Dear members and friends,
The place where I live – was, for many centuries, a monastic settlement, a place of pilgrimage;
Visitors today often say it’s a ‘thin place’ – suggesting that the normal boundary between the physical and spiritual worlds is flimsy here – permeable. The effects of trauma can pass down through several generations of a family; so why should we doubt that places also can carry the imprint of their history. The native American Apache people have a proverb: ‘wisdom sits in places’ (I believe in lots of stuff I don’t understand).
Although he seems agnostic about ‘the Creator’ – the Scottish writer John Burnside offers glimpses of angels and ghosts in his writings. They keep their distance, his spirits, presume to neither torment nor comfort us; but they suggest other worlds – other ways of being, beyond the normal reach of our senses. Young children seem more at home in ‘other worlds’ – know how easily we can summon monsters – find hidden treasure; They’re more in touch with the shared memory of our race.
To be human, is to find ourselves thrown into a world with no clear logical or moral structure. A childhood of terrifying dependence; the awareness of being helpless – out of place – lost – and yet somehow miraculous. The adult brain – like a ‘reducing’ valve – limits out perceptions to only those useful for our survival; thus we construct some kind of intelligible order – to cling to. But thankfully, there are still poets and children – to speak of incomprehensible things.
This week, the Scottish Govt’s (3 person) Land Reform Review Group, published its interim report; if, like myself, you expected indications of serious intent – to change Scotland’s feudal patterns of ownership – you will be disappointed. Those of us who support radical reform – appreciate the rigorous research and analysis of campaigner, Andy Wightman’s reposts. Here’s an excellent guest blog from John Bryden, http://www.andywightman.com/ . The arrival of the report was almost overshadowed by the resignation of the group’s second expert, Sarah Skerrat. Both she and Jim Hunter gave personal reasons for their departure – but inevitably there is speculation that they became frustrated by government resistance to a more radical path. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13635
If I’d happened to be in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh last week – I’d have joined the heckling of Nigel Farage. I hope I’ll never call anyone ‘scum’ – but, being descended from immigrants, I would have shouted – made it clear that UKIP is not welcome here. I enjoyed this piece by Douglas Marr in the Scottish Review in which he laments the disappearance of protesting students. "Being young is the time to be angry and idealistic – to challenge the establishment". He asks why students don’t seem to care anymore. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13633
The effect of local government cutbacks was highlighted in Edinburgh last week – by the news that a much loved social enterprise is to lose its core funding. The Engine Shed – operated for 20 years by Garvald – is a sheltered workplace for young people with learning difficulties; it provides a high quality restaurant and bakery. If you’re an Inspector Rebus fan (as I am) you might remember that Ian Rankin has Rebus eat there. Rankin said this week: "Garvald is a terrific organisation – and this facility an important part of the community." See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13631
Last week at the Charity Law Conference in London there was an ‘animated’ discussion about the relationship between charities and SEs. Apparently charities are being told that they have a better chance of attracting investment if they brand as SEs – and there is some resentment of this trend. Inevitably, the lack of an ‘official’ definition of SE came up. Speakers said that this matter had the active attention of both the UK and Europe parliaments. On this one I trust Europe more; elements in Westminster wants SE to include businesses for private profit. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13632
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: Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, East Ayrshire Women’s Aid, With Kids, One World Shop, Pollokshaws Community Project, Impact Arts, Voluntary Action Fund, Food Train
EVENTS: Heavenly Blue Notes, 25 May; Open Grip 2, 26 May; Health, social care and the wellbeing of older people in Scotland, 5 Jun; This Is Who We Are, 6 Jun;
TENDERS: Provision of a Cycle to Work Salary Sacrifice Scheme in Fife and Provision of Landscape Management Services in North Ayrshire. For more details, see www.readyforbusiness.org.
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: This week Senscot has published a new batch of Health and Social Enterprise Case Studies. The case studies highlight examples of Health SEN members who are working in partnership with the NHS to deliver community led health initiatives. Each social enterprise represents and/or responds to their local community using an asset-based approach. See case studies, www.se-networks.net/downloads/Health_Case_Studies_May_2013.pdf For more Networks News, see http://se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=293
Scottish Govt has announced – through the Public Contracts Scotland portal – that Foundation Scotland has won the contract to manage/administer the next Enterprising Third Sector Growth and Sustainability Fund. Our understanding is that Foundation Scotland leads a consortium that includes CEiS and Social Value Lab. The Fund will distribute £6m between 2013-15. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13636
In March, the first of four ‘Comrie Conversations’ took place on the theme of independence for Scotland – over 100 folk turned out. The second ‘Comrie Conversation’ has now been scheduled for 28th May and will see Alf Young and Carol Craig talk respectively on ‘what next for the Scottish economy’ and ‘The Scots’ crisis of confidence’. If you fancy going along, see http://www.senscot.net/docs/ComrieConversations.pdf
The Social Enterprise Academy heard, this week, that they were the sole Scottish winners in the RBS Youth Enterprise Awards. Their project ‘Social Enterprise Futures’ will give 100 college students and school pupils a learning and development opportunity, including support to start up their own social enterprise. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13629
Barry Ayre steps down as Chair of Firstport this summer. In recognition of his contribution over the years, Firstport is establishing the ‘Founders Fund’ – and looking to raise £3k through crowd-funding. To support this initiative, see https://senscot.net/?viewid=13640
The 6th international Summer School on Social Banking takes place at Filzback, Switzerland, 14-19th July on the broad topic Come Together: Social Banking & The Commons. How can social banking encourage and support initiatives and business ventures which cultivate our common, shared responsibility for the land, air, water and soil, the services we need like healthcare and learning, the real places we live, the structures we design and the cyber-spaces where we share information. More information from https://senscot.net/?viewid=13628
Nesta has produced a new online directory of crowd-funding platforms in the UK. CrowdingIn (http://www.crowdingin.com/) went ‘live’ this week and includes details on 31 platforms available to people and organisations looking for funding. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13630
This week’s bulletin profiles a social enterprise in Edinburgh set up by Health in Mind – the specialist charity that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing in Scotland. Resolve, based in the city centre, offers personalised solutions for dealing with stress and life’s challenges. It works closely with individuals and businesses to identify their needs and to deliver a tailored wellbeing package. They have a small team of highly qualified staff that provides solutions to a wide range of issues from stress in the workplace to a breakdown in family relationships. Resolve is a member of both the Edinburgh and Health SENs. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=13638
C G Jung argued that modern life must be enriched by an awareness of dreams, an appreciation of myth, and a sense of mystery: "We are very far from having finished completely with the Middle Ages, classical antiquity, and primitivity, as our modern psyches pretend… But it is precisely the loss of connection with the past, our uprootedness, which has given rise to the "discontents" of civilization. Unfortunately, the mythic side of humankind is given short shrift nowadays. We can no longer create fables. As a result, a great deal escapes us; for it is important and salutary to speak also of incomprehensible things. The more critical reason dominates, the more impoverished life becomes; but the more of the unconscious, the more of myth we are capable of making conscious, the more of life we integrate".
That’s all for this week.
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Senscot is a Company, registered in Scotland. Company Reg No. 278156: Scottish Charity No. SC 029210