Dear members and friends,
When the sun appears on Monday, I follow the call of the wild – head for the John Muir Way outside North Berwick. The track is very pleasing – profusion of wild flowers – but I gradually become aware of digestive problems – something I’ve eaten? – better find a toilet. Quickly escalates into full blown emergency – dive into field of rape – drop my kegs – just in time; bit messy, but needs must – what a relief. Resume walk with no ill effects – arrive at splendid, near deserted beach – plod westward – all senses tuned to the natural world.
Solitary walking takes me out of myself – into somewhere bigger – a place where I realise I’m just one thing among many things; the sense that we are just one thing among many things. I reflect on something that Hilaire Belloc wrote: "The volume and depth and intensity of the world – is something that only those on foot will ever experience." Not sure what this means – but it feels true.
After two hours, I’m tired and very thirsty – head inland towards people. Enter golf clubhouse where I was once a kent face. Big bottle of chilled sparkling water – nectar. Four golfers I know slightly, wave me over – for some nostalgic small talk. One of them sniffs distastefully – bad smell – realise with embarrassment that it’s me – escape into fresh air. I left home today in answer to the call of nature – but not the kind which came. The call now is for a warm bath.
The Scottish SE Voluntary Code of Practice establishes the asset lock as a defining characteristic of social enterprise; in the USA, this is not the case – their definition encompasses businesses for private profit. See USA Social Enterprise Alliance definition, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12412 It is obviously important which definition is applied by Big Society Capital (BSC) – because it has £600m to invest. BSC makes it clear that its investment is for SEs which trade profitably – which can pay dividends and repay loans. If it does not already know – BSC will soon discover that the UK third sector has few such businesses. Many of us believe that this will lead to the adoption of the USA model of SE – where private profit is included. Do we really want to go there? Here Ronald Cohen, founding chair of BSC, explains to a USA audience what it’s about – scary! See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12416
Armando Iannucci (dad, Neapolitan – mum, Glaswegian) made a name skilfully satirising the establishment – but has now accepted a gong. Satire can be a potent political force – or simply a comedic style; a satirist who accepts honours from the establishment positions himself as court jester. The problem with wanting it all ways – you can end up with none. Ruth Wishart, who declined an honour, comments. https://senscot.net/?viewid=12404
From its emergence 15 years ago – I have always been very sceptical about Positive Psychology – Martin Seligman and that mob – peddling ‘positive visualisation’. But that’s not how happiness works for me; like the stoic, Seneca – I navigate through life by rehearsing worst case scenarios; nothing ever works out as bad as I imagine – so life is full of pleasant surprises. For people like us, Oliver Burkeman has now written a book called ‘Antidote: For People Who Cant Stand Positive Thinking.’ Here’s an edited extract, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12408
East Lothian, with a population of around 100,000, is considered to be relatively well off; but at a recent meeting in Haddington, its MP, Fiona McDonnell, claimed that an astonishing 12,000 families are living below the poverty line. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12402 The meeting announced plans to establish a food bank – emergency food supplies for those in acute need – in collaboration with the Trussell Trust – which has an ‘off the shelf’ food bank system. See,
Michael Darrington was, for 24 years, CEO of Greggs the Bakers – a public company; on retirement he founded ‘Pro-Business Against Greed’. Darrington wants to see Govt do much more to clamp down on excessive executive pay – which he says could be halved and still be generous. Like us, he sees gross inequality as deeply damaging for any society. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12405
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: Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Edinburgh University Students Association, Scottish Community Foundation, EVH Ltd, Faith in Community Scotland, Edinburgh Garden Partners, The Salvation Army
EVENTS: Living Balance Launch, 22 Jun; Village SOS Live in Scotland, 28 Jun; Researching Women’s History In Clydebank, 25 Jul; Getting to Grips with Social Accounting & Audit and Social Capital, 30 Aug;
TENDERS: Lomond Folk Festival 2012 Social and Economic Impact Project, Catering / Café services for Scottish Enterprise, Construction of The Gorebridge Community Hub and Provision of Specialist Grant Audit Services. For more details, see http://www.readyforbusiness.org
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: The 2nd national SE and Sport Conference took place yesterday at the Trades Halls in Glasgow. Over 100 delegates attended to hear a range of speakers that included Mark Sesnan (Greenwich Leisure) and Glenn Armstrong (Jesmond Pool, Newcastle). The event also saw the launch of the SE and Sport ‘Position Paper’, setting out a vision of a "dynamic and vibrant sports social enterprise community that is part of the fabric of our communities in Scotland…. and creating a supportive environment in Scotland in which sports social enterprises are able to flourish". See Position Paper, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12400 For more Networks News, see
Senscot is part of the ReadyforBusiness consortium that is delivering the Scottish Govt’s ‘Developing Markets’ Programme. A key part of this initiative is about ‘winning the hearts and minds’ of the public sector – showing them what the SE community and wider third sector can offer. One of our partners in the consortium, Social Value Lab, is compiling case studies designed to showcase where public sector agencies are engaging well with the sector, recognising added value, and are being creative in their approach to commissioning/contracting. If you have any examples, it would be a great help if you could take a few minutes to fill in attached survey. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12399
The Social Enterprise Academy held its 5th Social Enterprise in Schools Awards in Edinburgh. Since 2007, the Academy has supported over 400 primary, secondary and special needs schools to establish successful, trading social enterprises – all being run by pupils. Examples include community cafes, recycling bikes, uniforms and running events. Over 24,000 young people and 900 teachers have participated in real life enterprising and entrepreneurial learning. See more, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12407
Excellent piece in the current issue of Red Pepper about co-operatives – it’s by Robin Murray, author of ‘Co-operation in the age of Google’. He traces the history – the setbacks – the current state – and the new potential of the movement in the age of communication technology. Recommended reading. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12403
227 communities across the UK will be celebrating ‘Community Shops Fortnight’ from tomorrow (23rd) until 7th July. The initiative is being supported by the Plunkett Foundation. Check out if there’s one in your area. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12414
Also this week, Social Investment Scotland (SIS) launched its Social Impact Report. Over the last ten years, SIS has supported 107 organisations in 23 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities with loans of more than £11m.
See more, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12406
This week’s bulletin profiles a new enterprise in Shetland that is seeking, at a local level, to address the issues of climate change, rising food prices and diminishing supplies of cheap fuel. Transition Turriefield was established as a CIC in January 2011 and was initially supported through the Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund, administered by Firstport. They use a combination of permaculture techniques, hardy plant varieties, modern technology and good old traditional methods of farming – all geared to reducing the dependency on imported goods and making Shetland a more sustainable place to live.
Extract from ‘Kindness’ by Naomi Shihab Nye. I was at a funeral this week which brought to mind one of my very favourite poems; beautiful.
"Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you can see the size of the cloth. Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say it is I you have been looking for, and then it goes with you every where." See full poem, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12415
That’s all for this week.
Good luck with your adventures
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