Senscot bulletin: 21-01-2005



Dear members and friends,


Just back from Switzerland and the World Spirit Forum.  Arosa sits at 1700 metres, in an Alpine valley surrounded by spectacular snow covered peaks.  Timber chalets – horse drawn sledges – clear mountain air – a special place.  Conference venue is local school gym and community centre – around 400 participants mostly German speaking – around 50 speakers/presenters – an eclectic mix of thinkers, writers, practitioners – smattering of musicians and ‘mystics’.  Stuff going on all the time – like the racetrack – ask each other for tips – ‘what do you fancy next?’

            New age optimism moves among us – bright eyes, deep hugs.  In between main events, workshops where people share their personal spiritual journeys.  Some powerful stories – memorable moments – new friends.  We can learn only what we are ready to learn – so much I don’t understand – but it is good searching together – exploring – connecting – sharing.  I hope the WSF continues to build momentum ‘cos the world needs an annual affirmation of human spirituality – of soul – that we are more than brains working like computers.

            On the return flight, last passenger to board sits next to me – young city type – fusses with phone and ipod – then aggressively claims shared armrest.  Feel hackles rise, but think of fringe meeting yesterday about world peace – How it must start in the hearts of each one of us.  Breathe deeply a few times – then push his elbow off armrest.  The adrenalin rush of combat – primal man.  I’ll be a peace activist tomorrow – this kid thinks he’s smart!



The keynote speech at Arosa was by Dr Franz Joseph Radermacher, about his Global Marshall Plan – (yes that’s where Gordon Brown borrowed the term).  The GMP Initiative accepts the workings of the Market Economy but seeks to contain it within social considerations so that it works for the benefit of all parts of the world – an Eco-Social Market Economy. The proposals are intentionally abstract enough to encompass a worldwide coalition of organisations and individuals committed to global security, peace and prosperity for everyone. GMP declaration: Dr Radermacher is a big man 6’4” with a firm but kindly manner.  I have become a fan.  You may recall that last May we circulated an interview with him – here it is again: You can sign up in support of the GMP on line at



Communities Scotland have confirmed the appointment of Ian Mitchell as head of the Regeneration division this week. Congratulations, Ian. The Social Economy Unit has also been expanded with the recent appointments of Julia Palmer as Investment Fund Manager and Aidan Tyrrell as Business Support Manager (Aidan comes on secondment from CeiS). We hear that there has already been a steady stream of application for the Investment and Learning funds. CS area teams have also started receiving applications for the Seedcorn Fund. For more info’, see, including details about the support programme.  To have a chat with someone from the Social Economy Unit, call 0131 479 5379.



The tools and templates section of our website proves popular with around 300 hits weekly.  Please note that new content has been added including ‘How to commission a consultant’ and ‘Tools for a Marketing Plan.’:



Community Enterprise in Strathclyde (CEiS) has developed an ‘investment readiness’ tool to make it easier for financial institutions to establish real rather than perceived risk of investing in social enterprises.



Thanks to those of you who sent money last week.  For the next 3 weeks only, we will continue our annual appeal for financial donations in appreciation of our service.  Many people I meet say that they like the bulletin and have nearly sent a cheque.  It’s encouraging to know how much we nearly receive. To give:



YELLOW PAGES/EXCHANGE: Space constraints mean we can’t carry every notice sent but please any relevant items (before noon Thursday) to and we’ll post them on our site. This week:


JOBS: 64 vacancies, incl. posts with: Midlothian Voluntary Action, South Lanarkshire Credit Union Network, Shire Housing association, Green City Wholefoods, Shettleston Community Enterprises.


EVENTS: BTCV training courses, Jan-March; UK Conference for social enterprise, Manchester, 25 Jan ; SCVO, ‘Employment Law’ half-day training course, Paisley, 27 Jan; ‘How to win contracts’, Forth Sector seminars, Feb-May, across Scotland; Argyll and Bute Enterprise Network meeting, Rothsay, 9 Feb; Access Europe 2005 exhibition, 22 Feb, Edinburgh; Sustainable Communities conference, 15 March, Edinburgh.


School for Social Entrepreneurs – Fife, is holding an Information day this Monday, 24 Jan.



News of an initiative in Dumfries and Galloway: Business Assistance for Social Enterprise (BASE). The main aim of the project is to provide a comprehensive package of business support to the region’s larger social enterprises. Two posts (Business Advisor and Development Advisor) have been created and are being hosted by WRDC (Enterprise Trust) Ltd. ( Chick McKenna also informs us that Dumfries and Galloway Council is providing funding support to 3 social enterprises in the area and are also supporting the development of a new social enterprise linked to Kirkconnell Parish Heritage Society. D&G Council is also in discussions with McSence re a Social Enterprise Park in the region. For further info’, contact Chick McKenna –



Fife Council intends to deploy 2 staff to work with DTA Scotland to establish Development Trusts in some of the most deprived communities in Fife. Contact Angus Hardie,



Early last year the bulletin profiled the work of Unity Enterprises and their social enterprises. This week we focus on one of these enterprises – Travel Options. Travel Options, located in the Trongate in Glasgow, was set up in 1993 to provide training for people with disabilities. As well as being a first class professional travel agency, Travel Options also provides a specialised service for disabled people.  They are currently promoting a new ‘partnership agreement’ within the sector whereby 5% of commission generated on any holiday booked will be channelled back to the charitable organisation of your choosing. For further info’, see



Emma Hutton (Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition) reports on recent developments on the procurement front. Emma has met with the Scottish Parliaments Senior Purchasing Officer to discuss opening up their business to social enterprises. Among the actions agreed were encouraging social enterprises (who are interested and ready to do business) to register on the SPCB’s database and also a ‘Meet the buyer’ event to be held in March. For more info’, see



‘Newly Born Twins’ by Helen Farish.

(In separate incubators one of the twins was dying.  Against doctor’s orders, a nurse puts them together)

‘The strong twin, the one with nothing pulling her back, she slung her newly born arm over the one who was wanting to leave and stabilised her heartbeat, made everything regular in the body of the one who’d already had enough. The strong one, she will think she is God, that she can pull back life from where it was wanting to go.  It will be harder for her than the one who already knows about separation, loneliness, where they can make you want to go’.


That’s all for this week – good luck with your adventures.  


Best wishes,



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