Dear members and friends,
Watched a film called ‘The Holiday’ which I really enjoyed; sometimes happy mindless mince just hits the spot. Some Los Angeles scenes are shot in a hot desert wind – which they call a Santa Ana. This reminded me of a great passage from Raymond Chandler: “There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen”.
Though there is scant scientific proof – it is part of the lore of southern California – that the Santa Anas can cause people to behave badly; they get tense, tetchy, unpredictable. The local lore has it that suicides and assaults rise when the red winds blow. The weather has a major influence over my own moods; the lesson here is how close to the edge some people are.
Though I have never been near a desert wind – the state of mind it is said to induce is familiar to me. “Whatever was the rock my gliding childhood struck” – it left me with a stress response system which is too easily activated. I suspect that I live closer to the emotions of fear, anger etc than is normal; certainly closer than I’d like to be. From now on I’m going to think of this as my Santa Ana state of mind.
We still have copies of Laurence’s book ‘Kindness’; a selection of Bulletin intros from 2007 – 2012. See, http://www.senscot.net/musings.php
Some of us warned about mismatched values – but the UK Govt was determined that the third sector should be financed from profit seeking investment; Big Society Capital (BSC) was launched with overblown rhetoric about unleashing the power of capital markets to tackle social ills; it now looks as if the whole thing has turned out to be delusional. Their annual report specifies that the total BSC investment – draw down by the frontline third sector by the end of 2013 – was just £13m – which the BIG Lottery distributes in an average week. BSC provides expensive wholesale finance for intermediaries to do safe lending. They must now – eventually – realize that they got this wrong. Maybe now some energy and funding can be directed to piloting bold and risky mechanisms that actually address third sector needs. Good blog again from David Floyd. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17354
The growing inequality gap – continues to grow in our consciousness; the economist Thomas Piketty warns that unless Capitalism is reformed – it is a threat to world democracy. This three minute animation – from ‘Inequality Briefing’- illustrates the UK inequality gap. None of our political parties has proposals which will even slow down this deadly polarisation. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17367
This week the Scottish Parliament unanimously adopted an important piece of legislation; the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill will regulate how about £10bn is spent each year on public goods and services. On Tuesday, a letter appeared in the Scotsman, from some civil society leaders; claiming that the Bill does not go far enough – see, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17363. In particular it is felt that a mandatory condition of delivering public contracts should be payment of the living wage. This is an issue we need to discuss in the SE community; if we’re serious about wage inequality – the living wage is an obvious first step. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17364
New Start magazine started in 1999 – same year as Senscot; it is now an online publication – posting about half a dozen quality pieces each month – from its pool of excellent writers. Being Manchester-based, it is refreshingly free of London village ‘groupthink’; and it remains a valuable source of community sector – plain language – policy blogs. I’ve selected a piece by John Tizard – reminding us how helpful the concept of social capital is to our understanding of healthy communities.
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: The Church of Scotland, RAMH, Dundee Social Enterprise Network, EUSA, Evolution Skatepark Scotland Ltd, Senscot/Supporting Social Enterprise Alliance
EVENTS: SURF Award Study Visits, 19 & 20 May; BRICK Workshop, 22 May; Access to Sport & Culture (Edinburgh), 5 June; Social Value Matters, 13 June; INSP Conference, 12 Aug;
TENDERS: Hermitage Park Restoration, Argyll and Bute Council; ITT for hydro feasibility, preliminary design & development work, Sandbank Community Development Trust; Forgewood Community Centre, Garrion People’s Housing Co-operative; http://readyforbusiness.org/?p=1252
The SENs Weekly Update; Kim writes: Sport has a high profile just now with both the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup taking place this year in Scotland. It is timely, therefore, to see the publication of a new Scottish Govt Report by ‘The Working Group on Scottish Sport’, titled ‘The continuing development of Scottish sport – including the impact of independence”. Some key findings, of particular interest within the SE community, include the need to ensure genuine access to sport for all; re-visiting the role of Local Authorities and Leisure Trusts; and, importantly, the recommendation that future investment in sport be categorised as ‘preventative spend’. See more, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17365
For more SENs News, see http://www.se-networks.net/showbull1.php?articleid=347.
REMINDER: Senscot, with our SSE Alliance partners – Social Firms Scotland and Social Enterprise Scotland – has secured Scottish Govt support for a new post of Partnership and Procurement Officer. This will involve providing practical support to social enterprises and social firms in identifying and responding effectively to emerging tender opportunities, including facilitating partnerships and consortia development. Closing date: Monday 26th May. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17330
The latest tranche of Enterprise Ready Fund (ERF) awardees was announced this week. Finance Minister, John Swinney, made the announcement as he visited Edinburgh and Sport SEN member, My Adventure – which has received £48k towards expanding its services in Edinburgh. This round will see 28 organisations (16 SEN members, including Senscot Legal) receive around £2m between them. Of the £6m available through ERF, £4.4m has now been allocated. Deadline for applications is 16th June but – if you are interested in applying – the sooner you submit, the better. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17353
DTA Scotland was recently awarded the contract to deliver ‘Community Shares Scotland’ programme. They lead a consortium that includes Co-operatives UK, Plunkett Foundation & Rocket Science that will seek to increase levels of awareness, skill and practice around community shares. The three year programme is being launched in Perth on 27th May with an opening Roadshow. To book your place at the Launch event, see https://senscot.net/?viewid=17368
The lease for Iglu Bar and Restaurant in Edinburgh is for sale. Iglu has been operating as social enterprise in recent years although it has been on the go since 2005. Its success has been recognised with a number of awards including, this year, the prestigious Scottish Sustainable Restaurant of the Year 2014. Looks like a good opportunity for someone. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=17352
This week’s bulletin profiles a sport social enterprise in Aberdeen that is one of the city’s most successful gym and sports clubs. Banks O’ Dee Sports Club, set up in 1998 with the assistance of sportscotland, provides a range of sport and fitness services that include its well-known football centre, state-of-the-art sport and gym facilities as well as meeting space and function hire. Banks O’Dee’s aim was and is to continually re-invest profits back into the club – consistently improving their facilities for its members. For more, http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=17346
Last Saturday was my birthday (74) – blighted by Hibs’ descent to the dread of the relegation play-offs. But friends took me for lunch – and both the craic and the curry were the finest. I spent late afternoon in the garden – in sparkling sunshine – digging a deep hole. During which I had a ‘grace event’ – similar to that described by Raymond Carver in his poem, ‘The Window’: It was a happy birthday.
“A storm blew in last night and knocked out the electricity. When I looked through the window, the trees were translucent. Bent and covered with rime. A vast calm lay over the countryside. I knew better. But at that moment, I felt I’d never in my life made any false promises, not committed so much as one indecent act. My thoughts were virtuous. Later on that morning, of course, electricity was restored. The sun moved from behind the clouds, melting the hoarfrost. And things stood as they had before.”
That’s all for this week.
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