Dear members and friends,
May 10 was my birthday – same as several friends – including Norrie, from my drinking days in Edinburgh’s Café Royal. He was a warm, sensitive man – one of the most passionate I have known – about his work (teaching) – about socialism – about Greek Philosophy – and about Hibs. He was unmarried – 10 years my junior – and drank too much – so when I chucked the drink 8 years ago, we lost touch. Last year, I heard Norrie was in a bad way – eventually traced him to a back street pub in Leith – where I got a shock.
“I found him in a terminal state of advanced alcoholism – hardly able to speak. He tried, but no words came out, or maybe there were no coherent thoughts to attach words to. But he turned his unnaturally bright eyes on me – confusion, gradually replaced by a kindly smile which lit up his face. There was a spiritual, `all bridges-burned` quality about him that I noticed and admired immediately. And the exceptional courtesy shown in that rough pub to this frail wreck of a man, suggested that everyone else saw it too.”
Norrie died last October – the humanist ceremony was well attended – his friend Roy paying tribute to his `passion for life`. I read somewhere that the Ancient Greeks didn’t write obituaries – and when someone died would ask only one question – whether the deceased had passion – which they considered an attribute of the Gods.
The passage above in quotes is lifted from Jeremy Clark`s column in the Spectator – couldn`t better it.
It’s 4 years since Senscot started campaigning for the creation of a UK Social Investment Bank – using dormant banks accounts – but progress has been painfully slow. We have long argued that, with Social Investment Scotland (SIS) already in place, Scotland is uniquely placed to progress this initiative and Craig Campbell, the new CEO of SIS, went public last week with a similar vision. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8143 A Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) would change mainstream banking and achieve more benefit for poor communities – but hey! why not do both? http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8162
Last week the UK Govt. held a ‘Social Enterprise Summit’ hosted by 4 Ministers who invited the 51 people listed below. 20 of the attendees were civil servants or the like and at least half of the remainder were intermediaries – leaving around a dozen trading enterprises. It’s a worrying feature of any social movement when 75% of the people shaping policy are not operating at the front line. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8157
In England, one of the performance indicators for local govt. is ‘‘to create an environment for a thriving Third Sector’’ – but the largest ever survey of their sector has revealed that only 16% of organisations believe this is working satisfactorily. As we in Scotland move towards our ‘single interface strategy’, it would be helpful if we had such a baseline study – from which to judge progress. Interesting to read Scottish Govt’s current programme of Third Sector Research – particularly what they call ‘localism’ – by which they seem to mean community planning. To most people, `local` refers to activity at community level. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8158
Old time community workers like me remember the Community Programme – how during the 1980s, with creative tweaking, it brought great benefits to communities. If I was still ‘out there’, I’d be taking a good look at the govt’s new Future Jobs Fund due to start in October – 15,000 places for Scotland to engage with youngsters. If they steer it all though local Councils it will stifle ‘creativity’ – but SCVO is assembling a Third Sector coalition to bid for half the Scottish allocation. We’ll monitor this development. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8156
Bulletin reader Majka Kozlowska sends an excellent article about Polish immigration to Scotland – with an interesting ‘take’ on how the proliferation of small business is challenging the Tescopoly of our High Streets – how small shops build social capital. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8159
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but submit jobs and events and we’ll post them on our site. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php. This week:
JOBS: incl. posts with Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights, Childline in Scotland, Depression Alliance Scotland, Barnardo’s Scotland, Dr. Bell’s Family Centre, Stepping Stones for Families, Forth Sector, Midlothian Sure Start, Simpson House Counselling, SACRO, Greater Glasgow NHS Trust
EVENTS: Social Capital and Community Resilience, New Lanark, 4 June; Peas vs. Pills Health Workshop, Edinburgh, 6 June; CIC Forum, SSEC, 3 Jun; Banking, regulation and the public interest, University of Glasgow, 4 Jun;
NETWORKS NEWS: Colin writes: LSEN members are invited to an important event at Hampden Park next week. Supporting Voluntary Action (SVS) is hosting a conference on the Third Sector Single Interface. The event is geared towards intermediary, community/voluntary orgs and social enterprises. For more on this and other Networks News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=90
Over 70 organisations have responded to our electronic survey on the feasibility of establishing a Legal Practice as a social enterprise. We’re now moving onto the next phase of the study and hope to have a report available early in June. Thanks to everyone who has contributed. Here’s a sample of some of the comments received. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8160
Paul Hawkin is a renowned environmental activist who on 3rd May gave this commencement address at the University of Portland, Oregon. I found his text truly inspirational – fair lifted my spirits: “This is the largest movement the world has ever seen…” https://senscot.net/?viewid=8161
Get your skates on if you want to book a place at Assist Social Capital’s International Conference at New Lanark on 4th June – many Senscot `regulars` attend this gathering. See details, http://www.social-capital.net/showart.php?articleid=1 Interesting article this week by Matthew Taylor (CEO of RSA and adviser to Tony Blair) on the growing interest in the role social capital plays in making communities stronger and more resourceful. See more, https://senscot.net/networks1st/shownotice.php?articleid=48
Places are still available for the Social Enterprise Mark events in Glasgow and Aberdeen next month. The Glasgow event is on 11th June in the Wise Group’s offices at 72 Charlotte Street (2 pm – 4 pm) and, the Aberdeen event will be held on 17th June at Aberdeen Foyer’s Marywell Training &Conference Centre in Marywell Street, Aberdeen (2 pm – 4 pm). To book a place, contact email@example.com.
This week’s bulletin profiles a social enterprise and music promotions company aimed primarily at meeting the needs of young musicians. YRock runs schools and community projects for young people which encourage enterprise education through music. Founded in 2007, YRock is also involved in running gigs across the UK whilst providing online reviews, support, and feedback via their website. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=8155
Scotland is well served by its community of writers – and our writers are well served by the Scottish Review of Books. This is a snippet from an interview with Janice Galloway in the current issue.
‘‘Childhood is where you make sense from. The first four years are the ones that matter. They colour your entire life no matter what you end up doing with it. That’s where you find out why you’ve ended up in the job you’re doing. Where you find out you’re depressive, why you have insomnia, why you don’t want to have children, why you do want to have children – the whole thing is there, sub-merged, waiting to be found if you look deep enough. It’ll surface despite you even if you don’t. The whole repository of how you interpret the world is there in childhood.’’
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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