Senscot Bulletin 10-09-2004



Dear members and friends,


I remember my eighth summer – 1948 – long evenings round the pond at school – that year our passion was cobbling makeshift rafts from junk – then the enchantment spoilt when this rich boy produces a beautiful rubber dinghy with real paddles.  Consumed with envy I wanted to destroy it.  Since then rubber boats have been symbolic to me – of the power of wealth – the unattainable.

            Last summer in Spain – spend day at the beach with friends and their three children.  Overhear Colin the youngest asking for an inflatable – told it’s too expensive.  So I wander up to the shops on the prom – buy the bestest boat I can find – 53 Euros.  Feel like a hero – pumping it up – surrounded by excited children – none more than me.  But Colin afraid of the sea is reluctant.  Determined – I try to lift him into it bodily – he starts crying – frightened.  Our dreams are not transferable. 

            Remember Citizen Kane – great film – remember as he dies – last word he utters – ‘Rosebud’ – has everyone puzzled – none of the research offers a clue.  Then we are shown a wee boy playing in the snow with his Dad – the name painted on his sledge is ‘Rosebud’.  Whatever the significance of this event – he carried the imprint to the grave.  Perhaps we all carry in our unconscious, memories of a time of innocence when our dreams were intact.  Although we can never return there – we never stop trying.  ‘So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.’



There has been surprisingly little press coverage of the appointment of Willie Roe as the new Chairman of Highland and Island Enterprises.  Yet the appointment of Willie – whose life’s work has been embedded in the Third Sector – to the chair of an Enterprise Network, is deeply significant.  He said, ‘That part of the HIE’s network to do with social development and community development is very close to my heart.  I think it is a very distinctive part of HIE and I’m dedicated to making sure that this work thrives even more,’  This makes we lowlanders envious – as we await the revamped Smart Successful Scotland – which will probably reinforce our Enterprise Networks’ narrower focus on economic development.  (



In May of this year Scottish Enterprise National were good enough to prepare a briefing note for Senscot outlining Network activity with Social Enterprises during 2003/4.  It’s worth reminding ourselves what the paper said – and we are happy to broker feedback from social enterprises which have sampled those services.  (

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A reader has sent us the review prepared by the consultancy Rocket Science of the activities of the Glasgow LDAs with options for their restructuring.  I found it difficult to discern any real appetite for change in the document – but we’ve posted the Executive Summary – see what you think.  The missing option for the future, from my point of view would be the creation of community owned – asset holding Development Trusts which for future generations could engage the inspiration and energy of local people.    (



I know people will happily spend hours discussing what is – and what is not – a social enterprise.  If they have to trade half their income that excludes most of us.  If they have to be owned socially that excludes The Big Issue for instance.  Personally I’m quite content to leave the definitions vague and inclusive.  For those who enjoy the topic here is a piece from two research consultants who argue that the expectations are too high on social enterprise to become financially independent.  (



‘In my judgement – such of us who have never fallen victim to alcoholism – have been spared more by the absence of appetite than from any mental or moral superiority over those who have.  Indeed, I believe that if we take habitual drunkards as a class their minds and their hearts will bear an advantage.  Comparison with those of any other class.’ – Abraham Lincoln



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: 62 vacancies, incl: NIDOS, British Council Scotland, Impact Arts, FoES, Volunteering Fife, Planning Aid for Scotland, Scottish Refugee Council, Castlemilk Community Forum, Children 1st.


EVENTS: LETS Help Social Enterprise, Forres, Edinburgh, 19 Sept; Greenspace: The Common Denominator, Edinburgh, 22nd Sept; Social Firms Scotland 4th AGM, 23rd Sept, Glasgow; EQUAL ‘Making the Case’ seminars, Sept (Hamilton) and Nov (Glenrothes); Ernesto Sirolli – REAP (30th Sept.) Senscot (1st Oct.); Creating or Expanding a Social Enterprise, Renfrew, 4th Oct; Strategic Campaigning, Edinburgh, 12-13 Oct; Wilderness Ecotherapy Course, Knoydart, 10-16 Oct; CAVOC Training (various); SEDI, Community Benefit through Public Procurement (19th Oct.), Developing Social Enterprise (21st Oct.); CHE, Facilitation Skills Course, Linlithgow, 29th-31st Oct.


For details on these and more, visit ‘Yellow pages’ at:   



Social Firms Scotland seems to have pulled off a scoop for their AGM on September 23rd – they’re bringing their speaker Robert Broadway all the way from Kansas – and he looks like the real thing.  This is not one of those road-show Gurus who write a book and then ‘milk the circuit’ at 20 grand a throw.  When I read the attached profile I decided to go hear this guy.  The Corinthian, Glasgow, September 23rd 2004 contact (



Last week I had the pleasure of a good chat with Carol Craig who wrote ‘The Scots’ Crisis of Confidence.  Her plans to create ‘The Scottish Centre for Confidence and Well Being’ are well advanced.  The centre will be a new source of inspiration and influence in our wee country.  Hope we will work together.  (



This week`s bulletin profiles a Development Trust on the island of Benbecula.  The East Camp Trust paid £100,000 for the old Ministry of Defence site on the island in February 2004.  The East Camp Trust is a consortium of four local community organisations that have come together with proposals to transform a disused RAF base into a social economy/enterprise park.  The Trust`s plans will provide a diverse range of social and commercial enterprise as well as more traditional community and recreational activities and services.  Their vision is to return the site from military to community use providing employment and enjoyment for the local community.  The official handover of the site took place earlier this year and already they have appointed a Development Manager to oversee the initial development phase.  For further info`, see (project profiles).



The US Time Magazine has named Glasgow as Europe’s Capital of Rock Music – akin to Detroit in its Motown heyday.  Even allowing for magazine hype there is definitely a buzz about Glasgow’s music scene just now – with three of the 12 finalists for the Mercury Music Prize from the city.  We’ve posted a piece from Saturday’s Guardian which discusses the unique environment for independent creativity which the Glasgow scene offers.  (



 ‘I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves.’ – Thomas Jefferson


‘There is existing in man, a mass of sense lying in a dormant state, and which unless something excites it to action, will descend with him, in that condition, to the grave.  As it is to the advantage of society that the whole of its facilities should be employed, the construction of government ought to be such as to bring forward, by quiet and regular operation, all that capacity which never fails to appear in times of revolution.’ – Tom Paine, ‘The Rights of Man’


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

Best wishes,



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