Dear members and friends,
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is considered a winter ailment- lack of sunlight causes biochemical imbalances in the brain – so how can it be that for the past month (August!) I’ve been feeling all the symptoms; depression, fatigue, sleep disruption, crabbit. My plan was to head off for September- in the Panda- meander South, to the peaceful ancestral homeland in the Abruzzo. But I’ve been unable to summon the energy for such a trip – then last week the Panda started acting up. Garage thinks it’s the turbo- but I think it just doesn’t fancy being alone with me on Italian roads. One of the symptoms of my present malaise is that I can’t make decisions – like what to do about the mole which has appeared on my new lawn. The only mole I’ve encountered in my previous life was in ‘The Wind in the Willows’ at primary school – which didn’t prepare me to exterminate one. So I’ve done nothing – little mounds appear – mocking me.
In my drinking days – when I got stuck in one of these downers- 48 hours on the razzle was usually enough to shift it. My strategy these days is to get myself to the sun; so tomorrow I’m on the bog standard Ryanair flight to Malaga – with all the stress to the human spirit (and the planet) which this entails. I’ve got the wee pad by the beach, near Estepona, where I feel at home. With luck, the sun will shine for two weeks – and my spirit will be restored – to face the Scottish winter – and whatever life sends – like reluctant Pandas and invasive moles.
Some people hold that it’s perfectly acceptable for a social entrepreneur to become a millionaire through operating a social enterprise- I disagree. This attitude comes mainly from the USA- where the pursuit of personal wealth is considered humankind’s highest calling. For me though, the whole point of social enterprise is that its an alternative system – based on societal rather than personal gain – a counter culture. The link below is a conversation between Social Enterprise mag and Doug Richard, a well known entrepreneur – in which Richard asserts that social entrepreneurs are no different from private ones and should reap the full financial rewards of success. I don’t think he understands what social enterprise is about – how we challenge the accepted orthodoxy, that acquisitiveness is good for human progress – that we believe in a different way. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9987
Senscot has a conscious bias in favour of small front line social enterprises – but we recognise with pride that the Scottish Third Sector includes some mighty impressive companies – with the capacity to undertake major developments. The recent regeneration of the Briggait in Glasgow by WASPs comes to mind – a bold vision – and this week we received the Annual Review of Govan Workspaces Ltd – which is inspirational. As well as a new state of the art business campus – GW has taken on the derelict Fairfield Shipbuilding offices – which in an area, so identified with shipbuilding – has iconic impact. GW for me is one of Scotland’s best examples of an ‘anchor organisation’ – embedded in the community it serves – with the ability, alongside the public and private sectors, to lead the regeneration in its area. It deserves to be much copied.
"A Social Impact Bond (SIB) is a financial vehicle that brings a non-govt. investment to pay for services which, if successful, deliver both social value and public sector cost savings. Investors receive a financial return from a proportion of the cost savings delivered." I totally agree with the aim of SIBs, to move social investment ‘upstream’ – from firefighting to prevention – but I can’t convince myself that this is a workable solution. In the first place, SIBs are too complicated to set up – but the overarching problem remains the same – that there is no objective mechanism for attributing or measuring social outcomes achieved. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9988
My column last week was about how the population of the world is fast becoming urbanised. Madhu Satsangi from Stirling University writes to point out that, on the evidence of the latest available data – the population of rural Scotland is actually increasing. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9989
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php . This week:
JOBS: Ecole Enterprise, Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust, Gift Street Fundraisers, Preshal Trust, Rape and Abuse Line, Partners In Play, Upper Nithsdale Arts and Crafts Community Initiative, University of Edinburgh
EVENTS: Rural South Lanarkshire Voluntary Sector Support Service – Launch, 17 Sep; Getting Ready to Buy, 22 Sep; Hatches, Matches ad Dispatches, 28 Sep; Youth Justice: Another Lost Generation?, 28 Sep
TENDERS: UK-Glasgow: refuse recycling services; Bus Shelter Cleaning Contract; Bring Back Sites – Collection & Recycling Service for Glass; Framework Agreement for Repair and Maintenance Services;
NETWORKS 1st: The Social Enterprise Ceilidh, (Senscot’s annual 2 day conference for the Social Enterprise Networks) is taking place again this year at our favourite social enterprise hotel in New Lanark. We’re still finalising the agenda but we are open for bookings now. We’re pleased to have continued support for the event from RBS. As part of this year’s activities we’ll be presenting the award to the Scottish winner of the national photography competition, which aims to show the passion, people and places using enterprise to drive positive change. For more info on the competition and other Networks News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=156
Deaf Action are celebrating the Learn to Sign Week by organising a whole day of free taster sessions in British Sign Language on the 7th Oct in Edinburgh. More details here http://www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=9984
I gave up my membership of the Labour Party some years ago – have no vote in its leadership election – but I can’t help taking an interest in developments. Both Blair and Mandelson have spoken against Ed Miliband- which is endorsement enough for me. If the Party decides that Blair is right- that it is not New Labour enough, it will vote for David. If it recognises that the country wants something different- it will elect Ed. I care more than I realised, how this resolves. Ian Aitkin in Tribune thinks their mum, Marion Milliband, should decide. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9995
Delighted to see that Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland has raised an action in the Court of Session against the Lloyds Banking Group whose behaviour is damaging Scotland’s Third Sector. The Foundation has our full support. https://senscot.net/?viewid=9990
Senscot’s legal personality is that of a charitable company with membership – renewable annually. This is a register of current company members. http://www.senscot.net/companymembers10.php Our AGM this year is in Glasgow on Oct 1st – when we will review the directors report and accounts and elect the board. Only company members can vote at this meeting – but all friends of Senscot are welcome to attend. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Here is the agenda https://senscot.net/?viewid=9993
This week’s bulletin profiles Fablevision Studios, a new and media production studio based in Govan, Glasgow. Initially formed to create design and media solutions for their parent charity, the service has now been developed in to a social enterprise. Fablevision Studios offers in video production for web and DVD, sound and light engineering, event management, graphic design and print, web design, and IT consultancy and support. More here http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=9992
Hope: Fear by Pema Chodron. "One of the classic Buddhist teachings on hope and fear concerns the eight worldly Dharma’s. These are four pairs of opposites – four things that we like, and four things that we don’t like. When we are caught up in the eight worldly Dharma’s, we suffer. First, we like pleasure, we don’t like pain, second we like and are attached to praise. We try to avoid criticism and blame. Third, we like fame, we dislike disgrace. Finally, we are attached to gain, we don’t like losing what we have. Pleasure and pain, praise and blame, fame and disgrace, and gain and loss – is what keeps us stuck in the pain of samsara. We might feel that we should try to eradicate these feelings. A more practical approach is to get to know them intimately, see how they hook us, see how they colour our perception of reality, see how they aren’t all that solid. Then the eight worldly Dharma’s become the means for growing wiser as well as kinder and more content.”
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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