to be a region of England?

If like Senscot you choose to
ignore the SCVO/Executive line on this – last week saw the publication of a
report from the DTI’s Social Enterprise Unit – outlining its achievements over
the past year and its priorities over the next two.  Barbara Phillips Director of the Unit has written an article
about this (



Next Wednesday (12th November) I’m going to
AGENDA’s annual gathering  to hear
Antonia Swinson talk on ‘What’s next for Social Responsibility’.  (  Kyla Brand works hard to keep this issue
under consideration and I was interested to read what Liam Black from Liverpool
wrote recently. “One big miss in our ‘sector’ is how the social enterprise
debate is disconnected from what is going on in the private sector around
corporate social responsibility (CSR). 
Thinking in the States is some way ahead of us.  Have a look at where you’ll find
Jed Emerson in Colorado trying to make some sense of what is going on in the
intersection between social enterprise, corporate social responsibility and



We’ve tried hard but can’t work out what these new
government Community Interest Companies are about (CICs pronounced kicks).  Why would an existing Scottish charity –
perhaps trading through a subsidiary company – want to be a CIC – whereby it
would lose all the advantages of charitable status.  Delighted to read that Stephen Phillips, a solicitor with Burness
& Co and a sectoral specialist, agrees with us.  He has expressed the view that the new model is unlikely to be
taken up in Scotland. (



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: 33 vacancies, including posts at the One Plus, The
Iona Community, Scottish Out of School Care Network, Jeely Piece Club,
Edinburgh Carers Council, The Ark Trust, Work Track, CTA, Fresh Start.


EVENTS: AGENDA annual gathering, Edinburgh, Nov 12;
Community Enterprise Lochaber conf, Strontian, Nov 15; Scottish Federation of
Housing Associations conf, Edinburgh, Nov 19; ‘Linking Housing And Schools In
Urban Revitalisation’ Lecture, Stirling, Nov 19; ‘Toward a Confident Scotland’
conf, Glasgow, Nov 24; ‘Finance for Growth’ events for Forth Valley soc ent,
Nov 25; SEDI training course, Edinburgh, Nov 27 & Dec 5; Lochaber
Environmental Group, Composting conference, Strontian, Nov 29; “Finding Hidden
Profit” event, Edinburgh, Dec 4; ‘Radio Morning’ on community radio &
cultural development, Glasgow, Dec 9. Glasgow CVS training courses, Glasgow,
December 10, Jan 14.


For details on these and more:



If you are registered for the Senscot Annual Conference on
November 19th you will have received an e-mail from Emma yesterday
(Thursday) confirming your booking and enclosing the final programme.  The conference is full so if you have a
place which you can’t use – please let us know.



Work continues on Senscot’s Directory of Services to Social
Enterprises in Scotland.  It’s still
pretty basic but the first three lists are working and now it just takes time
to input the data.  Suggestions for
listings are welcome. (



This week’s bulletin profiles a Young People’s Theatre
company in Glasgow – Toonspeak. Toonspeak is a registered charity that provides
drama and theatre activities for 11-25 year olds living in the North of
Glasgow. A previous Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum award winner for best
practice, Toonspeak has recently undergone a period of transition and is
officially re-launching next week in Glasgow. Thereafter, Toonspeak will tour
their first large scale production since 2001 to various Glasgow venues from
6-13th December. The specially commissioned production ‘PURE’ will
involve up to 50 young people aged 11-18. 
Further info’:
(Project Profiles at



Over talking with Fife CVS on Wednesday – meeting folk who
actually run organisations is always challenging – do all these theories match
the reality.  I came away once again
questioning the wisdom of pushing everyone towards a ‘business’ model – also
came across an article by Barbara Wallace which expresses the same doubts.  Barbara is Director of Stepney Works in East
London and argues that community enterprise in particular needs a community
development rather than a business development approach.  Article highly recommended to folk working
for councils, LECs etc.  (



Came across this quote from Charlie Chaplin in 1966 talking
about his work and art:

“The appeal of the Tramp was a
gentle, quiet, poverty – very fastidious and very delicate about
everything.  I don’t think that there’s
any place for that sort of person now. 
The world has become a little bit more ordered – but there’s not the
same humility.  Humility belongs in
another era – that’s why I couldn’t do the Tramp now. 

In life what appears to be sane is
often insane, and if you can make that poignant enough the audience laughs in
order not to die from it – in order not to weep.  I don’t think one can do humour without having a great sense of
sympathy for one’s fellow man.  Tragedy
is an unavoidable part of life – it can drive us mad – but we are given humour
as a defence against it.  Humour is a
universal thing which I think is derived from compassion”.


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

Best wishes,



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