Senscot Bulletin: 25-08-2006

Dear members and friends,

I think we all live our lives according to a personal myth or belief system – perhaps several.  A good personal myth will be adaptive – matching our personality to our circumstances – adjusted to reality.  I suspect most people go through life without being aware of the story they live by – or why; if it works don’t fix it.  But many who suffer from recurring anxiety or depression may have dysfunctional or conflicting personal mythologies.  Folk who can’t say no – to damaging addictions – to abusive partners.  Those who can’t say yes – to success – to commitment – to love.  They need to ask why their story is against them.
 Some years ago I had a crisis – suddenly I couldn’t cope – nervous breakdown is a good description.  I got help to look at my personal myth and I set about changing it.  I had come to believe that I was not ‘as other men’ but a sort of messiah put on earth to save humankind.  In the messianic storyline the hero gets destroyed – that’s where I was heading.  I suppose grandiosity comes from feeling very small, and getting better is about feeling OK about ourselves.  This remains work in progress.  I still fancy myself as a bit of a rebel outsider but now its more like Tom in ‘The Good Life’ than Che Guevara.  Feeling too wee and too big still happens but mostly I’m just another bloke.  Human size is more comfortable to live with.

I am a big fan of the new UK wide Social Investment Bank proposed by the Commission on Unclaimed Assets.  What’s done with this unclaimed money (probably a billion pounds) is Gordon Brown’s call and he asked Sir Ronald Cohen to chair an independent examination of options.  The Commission has decided that the UK’s national priority is poverty – typically entrenched in areas of multiple deprivation beyond the reach of private sector investment.
 This concise interim report recognises that without enterprise and wealth creation, we can’t build resilient and sustainable communities.  It also recognises that the best links we have to our poorest citizens are through Third Sector activity, and it proposes to make that the conduit for social investment.  I think they’ve got it exactly right – this 10 page report is worth your attention. (
 The proposed new ‘Bank’ is now under consultation till December.  The treasury, the DCLG and the Scottish Executive are watching what happens.  Senscot will host a meeting in Glasgow in October to provide an opportunity to explore this proposal – including what the Scottish dimension would look like.

The biggest potential market, as yet hardly touched by the Social Enterprise Sector is the National Health Service.  Following a consultation in Manchester with Primary Medical Services a new network has been formed, to promote understanding of the social enterprise model and stimulate activity: The new network is hosting a major event in London on 10th October ( In Scotland on October 3rd, Senscot and the Scottish Forum for Public Health will host an event on a similar theme. ( If there is sufficient interest Senscot will assist with the formation of a new social enterprise network on Health – perhaps with links to the English one.  It would be useful to know if the Scottish Executive is interested in the links between social enterprise and the NHS.

Communities Scotland’s decision to award preferred bidding status for their Central Heating Programme to British Gas and to drop the Eaga Group is disappointing news for Scotland’s social enterprise sector. With the consultation process for the Strategy for Social Enterprise reaching its conclusion and with procurement policy and practices seen as a critical element in the growth and development of the sector, to see the biggest contract social enterprise has from government in Scotland being awarded to a multi-national is disheartening. Furthermore, we hear that delays in negotiating the final contract have impacted hard on a number of social enterprises in Scotland, with businesses such as McSensce and Solas being forced to consider redundancies. Here’s McSence’s letter to the First Minister: McSensce is awaiting a reply.

NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but submit jobs ( or events ( and we’ll post them on our site. This week:

JOBS: 23 vacancies, incl. posts with: Beluah Scotland, One Plus, Greencity Wholefoods, Midlothian Community Media Association, Centre for Social & Entrepreneurial Activities, Inclusion Alliance.

EVENTS: ‘Introduction 2 Media’ course, Subliminal Directions, starts 30 Aug, Lochgelly; ‘Strategic Campaigning’ course, 11-12 September, Edinburgh; A Third Way to improve Health, Stirling, 3 Oct; Marketing Workshop, 10 Oct, Castle Douglas.

Cliff Southcombe writes to tell us about a conference in Newcastle on 7th September. Social Enterprise Europe Ltd. is organising the European-wide event looking at the subject of Social Responsibility. Also, the event is free. If you’d like more details or to book a place, see

A reminder that the consultation process for the Executive’s Strategy for Social Enterprise reaches its deadline on Friday 8th September. The Strategy’s aim is to set out what is meant by social enterprise and explore the work undertaken by the sector. It highlights why such enterprises require a differentiated strategy. The strategy examines support for social enterprise and how the growth and development of social enterprises can be encouraged. To access the consultation document and response forms, see

The Scottish Land Fund (SLF) is no more. Over 5 years, it helped bring 173,00 acres and 67 buildings and amenities under community control, involving 251 projects from small amenity plots to large Highland estates. The Big Lottery Fund’s Growing Community Assets (GCA) now replaces the SLF with a £50 million fund to invest in rural and urban communities. Let’s hope the GCA Fund has the same success as the SLF.

This week’s bulletin profiles a DVD and Video Production social enterprise in Midlothian. Set up by Mayfield and Easthouses Youth 2000 Project (Y2K), its purpose is to deliver a training and development programme working with excluded young people, moving them into further learning, education, training or employment. As a social enterprise, the profit from the commercial video/dvd production is reinvested to support the ongoing programme for the young people. Green Banana provides a service for the private, public and third sectors. For further info, see   

Bonnard’s Nudes, by Raymond Carver:
‘His wife, Forty years he painted her.  Again and again.  The nude in the last painting the same young nude as the first.  His wife.  As he remembered her young.  As she was young.  His wife in her bath.  At her dressing table in front of the mirror.  Undressed.  His wife with her hands under her breasts looking out on the garden.  The sun bestowing warmth and colour.  Every living thing in bloom there.  She young and tremulous and most desirable.  When she died, he painted a while longer.  A few landscapes.  Then died.  And was put down next to her.  His young wife.’

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

Best wishes,

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