Senscot Bulletin: 20.07.12

Dear members and friends,

 (Chill mode) During a pause in the rain yesterday – I gathered my first sweetpeas of the year; now their fragrance is right through my cottage – the sweetness of honeysuckle – the strength of jasmine.  8pm – steady drizzle from leaden skies – in bed watching the drookit Jays at the bird table.  5 years ago – a pair of very shy Jays were occasional visitors – now there are four families – no longer shy.  Same with our woodpeckers – four breeding pairs now – with new sprogs.  It’s like Queen St station.
 When I was young – I believed that some major event would come along – to define and fulfil my life; fame, fortune, a partner?  But ‘real’ life is what happens while we’re waiting for ‘imagined’ life.  Thoreau suggested that we measure our wealth by how much we no longer need; I like that.  Lying here I feel neither happy nor unhappy; just the sense that this, here, now, is enough – and that I am fortunate.
 This evening I’ll watch that 1957 classic – "An Affair to Remember".  Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr meet on a med cruise – fall in love – agree to rendezvous in six months on top of the Empire State Building – to get hitched.  But she gets hit by a car on the way – paralysed from the waist down – doesn’t want him to find out.  Lots of blubbing with happy ending; pure sentimental tosh; just what I need.  P.S. It occurs to me that sweetpeas have a ‘cheerful’ scent – and there’s a pinch of spice in the mix. 

Senscot is holding discussions with Charity Bank around the vision of a Scottish Community Bank; a new, independent institution – taking deposits and making loans to our own third sector – which will own the Bank. Good quality comment has been offered which merits consideration – before the circulation of our outline concept paper. This one could be bigger than we realised.

For as long as I can remember – the governance and administration of Scottish football has been dysfunctional; but although fans have long known that a radical clearout is needed – nothing happens.  One of the benefits of the Rangers saga has been the awakening of fan power; the growing determination all across Scotland to rebuild our national game on a sustainable, community-owned basis.  Good piece in Bella Caledonia which appreciates the role of social media (like Twitter) in this new empowerment. See, .On the same theme – I’m a member of 38 degrees – the social media campaigning site – which is now targeting tax dodgers at the Olympics. See,

The Move Your Money UK campaign is inspired by the successful US equivalent – which has seen 10 million accounts moved since 2010.  in the UK, the campaign is an independent not for profit – funded by the Cadbury Trust.  The aim is to spread the message that we, as individuals can help build a better banking system through our buying power. See,

Enjoyed this Guardian piece about Canada – how crowdsourcing is the shape of the future – the antidote to top down remoteness. See, . The crowdfunding of Senscot’s new collection of bulletin ‘intros’ is going well (friends have been asked to pre-purchase 10 copies – £100). We won’t be publishing names but your support is appreciated and will be remembered.

In England, the campaign to ‘loosen’ the definition of SE continues to gather pace; it is orchestrated mainly by the UK Govt’s Big Society Capital (BSC). In Scotland, a different culture prevails – with almost universal acceptance of the ‘asset lock’ as the defining characteristic of an SE. Scottish SEs wishing to affirm the values by which we recognise each other are invited to subscribe to ‘the Code’; Kevin Colquhoun at Kibbleworks has agreed to assist with the signing up process. Kevin can be contacted at
To subscribe, see

I don’t agree with everything George Monbiot says – some of his causes are on the margins of my personal range; but this week’s column got my attentions.  "To be young in the post-industrial nations today is to be excluded.  Excluded from the comforts enjoyed by preceding generations; excluded from jobs; excluded from hopes of a better world; excluded from self-ownership."  I’m always looking for indications of resistance, from the youth of today, to the corporate economy which excludes them.  Will a new groundswell emerge to articulate and organise disaffection? See,

The Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz, has written a new book called ‘The Price of Inequality’.  In it he methodically (and lyrically) demolishes the myths which have enabled the neoliberal ‘one percent’ to conquer and trash the world economy.  His book is a powerful exposure of the damage cause by inequality – how paying attention to the common welfare is a precondition of our own ultimate welfare.  Thoughtful review by Yvonne Roberts in the Observer. See,

NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See  This week:
JOBS: Borders Arts Trust, Rape Crisis Scotland, Church of Scotland, Greener Kirkcaldy, Community Food Initiatives North East, Edinburgh Young Carers Project , The Village Storytelling Centre, Aberlour
EVENTS: Miss.Fit Sisters Vintage Circus, 11 Aug; Strengthening your Social Enterprise, 21 Aug; Out of the Blue Flea Market, 25 Aug; Energising Ideas for All, 28 Aug; Better Business Planning, 13 Sep
TENDERS: Delivery of Community Based Health Improvement Activity in Glasgow, Social Enterprise & Third Sector Challenge Fund, Construction of Gorebridge Community Hub and Measured Term Contracts for Gates & Fencing and Hard Surfacing, Soft Landscaping and Repair Work. For more details, see

NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: Last month, Senscot hosted its 2nd national SE and Sport Conference at the Trades Hall in Glasgow – with approx 100 delegates in attendance. See, Conference evaluation report, One of the significant developments on the day was the launch of the SE and Sport Position Paper. See, .This sets out a vision for the SE and sport community, the contribution it makes and the priorities that can enable sport SEs to develop and grow.  For more Networks News, see

Last week saw the opening of Donald Trump’s new Golf complex in Aberdeen.  They say every cloud has a silver lining so it was good to hear that Aberdeen SEN member, the Breadmaker has been selected as a ‘chosen supplier’, providing the new complex with its high quality bakery products. See,  Also, good news for another Aberdeen SEN member, with Rosie’s Café being shortlisted, from over 600 entrants, for the UK finals of the Private Business Awards 2012. Congratulations to both. See,

DTA Scotland (DTAS) hosts its 9th Annual Conference on 2nd/3rd September at the Westerwood Hotel in Cumbernauld. With almost 300 members (Full and Associates), DTAS’ annual bash is a key event in the community sector calendar in Scotland. To book, see

The RBS SE 100 Index (2012) is now open for applications – closing date 30th August. The SE 100 lists the top 100 growing SEs in the UK, with a combined prize of £25,000 going to the best performers by growth, impact and for ‘newcomers’. Scotland has always been well represented in the Index, with the Wise Group being one of last year’s winners. To apply, see

This week’s bulletin profiles a progressive community arts organisation, based in Clydebank, that is working to strengthen community bonds and raise aspirations through quality Community Arts provision. Community Arts; Open Space (CAOS) has been active since 2009, providing weekly creative workshops in drama, visual art, dance and music for all age groups. As well as their core projects, they also provide training or workshop programmes for a range of other community organisations and public sector bodies. For more, see

Deborah Kerr has a great line in my film (see intro) "Winter must be cold for those without warm memories."  Been reflecting on the relationship between love and risk.  CS Lewis understood:

 "To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possible broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.  Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  To love at to be vulnerable."
That’s all for this week.

Good luck with your adventures

Best wishes,


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Senscot is a Company, registered in Scotland. Company Reg No. 278156: Scottish Charity No. SC 029210