Senscot Bulletin: 20.09.13

Dear members and friends,

In later life – Carl Jung spoke of how, as a young man, he was arrogant and ruthless in pursuit of his vision: ‘There was a daemon in me which overpowered me’; I remember, with regret, such driven behaviour in my own past. One of the pleasures of ageing – is a gradual detachment from ‘enterprises of great pith and moment’; my field of interest become increasingly my garden – and the natural world surrounding my cottage. How the first blasts of winter visited our clachan this week – the Virginia creeper will need tied back; how the family of Jays has been absent from the feeder…………………

            I’ve been working the garden for eight years – all the choices and labour my own; the layout, planting, colours, textures etc – a solid, palpable expression of my imagination. Kneeling, turning the soil with a trowel, is deeply satisfying – a connection as old as human life – this relationship teaches me so much. And in the woodland opposite – away from public paths – there’s a massive old Scots Pine where sometimes I sit; I try to let myself become pure awareness – of whatever is near; and if I’m sufficiently still – I feel part of everything – and, fleetingly, everything seems to have purpose.

            The writer, Christopher Bainford, puts it well: ‘ When we are at home in the garden – tending and nurturing all its plants, animals and minerals – living with them through the seasons and days – then healing comes upon us like a gift – and makes us whole’.


We still have copies of ‘Kindness’ – Laurence’s latest selection of bulletin intros (2007-12). If you’d like a copy, see


There is now less than a year until the Big Vote – been wanting to say that for ages. On Tuesday, I went along to Linlithgow Burgh Halls (my local town) for the first of the Big Vote events being co-ordinated around the country by our friends at Scottish Community Alliance. Good crowd – good spirit. Willie Sullivan from Electoral Reform Society told us about their research findings; that the Scottish public are not apathetic – we’re just scunnered by the insultingly puerile level of party politics.  The express purpose of these Big Vote events is to take the Referendum debate to the people; what elevated the debate on Tuesday was the exclusion of all politicians. See,


I have been associated with the Big Issue in Scotland for many years (they helped Senscot get started). Their many friends have known for some time – that like all print media – circulation is suffering – something needed to be done. Jim Mullan, CEO of KibbleWorks, explains the thinking and practicalities which inform this new association between two legendary Scottish social enterprises.

See John Bird – founder of the Big Issue has also sent his take on things, see


It is increasingly common practice for local Councils to ‘externalise’ certain functions into bespoke subsidiary companies – ALEOs. SCVO has asked OSCR to clarify that such bodies are ineligible for charitable status on the grounds that their governance is not independent. The SE Code of Practice (which Senscot supports) excludes ALEOs for the same reason. Social democracy requires a flourishing public sector – but it’s not the same as our sector. See,


PriceWaterhouseCoopers recently described themselves as a social enterprise; it’s difficult to imagine anything further from the spirit of SE than these voracious global corporations – devouring everything in their path. Bill Jamieson, in this week`s Scotsman newspaper, picks up on a similar theme. See, . But what about Channel 4 – is it a SE? Vibeka Mair makes the case for the ‘public service’ broadcaster being part of our community. See,


Really enjoyed the stushie which ensued when the UN Housing expert, Raquel Rolnik, told the truth about the UK’s deteriorating housing shortage. How dare she! said the Tories. See, Hear from a friend that human rights campaigners ‘Article 12 in Scotland’  – took the UN ‘Rapporteur’ on a visit to the Gypsy/Traveller site in Craigmillar (Edinburgh) – where she spoke with residents; her report refers. See,


NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See  This week:

JOBS: CEO – Rag Tag and Textile Ltd, Graduate Social Enterprise Development Officer – Community Enterprise, Social Enterprise Development Officer – Dundee Social Enterprise Network, Sales Support Administrator – The Big Issue
EVENTS: Doors Open: East End Women’s Heritage Walk, 22nd Sep; Out of the Blue Flea Market, 28th Sep; Drama Queens: Play Reading for Pleasure, 26th Sep; An Introduction to Tendering, 24th Sep.
TENDERS: Bulky Waste Treatment Services – West Lothian Council, provision of External Community Based Housing Support for Homelessness Service – Scottish Borders Council and BBC@thequay – A Commonwealth Event.  See,


SENs News: Kim writes: The Health & Social Care Integration Bill, otherwise known as the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill will see health boards and local authorities integrate all provision for health and social care. This requires significant cultural and structural changes to what currently exists. This week at the Health SEN meeting Susan Lowes from Voluntary Health joined us to speak about the bill which will have a significant impact on many social enterprises.  Health boards and local authorities must create an ‘integration plan’ for each local authority area. There are 4 models of integration to choose from – creating an ‘integration authority’. Plans are specifically for adult services, but other services may also be included. See Bill Summary and Presentation

For more SENs News, see


Senscot is holding its AGM on 4th October at the Grassmarket Community Project in Edinburgh. In recent years, we have been coupling this up with a seminar topical for the SE community in Scotland. This year, we are following upon last year’s’ Scottish Community Banking Trust (SCBT)’ – with ‘SCBT – The Next Steps’. The seminar will include a report on Phase 1 and an overview of our plans for Phase 2 – running from October – March 2014. See, There are still some places available. If you’d like to come along, contact Agenda available here, 2013.pdf.


The Scottish Govt funded Enterprise Ready Programme is now open for business. The online application process is ‘live’. See, The Programme is being administered by Foundation Scotland, in partnership with CEiS, Social Value Lab and DSL.


The School for Social Entrepreneurs has announced its shortlist for the 2013 Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards. 5 social entrepreneurs from across the UK have been selected – including West Lothian-based Tracy Murdoch and her social enterprise, Kidezco – see, Tracy is a Firstport awardee and was one of the ‘template’ social enterprises for Firstport’s Ditto initiative – replicating tried and tested business ideas and making them work in other area. To vote for Tracy, go to


This week’s bulletin re-visits a profile we did earlier this year. Dundee SEN members, Tayside Re-Users (formerly Tayside Foundation for the Conservation of Resources) is a social enterprise founded in 1992 in Dundee as an environmental charity with the main aim to divert goods from landfill thereby providing a sustainable use for goods too easily discarded by a throwaway society. Currently providing work for 11 employees and 15 volunteers, Tayside Re-Users also provides work placements to the local open prison population as well as youngsters preparing for work. Their focus for the future will be to start ‘upcycling’ old furniture to attract new customers. For more, see


This is a quote from the late Tony Judt’s book: ‘Ill fares the land’.

“Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue of material self-interest: indeed, this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act; is it good? Is it fair? Is it just? Is it just? Is it right? Will it help bring about a better society or a better world? Those used to be the political questions, even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them.”

“Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey – where wealth accumulates, and men decay.” Oliver Goldsmith (The Deserted Village, 1770).

That’s all for this week.

Best wishes,


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