Senscot Bulletin 22-08-2003



Dear members and friends,


Sunday I go to a close friend’s family christening in
Belfast.  Over and back – same day – no
delays – no turbulence – less hassle than the Edinburgh/Glasgow shuttle.  Driving from Belfast airport to Lisburn,
place names evoke memories of past troubles. 
One feels that here is a fiercer order of things – yet the people seem
more gentle and gracious than we Scots. 
In St Patrick’s church young priest does five babies in one cheery
ceremony.  Our wee sprog is the bonniest
and best behaved.  Walk two streets to
the Hibernian Hall for the party.  In
this majority Protestant community the original hall was torched – rebuilt
without windows – the approach is bleak but inside it’s like a good miners
social club – kitted out for serious fun – bar, cabaret etc.  Since being on the wagon, I try to avoid
alcoholic gatherings – and our group, mainly women in gladrags and hairdos –
have the look of a heavy session about them. 
I grit my teeth for a long afternoon. 
But the lights dim and some great music starts.  Singers come and go – real talent – no
sectarian nonsense.  My favourite is a
60 year old Kenny Rogers look-a-like who does Country & Western and 60s
hits.  I start singing along and I think
my Roy Orbison stuff attracts some admiring looks from the older ones. 

            When I get
home Anne tells me Hibs beat the Jambos in injury time – ya beauty!  Watch the winning goal eight times – later
rummage in junk box – on the off chance – ya beauty!  Old tape of Roy Orbison hits. 
“I’m goin’ back some day, I’m gonna stay in Blue Bayou.”



Mark Batho, whom many of us think did a good job as Head of
Social Justice Group at Victoria Quay, has moved over to head up the Lifelong
Learning Group.  He writes, “My
successor in social justice will be announced in due course.  Until then Kay Barton, Neville Mackay and
Yvonne Strachan will ensure that there is no break in the services we
provide.”  After the hols, quite a few
of our colleagues in Scotland’s Social Enterprise sector will be on the
move.  Martin Meteyard (Scottish Co-op)
is going half-time freelance.  Karen
McLean (Social Firms Scotland) is going freelance.  Colin Campbell – formerly with CEL is joining Senscot part-time
to develop our network in coalfield areas. 
Lorna Campbell ( CAN Highlands & Islands) will also mix freelance
and some work with CAN.  Good luck



Scotland UnLTD, which provides finance and other forms of
support to social entrepreneurs, has recently matched their core funding with
ESF finance.  The new money will be
targeted at the creation of a small number of new, high impact social
enterprises.  The selected ventures will
be community owned – have high social impact – and have a real prospect of
revenue generation through trading activities. 
During Sept/Oct CEO Jim Bennett will welcome discussions with
individuals and informal groups with ideas for ventures which fit these
criteria.  Awards will be up to £20,000
for year 1 with the prospect of further support in years 2 and 3.  A full package of support is on offer.



One of the best ‘feelgood’ conferences of the year is the
Development Trusts Association annual bash, to be held this year in Plymouth
14-16 September.  Angus Hardie, DTA
Scotland’s new Director, informs us that a group is going down and that anyone
thinking of starting a DT may want to join them.  If you’re interested e-mail Angus (; info:



Tracey Muirhead who runs the school for Social Entrepreneurs
at BRAG Enterprises in Fife has invited us to a networking seminar to promote
social entrepreneurship in Scotland. 
Speakers are, Wendy Alexander MSP and Ron Culley, head of Scottish
Enterprise Glasgow.  Tuesday 9th
September, 4-7pm in Glasgow.  Check with
Tracey for places – don’t just turn up.



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


JOBS: 38 vacancies, including posts at SCVO, Churches Action
for the Homeless, Youth Scotland, Create Ltd, Blake Stevenson, Pilton


EVENTS: SEDI training courses, Edinburgh, Sept-Nov;
Multi-faith forum, Edinburgh, Sept 17; Deadline, CERS grants for projects in
areas affected by past or present quarrying, Sept 10; Drake Music Project
Scotland open day, Sept 4; Environmental Justice and Ecological Debt Conf,
Edinburgh, Sept 27.


PUBLICATIONS: The Scottish Executive has launched a
consultation on the potential role of urban regeneration companies in Scotland
(see It seeks
potential expressions of interest.


Europe’s 300,000 co-operatives employ 2-3 million people and
provide services to 83.5 million members. 
The EU has created a new legal forum whereby they will be able to
exploit cross border opportunities within the internal market:


Primed for Growth report from NEF for the Home Office:


Civicus (global civil society news fortnightly round up)
current issue has a good piece on social entrepreneurs in global context.
Definitions & examples


For details on these and more:



This week’s bulletin profiles a rural Development Trust that
has raised over £600 000 over the last few years to fund a range of projects in
their area. The Strathfillan Community Development Trust (SCDT) was established
in 1997 and covers the villages of Crianlarich and Tyndrum. Since its
inception, the Trust has secured funding and a loan via the Charity Bank to set
up local projects that have included two community woodlands, building a
Playpark as well as opening their own office. In addition, the loan from the
Charity Bank allowed the Trust to turn four empty derelict houses into quality
homes rented to local people at affordable rents. The Trust has also been
instrumental in a nursery school being able to be established by the Council in
Crianlarich. Further info’:



We’ve started work on building the Senscot Directory of
Services to Social Enterprises.  We
reckon it will take until the end of October. 
Successful social enterprises are increasingly offering consultancy
services and we intend that our new Directory will accelerate this market.  You can enlist by completing the electronic
application form on our website:
There is no charge.



After so many years living here I consider myself to be well
connected in Edinburgh.  I was therefore
surprised that I couldn’t find a ticket to Tony Benn’s talk at the book
festival.  His growing popularity is
another indication of how our political leaders are missing the popular mood –
of how we are all increasingly looking outside the political system for the way
forward.  It’s difficult to think of one
conviction politician in Scotland with the ability to lead our country – and
this is a serious situation.  As we lose
faith in Scottish and UK politics many of us are switching our hope and energy
to world wide popular movements.  This
year 100,000 people turned up at the World Social Forum at Porto Alegre in
Brazil.  Have a look at their website (
– you will see an attempt to bring coherence to the thousands of initiatives
around the world that are trying to get beyond greed and selfishness to a
society based on fellowship rather than fear.


The Bhuddist activist, Sulak Sivaraksa picks up on this
thread in his collection of essays, “Seeds of Peace”, "Our goal is to
develop human beings with enough inner strength and moral courage to begin
restructuring the collective consciousness of society."


That’s all for this week. The network is growing.

Best wishes,



If you would like to receive this bulletin directly, e-mail

We now have a ‘pay page’ on our site. To give: