Dear members and friends,
My local café is the Hopetoun garden centre up on the main road – good coffee and home baking – a tranquil spot – popular with the auld yins. Yesterday – comfy in my corner with carrot cake and the Spectator – old guy wheeled in – looks like Parkinsons – my god – that could be Charlie ****. Charlie was a senior civil servant 15 years ago – a classic professional bureaucrat – mistrusted anyone with passion, with a cause – he could reduce all colours to grey. Slide my chair behind a palm tree – feeling guilty. But on the way out, he sees me – they come over – we chat about old times. Whereas I once found this man heavy going – today he’s different – I like him – he seems at peace – ready for what’s next. When we say goodbye I feel choked.
It`s still pretty cold for the end of May but the bedding plants at Hopetoun look pristine so I splash out – planted 3 dozen marigolds this afternoon. Keep thinking about old Charlie – folk for whom family is cause enough in their lives – who’s to say they’re wrong? But never to have known the stirring of the blood as the gauntlet is thrown down; long campaigns – surviving on almost nothing – moving forward anyway. And sometimes – when the miracle happens and the cause takes hold – never to have known the embrace of comrades in arms – as the fire sings through the trees.
(200 of these intros can be browsed here – http://www.senscot.net/index.php?W21ID=172)
Note from Scottish Government (attached) that it has begun its consultation on how to allocate funds to be collected from dormant bank accounts (DBA). This one off windfall of around £40m must not be allowed to just slide down the usual voluntary sector pipelines. Millions have already been committed over the next 3 years to modernise the CVS and volunteering networks – Scotland has enough Third Sector infrastructure without enough evidence that it reaches where it is most needed. One idea which is gaining support is that Development Trusts (Anchor Organisations) in 20 of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities – receive an endowment of £2m each to provide them with an income of £100k annually – independent of the political shenanigans of the local council. Now that would be community empowerment. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7239
The wrangling between Scottish Enterprise and COSLA about the budget for local regeneration chunters on. If I was Jack Perry at SE, I’d read the writing on the wall. If this administration wins the next election there probably won’t be no Scottish Enterprise. Rumblings from the Highlands just now suggest that everything’s going to go to strengthened local government. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7240
Another cracking column from Stephen Maxwell last week – about oil revenues from the North Sea. “Would it be unreasonable for Scottish civil society to demand that before the oil finally runs out a major Scottish based oil endowment – let’s call it a Scottish Global Foundation – should be created to fund Scottish civil society to provide benefits for future generations in Scotland and around the world?” http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7241
CREATE is the name of a UK wide campaign for a change in the benefit regulations to allow community organisations to pay claimants who do work for their community. CREATE wants the proposed ‘Community Allowance’ to have no influence on benefit entitlement. Senscot supports this campaign. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7253
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/index.php?W21ID=86&W21SUBID=0. This week:
JOBS: 20 vacancies, incl. posts with: Edinburgh Cyrenians, Visualise, SMILE Assistance Services, Andalus, Beulah Scotland, SMILE Assistance Services
EVENTS: 18 events Eat to the Beat 3, 6 Jun, Glasgow; Edinburgh Treefest and Woodmarket, 15 Jun, Edinburgh; Self Leadership Seminar with Karen Darke, 26 June, Edinburgh; Southside Festival, 28 Jun, Glasgow; Social Enterprise World Forum, 5 Sep, Edinburgh
NETWORK 1st: Colin writes: On Wednesday, I attended a dinner hosted by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) and the Coalition (SSEC), to launch the `Community of Business` booklet http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/publications.php. Folk from all sectors in Scotland heard John Swinney talk of the Government’s vision for people working together for the benefit of Scotland and its most disadvantaged communities. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=32
Two new members of staff for Senscot this week. Karina Rona joins us as an administrator, job sharing with Victoria, and Anna Roscoe is our new Network Development Officer and will be working alongside Colin. They can contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
DTA Scotland is holding its 5th Annual Conference – “In Business for Good” – next month in St. Andrews. Amongst the keynote speakers will be Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment. Places are filling up. Here’s the booking form etc http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7255
Charity Bank’s AGM this week saw the announcement of a new finance initiative – Asset Finance. The service, developed with support from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, is aimed at emerging social enterprises and enterprising charities that struggle to obtain finance from mainstream sources. See more,
Ministers in England, particularly Hazel Blears, are still making grandiose statements like ‘reinventing the way we govern’ in relation to their community empowerment bill – but the actual proposals only amount to tinkering. Last week, 3 new ‘rights for local communities’ were paraded: – a stronger say in spending decisions; a stronger claim to the transfer of unclaimed assets; a right to force a debate on local issues. It seems that these proposals are getting diluted with every new announcement. However, it`ll be interesting to see how Scottish Govt and COSLA`s Community Empowerment Action Plan will compare. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7256
Our old friend, Osbert Lancaster writes to us about an opportunity for young people concerned about climate change. ‘Climate Advocates’ (aged 18-35) is a programme being run by Footprint Consulting in partnership with the British Council. If you’re interested, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=7254
This week’s bulletin profiles New Start Highland (NSH) , a social enterprise based in Inverness but providing a service across the Highland area. Set up in 1999, NSH provides practical help to homeless people securing a tenancy. This includes starter packs, recycled second hand furniture and electrical and white goods. More recently, they have added a Job Club to their list of services as well as opening new premises in Lochaber. They generate around 80% of their income through contracts. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=7258
How is your heart? – by Charles Bukowski.
During my worst times- on the park benches – in the jails or living with bums – I always had this certain contentment – I wouldn’t call it happiness – it was more of an inner balance that settled for whatever was occurring and it helped in the factories and when relationships went wrong with the girls.
It helped through the wars and the hangovers – the backalley fights – the hospitals.
To awaken in a cheap room in a strange city and pull up the shade – this was the craziest kind of contentment – and to walk across the floor to an old dresser with a cracked mirror – see myself, ugly, grinning at it all.
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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