Dear members and friends,
Tuesday and Wednesday in London – B&B at the Tavistock Hotel, £64 – nothing fancy but good enough. Tuesday morning goes well – 12 of us – Third Sector leaders and civil servants. Having read all the papers, I speak well. Leaving, a man I admire tells me I have an unusual grasp of the `big picture`: not sure what he means but makes me feel good. On impulse I purchase an expensive hat – then lunch in a posh restaurant – steak and kidney pudding and mash – superb. My reflection in window pleases me.
Russell Square underground station uses lifts to take passengers to street level – but with only one working, a crush is developing. Some folk are opting for the spiral staircase (175 steps). Decide that I can handle it – big mistake! After the 4th pause, I’m stuck – pounding heart – chest pain – head spinning. Cling to banister as folk file past – panic – is this a stroke? Slowly get a grip – edge upwards. As I leave the station my legs are unsteady – sit at a pavement cafe to gather my wits. This morning I was a sage and a philosopher – now in survival mode – no `big picture` – only here and now – our fragile and precarious lives. A Polish man wearing a carpenter’s apron asks if I’m okay. He is very kind. My reflection in hotel door is not so jaunty – go up for a kip.
Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) has been trying to pretend for years that its tenants don’t want the ownership of their homes to be transferred to local housing associations. After the five separate ballots in Glasgow this week, let’s hope we’ve heard the last of this nonsense. Regeneration policy in Scotland hasn’t got much to be proud of over the last 20 years – but the community housing associations are the exception. They are the most effective mechanism we know to anchor the comprehensive development of our communities. The SNP administration must now ensure that secondary stage transfer continues to be delivered, exactly as it was promised. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7731
Speaking at the annual SURF awards dinner, Nicola Sturgeon once again discarded her written text for a spontaneous statement in support of community led regeneration (she did the same at a recent Fablevision launch in Govan). If this indicates a considered decision on her part, it is hugely significant for future regeneration policy in Scotland. This year’s SURF winners. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7725
In May 2005, the Scottish Parliament decided to instruct officials to draw up a ‘‘differentiated strategy’’ for social enterprise – as a distinct subset of the Third Sector. An excellent Social Enterprise Strategy was published in March 2007. But the resulting Action Plan has once again been merged with its wider Third Sector. It is not clear whether this was a decision of politicians or officials. Senscot believes that a distinct identity will help the growth of social enterprise and we support the introduction of a UK wide accredited social enterprise mark. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7726
The Scottish Investment Fund was launched in September of this year. To date, Social Investment Scotland has received 38 applications of which around 25% have moved through to the second stage. With luck, the first announcements will be made before Christmas. The Fund is targeted at established, ‘investment-ready’ third sector organisations which have been trading successfully, generating income other than grants, for at least three years and which aim to achieve a step change in their activities. A key element of the fund will be loan finance which is likely to make up 50% of any investment package. For more, see
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: incl. posts with: IACD/C, Croy Miners Welfare Charitable Society, West Lothian Food and Health Development, The GRAB Trust (The Group for Recycling in Argyll & Bute), Enterprise @ Lincoln EVENTS: , Alternative Giving 2008, WKCIL / Craft Town Scotland, 23 Dec; Mental Health Awareness, Fife Employment Access Trust, 6 Feb; Fit for Purpose, Senscot, 3 Mar; Community Recycling in a Zero Waste Scotland, CRNS, 10 Mar; Stress Awareness at Work, Fife Employment Access Trust, 13 Mar
NETWORKS 1st News: `Fit for Purpose 09` Brochure and booking form are now available. This is the third such event, this year taking place at the Story Telling Centre in Edinburgh. ‘Fit for Purpose 09’ will connect the ‘Enterprising Third Sector’ action plan and ‘Equally Well’, the Government’s strategy to reduce health inequalities to close the health gap in Scotland. This conference will be of interest to Chief Executive Officers and Development staff working in Community Health Partnerships, Local Authorities and the Third Sector. http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/fitforpurpose09.php For more NETWORKS News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=62
The Third Sector Enterprise Fund was officially launched at the Social Firms Scotland AGM on Tuesday in Edinburgh. Here’s the Govt`s press release including a comment from our Colin. As stated last week, the Govt are going to run this `in-house`, but precise details are yet to be issued. See more
News from the Social Enterprise Academy about Scotland’s first ever post-graduate programme in Social Enterprise. The course will focus on social enterprise as a business model, analysing its contribution to policy and social/economic development in Scotland. It will be taught through 3 weekend schools during 2009. Two taster/information sessions are planned – 12th Jan at Glasgow Caledonian Uni and 13th Jan at the Melting Pot in Edinburgh. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7728
Scotland’s first designated Social Enterprise Business Park looks to be taking shape in Aberdeen. Aberdeen City Council this week has agreed to buy the premises of Glencraft and lease it back to them, thus safeguarding its future. In addition, Cornerstone has taken the lease on further premises on the site in the city’s Wellington Road and is already in discussion with other social enterprises interested in locating their businesses at the site. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7730
Cathy Simpson (Aberdeen Foyer) writes to tell us that last week’s profile on Foyer Drive was misleading. Apologies for that. Here’s Cathy’s update. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7733
This week’s bulletin profiles an emerging social enterprise providing services for ethnic minority clients in Dundee and surrounding areas. Bharatiya Ashram has recently acquired a long-term lease on new premises and intends to become sustainable through income derived from increasing and extending their current activities. This will include; rental of accommodation to voluntary organisations or relevant service providers; fees charged where arts activities and performances occur and income based on public sector contracts. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=7732
Reading a beautifully written book called `The Secret Scripture` by Sebastian Barry. A very old lady in an Irish psychiatric hospital looks back at her life.
“I once lived among humankind and found them in their generality to be cruel and cold, and yet could mention three or four that were like angels. I suppose we measure the importance of our days by those few angels we spy among us …………”
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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