Senscot Bulletin 14-05-2004



Dear members and friends,


Monday was my 64th Birthday – thought of The Beatles song, ‘When I’m 64’ from their album, ‘Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band’.  It was 1967, the so called ‘Summer of Love’, and that album, surely one of the greatest ever, captured the spirit of those times.  John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Laurence Demarco were in our 20s, and life beckoned.  Paul is supposed to have written the lyrics to celebrate his Dad’s 64th Birthday.  Sort of 1920s music hall love song – musing comfortably about growing old ‘many years from now’.  ‘You can knit a sweater by the fireside/Sunday mornings, go for a ride/Doing the garden, digging the weeds/who could ask for more/will you still need me/will you still feed me when I’m 64.’

            McCartney’s life turned out very different from his Dad’s.  Huge wealth, fame, honours and now new baby Beatrice – he won’t be weeding the garden for a while yet.  Thankfully my own life is simpler – less encumbered – but alas without property or pension – I’ll need to stay in the saddle of a few more years – probably until I’m 70 – or ’til I fall off.  At a family ‘do’ recently I was reflecting ‘who will still need/feed me when I’m 84’.  My wee cousin who’s nearly a Doctor said not to waste energy worrying ‘cos with my medical history I only have one in three chances of making 84.  But I’m hatching a plan, just in case and it includes morning walks by a sunlit seashore.



The clarification of the relationship between Scottish Enterprise and the social economy has long been a hobby horse of Senscot.  What’s their attitude to our sector?  What do they aspire to do?  Yesterday we received a briefing note which is the clearest statement we’ve ever seen on this subject.  Fuller discussion next week when we’ve had your comments but by our first reading this note signals a bold step up of commitment – towards a ‘steady state’ where the SE Network engages with between 600/700 social businesses at any time.  Last year the average LEC assisted business reviews with around 12 Social Firms.  These new estimates would take that average up to 50.  Even if this takes three/four years – as a statement of intent – it changes things.  Bold stuff.  Comments invited.



There is now strong expectation that the long delayed Social Economy Action Plan will be launched by Margaret Curran on 24th May.  Former Executive member Susan Deacon MSP argued in Sunday’s Herald that our new parliament needs to speed up its act: ‘Decisions needing to be taken now are effectively being delayed for months, even years – politicians need to lead rather than follow, and civil servants to manage rather than administer!’ (



Along with the Action Plan the Minister is expected to announce an open competition for the management of the Scottish Futurebuilders Fund.  The English equivalent is already underway ( and Senscot’s contacts down there say that this is potentially the most significant of all the initiatives.  In Scotland, at least £12m will be channelled over two years to a relatively small number of social enterprises to get them ready for service delivery contracts.  Senscot won’t be bidding to manage the fund – that’s not what we do – but we think it’s important that this money doesn’t take the easy route down the usual supply channels of our sector in Scotland.  That it gets beyond the ‘favoured few’.



One of the changes Senscot expects following the SE Action Plan will be a greater role for Communities Scotland in realising the potential of the Social Economy.  They are currently advertising a one year secondment opportunity for a co-ordinator to help with the implementation of the Action Plan.  ( Laurence is chairing a ‘Practice Seminar’ in Ferguslie Park on Thursday 20th May which CS is sponsoring about potential new Procurement Opportunities.  You can still attend this.  (   Last Thursday Alan Milburn MP made an important speech on the voluntary sector as partners in the reform of public services.  If he is reflecting government thinking you want to visit this.  (



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: 63 vacancies, incl: Communities Scotland, Poverty Solutions, SCVO, Community Transport Association, CVS Fife, Moray Waste Busters, Bridging the Gap, Govanhill Youth Project, Crew 2000.


EVENTS: ‘Employment and Opportunity for All’ free seminars, May-Oct, across Scotland; Voluntary Arts Scotland planning for arts orgs seminars, 22 May, 5 June; Priorities In International Corporate Responsibility, Agenda Event, Glasgow, 24 May; ‘Scotland In Crisis! Population Decline’, EDAS event, Edinburgh, 27 May; ‘Why Scotland needs a Co-operative Development Agency’, Co-operation & Mutuality Scotland conf., 4 June, Glasgow; CAVOC Course, ‘Role Of Company Secretary And Director’, Motherwell, 8 June; EQUAL Funding networking event, ‘Asset Based Development’, Glasgow, 9 June; BURA Awards for Best Practice in Regen – Deadline 1 June; BURA Charitable Trust Awards for Community Regeneration – Deadline 7 June (; Working Families Employer of the Year Wards, Deadline 16 July ( 


CAN YOU HELP? Member Max Cruickshank asks if anyone could offer a placement for up to 2 months to Pavel, young graphic artist in training from Prague (especially working on posters, book covers, CD covers; can also work on web page design.)  Not necessarily seeking payment, though travel expenses would be appreciated.  His excellent website shows just how talented Pavel is.


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



The Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition is the coming together of 14 intermediary organisations to promote the growth of social enterprise in Scotland.  The coalition has received a grant from the Community Fund to appoint a full time Executive and is now recruiting.  (



The bulletin this week profiles Glenkens Community Arts Trust (GCAT) based in New Galloway.  The trust was formed as a direct result of Community Horizons to take forward the regeneration opportunities for the Glenkens area.  The trust’s main focus is on the provision of high quality community and arts facilities and events and has purchased the old school building in New Galloway with the intention of turning it into a music and arts centre.  The trust also manages a community transport project (The Glenkens Community Minibus) and acts as an information point for both the local community and visitors to the area.  For further info`, see



Yesterday, over 80 people attended the official launch of the Social Enterprise Development Partnership (SEDP) in Glenrothes. The turn out and mood of the event reflects the growing interest in social enterprise in Fife. SEDP is aiming to support and develop 15 local social enterprises over the next three years. For further info’ on SEDP, contact Pauline Hinchion,



You won’t be surprised to learn that the first baby in the UK has been named after IKEA the furniture store.  The resources and influence of the big corporations is truly unprecedented, and most governments of the world seem terrified to embrace any alternative vision.  A new book by David Boyle, though offers hope.  In ‘Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life’, Boyle claims that a sizable minority of us are in revolt against the fake and manipulated world of big business.  An estimated 12 million Europeans are now downshifting by cutting salary or hours in search of more ‘authentic’ living.  ‘When we call something ‘authentic’ we are claiming that it is rooted in human ethics, in nature, in geography – that it comes from somewhere particular.  That it is honest and beautiful because of its simplicity.’  (


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

Best wishes,



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