Senscot Bulletin 14-11-2003



Dear members and friends,


‘Aficion’ means passion in Spanish – an ‘aficiondo’ is one
who is passionate – usually referring to the bullfights.  Hemingway wrote about the understanding
between aficiondos, “there was no password – no set questions that could bring
it out – rather it was a sort of spiritual examination…..when they saw you
had ‘aficion’ there was an embarrassed putting the hand on your shoulder – or a
‘Bien hombre?’”  This intuitive
recognition is the same between people who love ‘the beautiful game’.

            When I was
growing up in the late 40s/early 50s – my dad had a season ticket for Easter
Road – he would ‘lift me over’ the turnstile to see the greatest club strike
force ever fielded in Scotland.  I
recall that the crowd, with its powerful mood swings – made a huge impression –
successive waves of terrifying noise – outrage – ecstasy – relief.  And I came to understand the moves of the
gladiators – how their grace, courage, glory and failure could make grown men
weep.  I came to feel ‘aficion’.  I became ‘fitba daft’.

            A branch of
our family had the cafe in Easter Road where Smith – Johnstone – Reilly –
Turnbull and Ormond would hang out after their midweek training.  I was taken one day to meet them – but I was
overcome – unable to speak.  My Uncle
Dominic told me, “You’re making too much of them Lorenzo.  They don’t feel passion for Hibs the way you
do.  For them it’s only a job for money”.  When he saw how upset this made me he tried
to recant – but when something is said it’s not the same anymore.



A cross party group of MPs reported last week that the
administration of the European Social Fund (ESF) is ‘smothering’ service
providers with excessive bureaucracy – particularly small community and
voluntary groups (
Senscot has calculated that in Scotland alone, at any time millions of pounds
is owed to the sector due to the administrative delay in processing claims (up
to nine months in arrears).  Simply in
terms of corporate social responsibility this is an unacceptable state of
affairs, for which the Scottish Executive is responsible.  It is disappointing that as a sector, we are
unable to make our voice heard on this issue. 
Senscot like so many is trapped in this cash flow squeeze – so we raised
the matter with Scott Anderson of Social Investment Scotland (SIS).  He was both sympathetic and effective.  In less than one month Senscot has arranged
an adaptable bridging loan.  Now when we
submit a claim to ESF we will copy it to SIS who will pay us 80% of the value
of the claim up front.  Our bank account
stays where it is with Triodos.  If you
want to know more phone Aidan – 0131 220 4104.



Went to the well attended AGENDA AGM on Wednesday – heard
for the first time about a new type of corporate form/legal entity which may be
suitable for social enterprises. 
Senscot believes that CICs will be ‘kicked into touch’ in Scotland but
some folk who understand these things say there might be mileage in this new
vehicle called UK Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).  Haven’t grasped the concept yet but have
posted a couple of short papers sent to us by Chris Cook (an enthusiast) and
we’d be grateful for feedback.  Would
anyone like to meet with Chris at Senscot on 24th November?  (



If everyone who has booked turns up – the Senscot Conference
is full.  The main purpose of the day is
inspirational rather than intellectual – to celebrate what’s going on and
prepare for a change of gear next year when our sector is expected to gather
momentum in Scotland.  Hope to see you
Wednesday.  (



Senscot’s trustees and staff team have been working with
Alistair Thornley to re-focus on our vision and mission.  Comments invited.  VISION: That social enterprise becomes a universal and integral
part of everyday Scottish life. 
MISSION: Senscot will build and operate an independent network with the
scale and momentum to drive an expanding social enterprise sector in Scotland.



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: 28 vacancies, including posts at The Scottish
Community Foundation, Forth Sector, Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland,
Workbase Scotland, The Iona Community, Scottish Out of School Care Network.


EVENTS: ‘Linking Housing And Schools In Urban
Revitalisation’ Lecture, Stirling, Nov 19; ‘Toward a Confident Scotland’ conf,
Glasgow, Nov 24; “Finding Hidden Profit” event, Edinburgh, Dec 4; SEDA
‘Christmas Ceilidh’, Edinburgh, Dec 5; ‘Promoting Race equality’ conf, Edinburgh,
Dec 8; ‘Radio Morning’ on community radio & cultural development, Glasgow,
Dec 9.


BUSINESS: Fisherrow Community Centre (Musselburgh), major
redevelopment and refurbishment, keen to hear from local charitable or vol.
org.s interested in registering an interest in office accommodation


For details on these and more:



This week’s bulletin profiles an emerging social firm in
Glasgow. The Coach House was set up in August 1998 to provide occupational,
educational and employment opportunities for those broadly described as living
on the ”margins of society” — adults recovering from addiction, mental
health problems, physical disabilities and learning difficulties. The Trust is
located in Kelvinbridge but has workshop sites across the city covering areas
such as community recycling, pottery and mosaic projects, horticultural
operations and furniture restoration. In total, the Coach House Trust has eight
different strands to its work and is developing a longer-term strategy to cover
the next five years. For further info’:
(Project Profiles at



The Lottery’s Community Fund is to pioneer a new application
process in Scotland with a view to extending it to the whole of the UK when NOF
and the Community Fund are merged next year. 
The move is towards ‘outcome’ based approach as opposed to
‘outputs’.  There is a significant
difference.  A welcome improvement is
that feedback will be given on a new short initial application to test if it’s
worthwhile going ahead.  A piece on this
is at (



Aidan writes – Contributed last week to a Social
Entrepreneurship Colloquium at Nant Gwrtheyrn – a stunning location on the
North Wales coast.  The venue is a
thriving centre for the Welsh language and out in what was a derelict quarrying
village.  We were there to explore how
to take forward social entrepreneurship in a Welsh context – they want to
create their own network like Senscot. 
Highlights were the importance of the Welsh language in local culture
and a memorable presentation on the Tower Colliery buyout.  (  On a lighter note, folk had to choose, on
the Sunday morning, between the conference and the Welsh v England rugby
match.  As you can guess social
entrepreneurship came a poor second.



My favourite journalist/commentator these days is Ian
McWhirter of The Herald.  He writes
about big issues from a Scottish perspective which is informed and
intelligent.  Good piece last Sunday
about the erosion of trust – how no one believes anything anyone says
anymore.  Professional people,
scientists, financial services, civil servants – priests – politicians – the
media.  We now assume that they are ‘all
at it’ – can’t be trusted to tell the truth. 
But without the presumption of honesty, society grinds to a halt.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Our distrust
is very expensive”.  McWhirter argues
that we no longer look to religions to provide the moral rules, “Two centuries
of rationalism has destroyed forever the idea of a supreme deity who enforces
absolute moral laws by the threat of eternal damnation, and good riddance”. But
people thirst for an ‘unselfish’ movement which they can trust – ‘get
behind’.  It’s possible that the social
enterprise movement has the potential to become this. (


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

Best wishes,



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