Dear members and friends,
Though I’ve not touched alcohol for nearly 6 years, I always keep a full bottle of cognac at home – somehow it helps. But since my driving ban, the old SAAB, stood outside my door, spooks me – the constant temptation to drive (just to the top of the road of course). So I’ve given it away to my pal who works the car auctions – feel more at ease now. My disqualification brings generous offers of lifts in cars – muchas gracias.
I live 1.4 miles from the nearest shop, down a country lane – 40 minutes walking up – 25 back down. A challenge. Golf pro friend agrees to hire me electric golf cart for 6 months – policeman friend tells us it’s not legal. There are two legal powered options – battery assisted bike – or disabled buggy. Bike costs over £1000 – forget it! Seriously consider renting electric disabled buggy – but feels disrespectful – bogus. Been using taxis – feels extravagant.
Pals back from France and Italy tell of old geezers – older than me – who keep fit happily pedalling about the countryside – decide to give it a try. Andy lends me his bike – (in storage since he got his license back). I’m back in the saddle after 50 years – bikes have changed – this one has 21 gears! Up to the shop 20 mins (two stops) – back down in 10. My target is that by the end of 6 months, I’ll pedal all the way in a ‘oner’. Remember the last line in Casablanca? “This could be the start of a beautiful relationship”. (Browse Bulletin intros here: http://www.senscot.net/index.php?W21ID=172)
On the Scottish Independence Convention website Stephen Maxwell writes an interesting blog about what he calls ‘popular sovereignty’ – the access of ‘the people’ to decision making in a free society. He argues that the energising force of democratic politics comes from conviction minorities. That in so far as electoral systems (even proportional representation) hand ownership to elected representatives – they work against vigorous representative democracy. He holds that a minority of voters should have the right to place before their peers for judgement, a proposition of its own choosing – this would help overcome the widespread feeling that professional politics has become a middle class hobby or career option – removed from ordinary people. https://senscot.net/?viewid=6365
The City of Edinburgh Council wants to sell Meadowbank Stadium for housing development (800 flats) but a group of local campaigners want to save it for sport and are saying to the Council “If you want to sell it – sell it to us.” The issue of community buy-outs continues to gain prominence in Scotland and campaigners hope that the new SNP administration will extend to it to cover urban areas like Meadowbank. https://senscot.net/?viewid=6367
At least once a year I try to visit the School for Social Entrepreneurs in Fife – and Senscot is in touch with many of its alumni. Fife seems to have proportionately more social enterprises than anywhere else in Scotland – it can’t be a coincidence that it has the only SSE. New Economics Foundation has done an evaluation of SSE’s first 10 years – with some impressive results. Scotland could do with more of these associate schools. https://senscot.net/?viewid=6369 – a model which works.
As a tendering process begins over the summer for business support service to social enterprises in lowland Scotland, Scottish Enterprise has provided us with an overview of their activity with social enterprises during 2006/07. The ‘briefing paper’ describes the 3 ways in which the SE Network engages with our sector: Business Development Reviews, Business Mentors matched with social enterprises and social enterprises assisted to start trading. See ‘Briefing Paper’: https://senscot.net/?viewid=6370
Social entrepreneurs who operate in the public sector are often referred to as ‘intrapreneurs’ – innovating from within large institutions. Senscot will host a seminar in Edinburgh’s Quaker Meeting House on Friday 28th September for a small group of contacts to assess the demand for a Scottish Intrapreneurs Network. If you want an invite to this seminar, contact firstname.lastname@example.org There is an excellent booklet on public sector innovation by Geoff Mulgan called ‘Ready or not?’ https://senscot.net/?viewid=6366
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/index.php?W21ID=86&W21SUBID=0. This week:
JOBS: 22 vacancies, incl. posts with: Nisus Scotland, Common Purpose, Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living, Spruce Carpets, Community Woodlands Association, Scottish Parliament contract (corporate clothing)
EVENTS: 9 events, incl. Melting Pot – open Doors, Edinburgh, 16 July; Football And Regeneration – Intangible assets and goodwill, Edinburgh, 14 Aug; Public Social Partnership A Model for Social Enterprise Procurement, Glasgow; 29 Aug,
To book your place at the Social Enterprise and Health Conference, ‘Fit for Purpose’, see http://www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=6208 for the online Booking Form and draft programme. For queries, contact Alison@senscot.net . There is no charge for attendees.
Children in England will be taught about social enterprise as part of the GCSE and A-level syllabus under government plans recently launched. This is something the Scottish Executive may want to look at because the world of enterprise is too remote from most of our children. As last week’s profile outlined – Inverness High School is way out in front. https://senscot.net/?viewid=6352
Some good news from the west – the Nolly Barge has refloated. The barge has been given a makeover at the BAE Systems yard at Scotstoun and has been relaunched by new operators – Unity Enterprise. Renamed the Unity, the vessel took it first voyage last week. See http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=6368
The social enterprise business model lends itself to many different challenges and an article by Celia Hodson Deputy CEO of the SE Coalition predicts the spread of a new crop specifically designed to run town centres. See https://senscot.net/?viewid=6371
This week’s bulletin profiles an aspiring social firm in Lochalsh that has just opened a new workshop in Balmacara. Rag Tag n Textile uses its workshop facilities to create new fashion items and soft furnishings of high quality from discarded and unwanted fabric or clothing. In time, they hope to offer a waste collection service for other textile industries. Rag Tag n Textiles offers training opportunities for their workers in traditional skills such as hand knitting and crochet; patchwork; rag-rugging; Soft furnishings and Hand and Machine sewing. For further info’, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=6373
The novels of Graham Greene had a great influence on my formative years. He once quoted Browning as an epigraph for his work: “Our interest is on the dangerous edge of things, the honest thief, the tender murderer, the superstitious atheist….” The Power and the Glory is about a shabby alcoholic priest who “could never take the complications of destiny quite seriously … he felt like a man without a passport who is turned away from every harbour.” When this ‘failed’ whiskey priest is finally facing execution, he felt, “only an immense disappointment because he had to go to God empty-handed, with nothing done at all”. But the reader feels his heroism …. Greene first showed me the moral ambiguity in all we do. (Browse bulletin end bits here: http://www.senscot.net/index.php?W21ID=173)
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures