Senscot Bulletin: 14-09-2007

Dear members and friends,

With age travel becomes less fun – more irritating. This apartment is too high (vertigo); and there’s constant clumping from upstairs; next door’s buzzer’s so loud I keep opening my own door. The shower’s wonky – scalding or freezing – and the bed’s too soft (sore back). The usual mosquito bites and blistered feet – it’s getting too much for me. I’ve never seen so many rude, ugly people. What am I doing here?
 The answer of course is the weather; the sun has lost its mid-summer ferocity – but the heat remains total wraparound therapy. Shorts, vest, hat, sandals – soaking it up. I can trudge for miles along the seashore – purring like a cat. The trick is to avoid people.
 My rejection of humankind does not extend to wee people – up to the age of about 4. The ones who have found speech, but not yet self-consciousness, are my favourites – from such encounters I can feel blessed. Today I meet Amy – her chin level with my table, she asks if I’m sad. I give her my full attention – her eyes have awareness, compassion – pure Zen. ‘Sometimes I get sad,’ I say, ‘but I’m not sad just now’. She checks out my eyes – nods gravely – ‘okay’ she says.
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Aidan writes: 137 people attended the `Fit for Purpose` Conference on Social Enterprise and Health Improvement this week in Glasgow. This was the second year of the event and the numbers on show reflect the growing awareness and interest in the potential role for social enterprises in the delivery of health and care services in Scotland.  This is a sector with significant opportunities for social enterprises and there appears a willingness on all parts to move forward collectively. Social enterprise, we were told, is also seen by the Scottish Government as having the ability to deliver on all five of their objectives – wealthier and fairer, healthier, safer and stronger, smarter, greener.  The challenge for us all is not to miss this opportunity.
A new thematic Network for social enterprises in health/care services is being launched on 11th October 2007 in Glasgow. For info, see  We’ll have a full report on the conference in the next couple of weeks.

Also this week, Aidan attended a seminar hosted by the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition on `Social Enterprise – Dynamics and the Economy`. The seminar offered three perspectives on some of the challenges facing our sector – the academic, policy/government and the practitioner. Particularly liked Prof. Alan McGregor’s (Glasgow Uni) observations. Here are some of his main points.

In recent months, we’ve posted links to a couple of reports produced by the Young Foundation. They’ve got a new one out this week about `scaling up` innovative ideas – amongst their case studies is the Big Issue. Here’s an article in this week’s Guardian.  On this theme, if you’re interested in attending Senscot’s seminar about innovation in the public sector – contact  The event, supported by Nesta and the Scottish Govt., will be on the 4th October at the Friends Meeting House, Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh between 12 – 4pm. 

The Community Sector – all the small local groups – is better organised in England than up here. 10 English intermediaries, representing thousands of frontline groups, formed a coalition recently to campaign for the vital importance of small grant programmes. The coalition last week launched a report, `Sustaining Grants`, which is gathering wide support. See info, Senscot is part of the Local People Leading campaign which seeks to become such a rallying point for the community sector in Scotland.


You can get your name down now for Assist Social Capital’s   ‘Social Capital & Financial Inclusion’ conference at Gogarburn (RBS HQ) on 9th November. Bursaries are available thanks to support from the Scottish Community Foundation. See

NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but submit jobs and events and we’ll post them on our site. See This week: 

JOBS: 43 vacancies, incl. posts with: the Fife Social Economy Partnership, Homereach Scotland Limited, Edinburgh Cyrenians, Co-operative Education Trust Scotland, Forestry Commission, Blake Stevenson Limited, Food For Thought Glasgow Ltd

EVENTS: 19 events, incl. PARTYcipation 07 Showcase, 4th Oct, Wigan; GO: Start your own social enterprise, 10th Oct, Alloa; First meeting of Health Improvement & Community Care, 11th Oct, Glasgow;  ‘Sparkling Hearts’ Ball, 16th Nov, Edinburgh; Three keys to entrepreneurial success for women, 18th Oct, Edinburgh; Healthy, wealthy and wise: working together for the wellbeing of Scotland’s children, 1st Nov, Peebles; Co-operate to Succeed, 1st Nov, Perth

Good news this week for one of the Local Social Enterprise Networks (LSENs). The Coalfields SEN`s  application to the Scottish Community Foundation’s new Community Investment Programme has been successful. They have been awarded £47,000 to recruit a Development Manager and admin support to run the coalfield social enterprise network for the next two years.

We did a story a couple of weeks back on Public/Social Partnership pilots being run in the west of Scotland, . Now we hear that, in England, the Office for the Third Sector is carrying out a survey on the benefits and barriers to the introduction of social clauses into public procurement clauses. For info`, see

This week’s bulletin profiles an emerging social enterprise in the field of health and social care. The Castlemilk Stress Centre was set up back in 1994 with the intention of providing stress management services to people in the community who did not fit into the categories of other service providers e.g. drug and alcohol services, but who never the less were in need of support. Services are tailored to meet the needs of individuals/groups. Increasingly, other organisations in the area are looking to buy in these services. CSC now has funding to develop a pricing strategy and employ a full time worker to market services to increase income generation. For more, see
Last Sunday’s Observer did a good cover story on the ageing process. Different write for each decade. Mary Warnock (83), who is writing a book on euthanasia, did the 80s. ‘The thing I dread is dying slowly. I could not bear the humiliation and sheer embarrassment of being `cared for`. If the things I value like my freedom and solitude were snatched away from me – my life would mean nothing to me. I wish profoundly that I could choose when and how to die. If I couldn’t persuade my doctor to kill me, I might be able to persuade him to render me unconscious and never let me come round. Terminal sedation. After all, from my point of view it would make no difference.’

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

Best wishes.

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Laurence’s book, ‘You’ve Got To Laugh’ is available See: