Dear members and friends,
I often get the train from Linlithgow to Glasgow – but our station car park is always full; my pal lives close by – and I often use her private parking – delinquently. As I walk out on Tuesday, big car arrives – obviously looking to do what I’ve done; this makes me angry – what a cheek – want to tell him this parking is for residents only. It often shocks me how phoney I am – and how crabbit.
The train’s busy – only available seat opposite someone I don’t like – trapped; this guy presses your buttons – Laurence – don’t lose your cool; but it’s too easy for him – an expert – arrive Glasgow in quiet rage. My taxi driver is also a talker; where am I from? my job? what my meeting’s about? Sorry – I tell him – I’ve a speech to make when I arrive – need to collect my thoughts; what’s the speech about? He asks.
The meeting is for parents of children with disabilities – stories from the front line. The mother of a boy with Downs Syndrome recounts a ‘metaphor’ – which she says gives her comfort: "When you’re going to have a baby – it’s like planning a fabulous holiday – to Italy; when the plane lands, however, the stewardess says – welcome to Holland; it’s slower paced than Italy – less flashy. But after you catch your breath – you begin to realise that Holland has windmills – Holland has tulips – Holland even has Rembrandts." Her parable stays with me – resolve to be less crabbit.
At the start of a new year – Senscot invites financial support through individual membership subscriptions – average £25. Partner organisations are invited to take up associate membership – small organisations from £50 – large organisations from £100. See 2013 list – we’re over halfway to our annual 100 supporters, www.senscot.net/companymembers13.php. To donate, see www.senscot.net/donate.php
We are told that the prime minister – intends to use the UKs presidency of the G8 this year – to promote social impact bonds (SIBs). The linked article, from the Telegraph, is typical of the lazy, cut and paste, fluff which circulates – about the Tories determination to bring private investors into public services. When will a serious journalist investigate this story – which is really about the govt. spending zillions of our money – to promote a model of social investment which the money markets refuse to touch? SIBs are inherently flawed – will fade away – and I am glad. Because, if they were to succeed, control of our third sector would pass to people who have no idea what we do – or why. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13174. This event in Kettering (Midlands) on 4th/5th March gives an indication of where some people are trying to take the SE sector in England. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13181
Editorial in Wednesday’s Herald about Scotland’s forthcoming community empowerment bill; specifically the proposal to extend the community right-to-buy legislation – to our towns and cities. In spite of predictable private sector opposition – the Herald thinks this is an idea whose time has come. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13173
During the past 12 months, in Scotland – some serious and substantial social enterprises have closed; but you will note that I don’t mention their names – some kind of taboo. Some argue, that if you’re not failing – you’re not innovating – and that our refusal to openly examine the reasons for failure – shows immaturity in our community. Dave Dawes argues that there is as much learning from failure as from success. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13172
Senscot promotes the vision of a Community Bank – owned by the third sector – which gathers together all our resources; this new Scottish institution would provide investment – tailored to our needs – underpinned by our values – keeping our own money circulating. We are working on a feasibility study – and would greatly appreciate your help in scoping the requirements of our community. It’s genuinely a 10 minute job. See, http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/73C6LRN
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php This week:
JOBS: Fife Employment Access Trust, REAP, Eco Drama, Connecting Carers, Highland Community Care Forum, Social Investment Scotland, Ltdin Partnership with Shettleston Housing Association Ltd
EVENTS: Social Enterprise Support Programme, 19 Feb; Effective Trading Event, 21 Feb; Out of the Blue Flea Market, 23 Feb; Crowdfunding Workshop, 27 Feb; Diploma in Training and Development, 28 Feb;
TENDERS: Belville Community Garden Works and Forvie National Nature Reserve – Dune Trail Interpretation – Re-issued. For more details, see www.readyforbusiness.org.
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: Senscot, yesterday, attended a Local Government and Social Enterprise event hosted by Social Enterprise Scotland (SES) at Edinburgh City Chambers. It was a highly successful and well attended event where speakers and delegates were able to share their views and experiences on how social enterprise can benefit communities and local authorities in terms of economic growth, reform of public services and positive social impacts. SES Chair, Laurie Russell, also encouraged the local authorities present to sign as assoc. members of SES. It was also good to hear examples of the increasing working relationships between local authorities and their respective local SENs – more on this next week. For more Networks News, see http://se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=279
Moray SEN member, Down to Earth Solutions, supports self-build as a way to own an affordable eco-home of your own. They are running a survey (10 mins max) looking at issues like: what do you want in a home? what matters most? why do you think it’s so difficult to get on to the housing ladder? Do you actually want to? There’s also a chance to WIN a £50 gift voucher or one of two £20 iTunes vouchers. See, https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ahomeofmyown
In October 2012, JUST the Business launched its ‘Guide to Social Enterprise Planning’. The Guide is tailored to suit the business planning needs of social enterprises and can be bought for £15. All proceeds from sales are being donated to the Social Enterprise Collection (Scotland) fund – started with archive donations from the late John Pearce and housed at the Glasgow Caledonian University library. To date, they have raised £1,500 but are keen to raise more. See more, http://www.senscot.net/docs/FlyerGuideSEPOct12.pdf
In an important judgement, published this week, the English Court of Appeal overruled its High Court – and decided that some aspects of the Govts’ back-to-work schemes are illegal. Cait Reilly had been told to stop volunteering at a Birmingham museum – and work unpaid, at Poundland – or lose her Jobseekers allowance. DWP will now have to redraft some of it regulations. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13171
On Thursday 28th Feb – embedded within the third sector ‘Gathering’ at Glasgow’s SECC – there will be a ‘Thinking Together Citizens Assembly’ for 250 people – in ‘facilitated dialogue’. The event is being hosted by ‘So Say Scotland’ – which is a non-partisan, non-profit, voluntary network of dream-makers – working to turn Scotland into a hub of democratic innovation. Register your interest here, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13154
In spite of rumours that it was going to rise to 50% – the CIC Association has recommended this week that the cap on dividends should remain at 35%. Senscot is unaware of any CICs in Scotland which pay dividends. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13177
This week’s bulletin updates its profile on an organisation first ‘profiled’ in the bulletin in April 2002!! The Rural Environmental Action Project (REAP Scotland), based in Keith in Moray, is a local charity and social enterprise which works with local communities and agencies to raise awareness of sustainable development and through this promote action which seeks to meet locally identified needs. REAP works with funders and partners to achieve its aims. Its social enterprise work includes community consultation and community grant administration. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=13175
Viktor Frankl (1907 – 1997) survived Nazi concentration camps – and the lessons he learned – among unimaginable human suffering – are just as relevant now as then:
"Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than yourself; it may be a meaning to fulfil – or relationship with another human being. The more you forget yourself – in the service of a cause or the love of another – the more human you become." Frankl also said: "Once you know the ‘why’ for your existence – you will be able to bear almost any ‘how’. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13176
That’s all for this week.
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Senscot is a Company, registered in Scotland. Company Reg No. 278156: Scottish Charity No. SC 029210