Senscot Bulletin: 23.04.10

Dear members and friends,


I enjoy the Darling Buds of May – Pop and Ma Larkin and their happy brood – free spirits – the warmth and exuberance of family life at Home Farm. Romantic nonsense, of course, but it beautifully evokes the optimism of post war Britain in the 1950s – when rationing ended – the welfare state was created –people had large families – and I was a teenager. My own extended family was a major influence then – tribal gatherings were frequent and important – joyful celebrations of our Italian heritage – stories, traditions, songs and, always, glorious food. It’s sad how little I appreciated the value of belonging to all that – so impatient to get away.
Mary Warnock – that wise and venerable philosopher – wrote a piece in Sunday’s Observer, saying that too many of us are now too old (she’s 86). She’s grateful for the closeness of her family – but couldn’t contemplate dependence on her children. She identifies ‘an enormous, unresolved problem’ in our society in the relation between the very old and their children – includes herself – doesn’t know what will happen to her. For myself, I’m going to cling to my wee pad and garden – some purposeful work for as long as possible – after that, I’m not too bothered.
There is a popular Italian toast – “Cento Anni” – wishing ourselves and our friends 100 years of life. That might be okay for the Larkins at Home Farm, but, in the real world, I think we should be careful what we wish for. 


“ There are only two powers in our country: the state and the marketplace. All other sources of independent, autonomous power have been crushed”. This is the basic thesis of Philip Blond`s book Red Tory (which I’m reading). It’s easy to trace David Cameron’s `Big Society` thinking to Blond`s ideas – and it’s easy to agree with both their aspirations to restore the economic and political power of civil society. When, however, it comes to practical policies the whole thing becomes a bit thin and intangible – which is not to say it shouldn’t happen. If Cameron forms the next UK Government, I’ll enjoy the unfolding of this whole agenda. Roy Hattersley`s review of the book for New Statesman stays with Labour’s Big State approach.


The Scottish Living Wage campaign asks employers to agree to pay all their workers not less than the Scottish living wage which is currently set at £7.00 per hour. The campaign is led by the Poverty Alliance and you can learn more about it here,  Campaigners have hailed the recent deal between the Unite Union and ‘EVH: supporting social employers’ which brings 2000 staff in over 100 Scottish Housing Associations into the Campaign. Senscot joined up this week. 


The Scottish academic and writer Christopher Harvie has written a book called ‘Broonland: the last days of Gordon Brown’ (Verso £8.99) which I’m going to get. I have long pondered what Gordon Brown believes – where he really comes from politically – and this short interview with Harvie suggests he knows the man. He says Brown was swept up in the triumphalism of various authoritarian capitalist ideologies in America – a sucker for supermarket capitalism. This would explain his reverence for bankers and rich people.

Covid-19 Resources



Senscot is creating a subsidiary company to provide legal services to Scotland’s third sector. It is our intention that this will evolve into a specialist centre of legal expertise to support the development of the social enterprise movement in Scotland. Perhaps more than any of our previous ventures, the success of Senscot Legal Services will depend on the person we recruit to establish and run the business. Recruitment has commenced. 


NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but submit jobs and events and we’ll post them on our site. See This week:  
JOBS: Rosemount Lifelong Learning, The Safety Zone Community Project, Depression Alliance Scotland, Almond Enterprises Ltd, Church of Scotland, Glenrothes YMCA-YWCA, The Scottish Government, ECLIPSE (East Lothian Counselling in Primary Care Service), Stirling Women’s Aid
EVENTS: Some Like it Too Hot – How Leith’s houses are leaking heat, 24 Apr; Basics of Being an Employer, 29 Apr; Power-UP (Planning, the law and your rights), 9 May; Maximising Participation, 13 May; Exploring Sustainable Living, 28 May


NETWORKS NEWS: Colin writes: Attended the 5th S2S Trade Fair, hosted by our Coalition at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh on Wednesday. The event is getting better year on year with a really good buzz and lots of new faces. Our highlight was the launch of a new thematic Network – the Youth SEN – following a very lively workshop. We also participated in the `Pitch to the Panel`- a mini dragons` den hosted by Firstport. The winners were two16 year olds from Glasgow – Kayleigh Burrowes and Shona Thomson. They plan to re-launch a new Youth café, The Munch Box, in the Blairtunnock area of Easterhouse. Kayleigh and Shona`s prize was £500 start-up costs from Firstport plus an i-Phone, kindly donated by Alloa Community Enterprises. For more Networks News, see 


There was a lot of interest in last week’s report, ‘Contracts, SLAs, Grants – Understanding the Differences’. The report was jointly commissioned by HIE and Senscot and carried out by The Pool in Scotland and MacRoberts LLP. We have tried to shed some light on this complicated issue and the report looks at the definitions, why they are important and the legal and other implications of using these different types of financial arrangements. The full report can be downloaded from our homepage as well as HIE`s website. Here`s the Executive Summary, 


Scotland’s first cultural social enterprise conference takes place at The Lighthouse, Glasgow on Wednesday 26th May. ‘Creating a Difference: Introduction to Cultural Social Enterprise’ is being hosted by Senscot in partnership with the Scottish Arts Council and aims to raise awareness of social enterprise amongst cultural organisations. Keynote speakers include Sergio Lopez Figueroa (founder of the Big Bang Lab in London) and Derek Marshall (Factory Skatepark, Dundee). The event is FREE.If you`d like to book a place, contact Victoria Pearce at  Flyer and booking form available next week.


Last week’s bulletin featured Triodos` questionnaire looking for your views on whether your bank is providing your organisation with the services you want. There is a perception that despite the events of the last 18 months, little has changed in the way Banks are operating. The deadline for responses is Wednesday 28 April. Three respondents will win a hamper of Fair Trade goods. See more, Triodos also picked up the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise this week. See more, 


This week’s bulletin profiles a Leith-based social enterprise that specializes in delivering a unique work-based mentoring model. Working Rite sets up projects matching up youngsters with local employers to give them real work experience and a rite of passage into the world of work and adulthood. Such has been their success that they have now set up similar projects in Glasgow, Dundee, Perth as well as the north of England. They will shortly be recruiting a Chief Operating Officer to explore new opportunities for growth. For more, see 


One of my favourite passages from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. 


“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. 
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”


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


Best wishes,




Subscribe to this bulletin:


To unsubscribe or change subscription address/ e-mail