Senscot Bulletin: 25.05.12

Dear members and friends,

Marvellous atmosphere at Hampden on Saturday; at half time Hibs were still in it – but 5 minutes after the break its 4-1 – all over – I walk out in a daze. Sitting on low wall outside stadium – watching the sad faces of Hibs fans – their stoical resignation makes me angry – it doesn’t have to be like this!
 They say Tom Farmer ‘saved’ Hibs – but under his stewardship the club has declined beyond recognition.  I feel particularly sad about the next generation – the youngsters who have only ever seen this tripe.  It’s not Farmer’s fault that he doesn’t enjoy football – but he should have handed the club on to people with a passion for the game – and for our great club; this is not like owning any other business.  The German’s have got it right – the main asset of any football club is its ‘fan base’; a condition of membership of the Bundesliga is that a controlling interest of shares (51%) must remain in the ownership of fans.  This ‘community lock’ formalises what we all know – that football clubs carry the dreams of communities – not to be ‘bought and sold’.
 Share a taxi to Queens St – catch 4.45 shuttle to Edinburgh.  Opposite Haymarket station is my favourite Italian restaurant (La Bruschetta).  As I pass, Hamish and June arrive with 3 of the grand weans – warm greetings – invited to join them.  Great meal – talking mostly with the gorgeous Sophy – about the vicissitudes of being six; loved it – not one mention of football. See,

The Scottish Community Alliance (SCA) and Lesley Riddoch are planning to join forces – to take a ‘Referendum Roadshow’ around the country.  Their aim is to enable ordinary non-aligned citizens to voice their concerns – to articulate the obstacles which Scottish communities face.  Lesley says: "I would like the referendum process to open up hitherto taboo subjects like land reform, centralisation, the enduring power of the establishment, Glasgow’s sub East European health outcomes, the scandal of Europe’s most expensive heating in its most energy-rich country, and the need to fund Early Years Care big-time and fast". Angus Hardie, Director of SCA, told Senscot, "We want the Referendum Roadshow to take the debate and the issues away from the politicians by giving local people an opportunity to explore what the options could really mean for them and their communities".  Lesley wrote about the Roadshow idea in See,

Lauren Scott – an associate with Morton Fraser solicitors – has penned a description of social impact bonds (SIBs) – as simple and clear as anything I’ve read.  SIBs are a way for the public sector to ‘forward fund’ social programmes – and as such have much in common with the notorious PFI ‘rip off’ mechanisms.  Top-end legal firms must be licking their lips for another dripping roast.  I’m one of those old fashioned people who think it’s morally offensive to seek to profit from the misery of others. See,

On a similar theme – interesting piece from Daniela Barone Soares, CEO of the Impetus Trust – who is also a member of the Big Society Capital (BSC) Advisory Board.  Like Senscot she is very doubtful that there are sufficient numbers of SEs which are investment ready as BSC defines it – that this would take years of capacity building.  I take a more paranoid view – that BSC knows exactly what it’s doing; social programmes delivered for profit – funded for profit – ‘a new asset class’. When the third sector rejects these mechanisms (hopefully) because they undermine our core values – BSC will move to privatise this space. See,

Land campaigner Andy Wightman, told us all years ago that what was the Waverly Market – now Princes Mall – is on common good land; a detail which Edinburgh District Council chose to ignore in their dealings with developer David Murray.  Andy never gave up on this one – and with the help of the Green Party – has prevailed on Scottish Government to amend the appropriate legislation.  Visit Andy’s common good site,

NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See  This week:
JOBS: Ullapool Community Trust, Edinburgh University Students’ Association, miEnterprise Lothian, Isle of Cumbrae Initiative Community Company, Ladywood Leisure Centre, Grassmarket Community Project,
EVENTS: Creating Enterprise to enable Social Benefit, 29 May; Finance Training for the Third Sector, 31 May; Business Development Workshops, 31 May; SROI Practitioner Training, 14 Jun;
TENDERS: Provision of Catering services at Woodhill House & Gordon House in Aberdeen, Furniture and Soft Furnishings for Care Home – Aberdeenshire, Direct Meal Service in Edinburgh and Work Experience and Employer Engagement Service in Ayrshire. For more details, see

NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: It has been a while since Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) or Voluntary Action Scotland (VAS) featured in Networks 1st but we’re glad to be able to change that this week. As TSIs enter their second year of operation, we can report that 8 SENs are now partners, with others actively engaged. A reflection of the progress being made is that Derek Marshall (Chair of Dundee SEN) has now been invited to join the VAS Board. He makes his debut at the end of June. Ahead of that, we’ll be hosting a Network Reps meeting; giving Derek the opportunity to hear from other SENs on news or progress made over recent months. For more Networks News, see

This Monday (28th) is the closing date for applications to the SSE/Lloyds Social Entrepreneurs Programme. 17 places are available on the Scottish Programme – being run in Edinburgh – and starts in October 2012. See details, Another deadline is looming with the closing date for Firstport’s Level 2 awards set for next Friday, 1st June. See details,

Good week for the Federation of City Farms and Gardens (FCFG). As well as receiving a three year funding package from Scottish Govt, they have also launched their new website – – which brings together, on a single site, all the organisations and ‘grow your own’ resources available in Scotland. FCFG, a member of the Scottish Community Alliance, provides training, advice and information to over 120 community farms and gardens in Scotland. See,

Senscot hosts five main events each year – two of them next month. First up is the 6th ‘Fit for Purpose: SE and Health Conference’ at Teachers Building in Glasgow, 14th June. See programme and booking, The following week (21st June) in the Trades Hall, Glasgow, the 2nd national ‘SE and Sport Conference’ takes place. Again, for programme and booking, see . There are some places still available for each event – both of which are free.

This week’s bulletin profiles Counter Culture, a new social enterprise, based in Edinburgh, that is currently developing a campaign to increase awareness and understanding of social enterprise within the private sector. The mission of Counter Culture’s campaign, "make a profit + make a difference", is to develop 100 of Scotland’s best social enterprise ‘success stories’; support the development of 50 new social enterprises; and increase engagement between private sector and social enterprise by 50% by 2015.
For more, see

I’ve subscribed to a website called Daily Good – I get an email every day promoting positive uplifting news and comments from around the world.  It’s run by volunteers and has 100 thousand subscribers.  Only problem is that it’s American – some of the stuff is a bit mushy for Scotland.  This is the intro to a recent piece.
"For years, I’ve wrestled with living the ‘less-is-more’ life in a world that seems to be busting at its seams – in every way – financially, physically, psychologically. There’s a need, it seems, to acquire and expand. And it’s not just in our personal and material lives. Start-ups want to scale – that’s the most critical stage for them. Nonprofits need to collect data for ‘impact’ reports, illustrating how their ideas are not only innovative, but scalable. Can we turn away? Can we build a new scale – a smaller, more humble, dustier scale in touch with the roughness of the earth, with the struggles of our neighbours, within the limits of the tilled earth? Can we have dreams that look inward, deepening ourselves and our ties with each other, rather than scaling outward? Perhaps that means we need to rethink growth." See,
That’s all for this week.

Good luck with your adventures

Best wishes,


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Senscot is a Company, registered in Scotland. Company Reg No. 278156: Scottish Charity No. SC 029210