Senscot Bulletin: 24-09-2004



Dear members and friends,


Last Thursday, Friday, Saturday, attended two funerals and a wedding – heavy going. Sunday escaped here to Spain for week. Best weather I can recall – full heat without ferocity. Just flop about – reading and dozing – but new books I brought are all crap. Increasingly prefer to revisit books I already know. Found copy of Hemingway’s ‘Old Man and the Sea’ – beautifully crafted fable of the human spirit. The old man’s recurrent dream of the beautiful lions playing on the sea shore at dusk. Soul Food.

Yesterday – another spectacular day – strong urge to walk. Set off at 10 – hat, T-shirt, shorts, flip-flops. Trudge for 5 hours through sweet smelling country lanes. Cover 10 kms. Power of sunlight to heal heart and soul. After a while sandals chafe my feet – switch them – changes pressure points. Look like Charlie Chaplin – but it works. By 3pm I’m very tired –very hungry – very mellow. Enter roadside taverna – delicious smells. Large family scoffing huge pot of stew – lentils – beans – bits of meat and sausages. That’s for me.

Waiter explains – its called Fabada – but not on menu – private meal for owner and family. Must have it! “With much respect to the padrone and his family – would you ask if I could possibly share the beautiful Fabada.” He goes to ask but the owner looks crabbit – then wife joins in – noisy family discussion. “Is okay,” waiter smiles – “Fabada for you – but with much respect to you, yourself, caballero- the wife of the padrone asks why you wear your zapatos on wrong foots.” Smiles all round. Fabada is fabby.



Local social enterprise networks are mushrooming around the country, and there is a series of network meetings in coming weeks. Senscot is happy to assist this activity as long as the ownership and leadership of the networks remain local. CESEL in the Borders meets at St Boswells on 13th October.  Meanwhile, a meeting open to all social enterprises based in Aberdeen City, takes place on 2nd November, at Instant Neighbour. Coming up, Peter Walker at Maybole Resource Centre is set to host the first meeting of an Ayrshire Social Enterprise Network in mid-November, while the Fife Social Enterprise Network is currently organising their third meeting. Anyone interested in attending any of these events or in developing their own local social enterprise network can email



Andy Milne (SURF) writes to remind us of SURF’s 2004 Awards for Best Practice. This is the 6th year that SURF has organised awards for best practice in regeneration. This year’s awards are being organised again in partnership with the Scottish Centre for Regeneration. All of the awards are open to any project or initiative taking place in Scotland. Award entry categories are People, Place and Partnership. One winner and one commendation will be presented in each category. Closing Date for entries is 12noon on Thursday 30th September 2004. Further info:



Last week, we received correspondence from the Kirkmichael and Tomintoul Community Association raising concerns about the progress of their proposed Combined Heat and Power Initiative. Although they have the support of the local community, the Cairngorms Partnership and Moray Council, backed up by a robust business plan, they are finding difficulty in winning similar support from their Local Enterprise Company. With a proposal that appears to offer significant social, economic and environmental impacts,  as well as having widespread support, they are perplexed by the Enterprise Company’s reticence. Anyone got any advice/ideas for them. (




Senscot is hosting a Seminar with Ernesto Sirolli, renowned ‘enterprise facilitator’, on Friday 1st October at the Friends Meeting Room, Edinburgh, 7 Victoria Terrace 1-5pm. Provisional list of attendees is here: ( If you want to attend, e-mail





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: 59 vacancies, incl: One Plus. CVS Fife, Dyslexia Scotwest, Fairbridge, Youthlink Scotland, Bridgeton Community Learning Campus.


EVENTS: CRNS ‘More Than Furniture’ conference, Bellshill, 29 & 30 Sept; Social Investment Scotland and Community Enterprise Limited present SEED fund seminars in Lothians, Fife, and Forth Valley throughout October; Scottish Waste Management Conference, Exhibition and Awards Dinner, Glasgow, 5-6 Oct; Strategic Campaigning, Edinburgh, 12-13 Oct; CAVOC Training (various); SEDI, Community Benefit through Public Procurement, 19 Oct; Developing Social Enterprise, 21 Oct; Golden Bear Trust annual fundraising Ceilidh, Edinburgh, 23 Oct; CHE, Facilitation Skills Course, Linlithgow, 29-31 Oct.


For details on these and more, visit ‘Yellow pages’ at:  



Global Ideas Bank has just launched a new project – the UnLtd Ideas Bank – in association with UnLtd. This project has been created to provide a place where UK social inventors can post up their creative ideas, inventive suggestions and innovative projects. The site came about because UnLtd wants to become involved in idea generation, and because the Global Ideas Bank want to encourage more ideas to come to fruition. Every idea submitted to the UnLtd Ideas Bank also gets placed in duplicate in the main Global Ideas Bank, so the ideas still reach a worldwide audience of people with advice, suggestions and opinions. Click here



Martin Jacques from the London school of Economics wrote a piece in last Saturday’s Guardian abut why we are not as happy as we used to be. He argues that our sense of wellbeing rests on intimacy – and that intimacy is in decline. “The decline of the settled community and the rise of the media society has desensitised us as human beings. We have become less intimate with the most fundamental emotions, without which we cannot understand the meaning of life. Stripped of meaning, life becomes shopping”




‘Of course I’m scared of heights! I don’t like climbing tall buildings anymore than you would. But I get up there. I slowly get used to it. And the fear eventually goes.’ Harold Lloyd, daredevil comic filmstar.



This week’s bulletin revisits an organisation, profiled early this year, as they launch their latest social enterprise. STIRgrafik is part of the STIRnetwork group of social enterprises that are based on the same template model, aimed at rethinking business. They are composed of mixed teams of volunteers and paid staff, drawn from a wide range of society. STIRgrafik is a developing social enterprise that is offering design solutions from websites, logos and business cards to photography and advertising support, and can call on the services of a dedicated team with a wide range of skills in the graphic and web design fields. The idea is to offer a quality design and multi-media service at affordable rates and with flexible packages tailored to the individual client.) For further info’, see the ‘Profiles’ section of our site:   



Toni Morrison, the African American Nobel Prize-winning writer, gave a rare interview in Edinburgh recently – saying some forthright things about the USA and the new rise of racism. “If Bush wins, the dread will move on to another level.” I particularly liked her understanding of ‘success’. At 75 she allows that she has done good work but she does not feel a success. “But, for me, success is not a public thing. It’s a private thing. It’s when you have fewer and fewer regrets”. (  


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

Best wishes,



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