Dear members and friends,
Kate emails me to pop into her house on the way home – she’s finished with my boxed set of ‘The Wire’ – has a couple of DVDs for me. Soon as I see her – something’s wrong; that bastard’s moved out, she says – it all comes tumbling out – with anger and tears. I’ve known Ted and Kate for ever – part of the same crowd for 30 years – it’s unimaginable that they’ve separated – they’re too old. As she makes coffee, I realise that the kitchen sink is blocked; that I’ve got an adjustable grab wrench in the car – so I loosen and clear the sink trap. She talks the whole time – getting it out; I don’t know what to say.
Driving home I reflect that fixing the drain was probably inappropriate – a distraction from Kate’s story – her distress – my feeling powerless. Sometimes friendship asks of us – to just listen – and feel bad. From nowhere a big gas guzzler overtakes dangerously – I brake to let him in – give a prolonged blast on the horn. He doesn’t like it – a big bruiser, with a girl – he gestures to pull over – looks like he wants a fight!? I don’t think so. I’ve got a nice piece of fish in the fridge – two new DVDs from Kate – a good evening is in prospect – all I have to do is get myself home in one piece. First, thought, I need to find Ted.
We still have copies of ‘Kindness’ – Laurence’s latest selection of bulletin intros (2007-12). If you’d like a copy, see http://www.senscot.net/musings.php
I hate how Thatcherism changed this country; from a culture which tried to include everyone to one which values the pursuit of self-interest – the advancement of pushy, greedy people. I welcome the launch this week of what is being called the Kilburn Manifesto. Its analysis is that Thatcherites have won – are even using the financial collapse they caused to further erode social democracy. The Manifesto is a rallying call for everyone who doesn’t enjoy the direction of travel – to step up to the plate – help invent a better future. I also think the document is well written – without strident, leftie clichés. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13470
In her book ‘Owning the Future: the Emerging Ownership Revolution’, American Marjorie Kelly says "Ownership is the gravitational field that holds our economy in its orbit – locking us all into behaviours that lead to financial excess and ecological overshoot." Reviewing this book – our own Ed Mayo welcomes the debate which is emerging on alternative models of ownership and how they can contribute to a fairer and more responsible society. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13469
Senscot started in Jan 1999 – this is our 14th year observing the progress of the SE community in the UK. An SE we noticed early was Hill Holt Wood – which has long stood as an exemplar of some of the best aspects of our movement – and which now celebrates its 10th birthday. Nigel and Karen Lowthrop wanted to make their home in the wood – which they hoped could provide an income for their family. This SE now has staff and turns over £1m. It’s a great story. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13473
With our financial sector in deep crisis; there is an urgent need to explore how mutual and community responsive models of finance can restore a culture of trust, ethics and reciprocity. The ResPublica think tank is publishing an impressive series of articles under the theme ‘Making it Mutual’. This short piece sets out key themes for investigation. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13471
Les Huckfield attended the conference in Govan on 15th April about Social Investment in the Scottish context; he posted an excellent summary. See, http://www.huckfield.com/blog/social-investment-scotland-does-it-without-the-hype/
I believe that the Skoll annual jamboree at Oxford is bad for the third sector in the UK – importing as it does alien values from the USA. English SE, Five Lamps won an SE award – which included a ticket to this year’s Skoll. These short impressions from CEO Graeme Oram – are from the perspective of a world I understand – about a world I want nothing to do with. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13472
The late Stephen Maxwell was passionate about community empowerment; wanted to ‘endow’ 20 of Scotland’s most troubled communities with the means to be independent of ‘begging bowl’ fundraising. An English programme, The Big Local, appears to be modelled on Maxwell’s thinking; this excellent article by Rosie Niven is most encouraging. The Big Local’s explicit recognition – that it takes 10 years to establish effective community leadership – is a major breakthrough which has not yet reached Scotland. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13474
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: Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Foundation Scotland, Living Streets, Social Investment Scotland, Edinburgh University Students Association, One World Shop, Strathpeffer Pavilion, Aberdeen Foyer
EVENTS: Out of the Blue Flea Market, 27 Apr; Portobello Market, Edinburgh, 4 May; Free Workshop & Study Visit Series, (SURF), 16 May;
TENDERS: Provision of a Community Support Network Service Supporting People affected by Suicide in Angus and ITT Mediation Services in East Lothian. For more details, see www.readyforbusiness.org
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: Following on from last week’s meeting in Edinburgh with SEN Co-ordinators and Third Sector Interface staff with responsibility for supporting social enterprise, the link below gives an overview of the presentations and groups discussions that took place. It is our intention to hold a follow up event in the autumn. Senscot (with Social Firms Scotland and Social Enterprise Scotland) also met up this week with Scottish Govt and VAS to explore how we can collaborate further so as to ensure that support for social enterprise across the country is as consistent as possible. See Report, http://se-networks.net/shownotice.php?articleid=998 For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org . For more Networks News, see http://se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=289
We’ve been flagging up recently the importance of the social enterprise and community sectors getting their act together re the new round of EU funding for the period 2014-20. Scotland is to receive £673m and, for the first time – there is special reference to social enterprise and community-led regeneration. The same cannot be said for SCVO who have been quicker off the mark – and are now hosting a series of events over the coming months focussing on the third sector’s contribution. Their events will culminate with a ‘National Conversation’ to be held in Perth on 26th June. If you would be interested in participating, see, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13466
DTA Scotland is running a competition to find and support a new generation of social entrepreneurs living in Development Trust communities in Scotland. The competition ‘Make It Even Better’ is open to 16-21 year olds who, with a brand new idea to try out, could win an Award of £1000 while those who want to grow an existing social enterprise can apply for an Award of £5000. The competition is being run in partnership with Live UnLtd which, in Scotland, works in partnership with Firstport. For more info, see
Excellent leader in Wednesday’s Herald about escalating food poverty. The Trussell Trust – our sector’s best known provider of food banks – now has 15 in Scotland, with a further 15 opening soon. Emergency food provision, is the fastest growing activity in our sector – we need to debate where this is leading; but, while condemning the conditions that make food banks necessary – politicians and commentators must be careful not to stigmatise those unfortunate enough to rely on them. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13475
This week’s bulletin profiles an emerging social enterprise that is a little bit different. Kelvin Valley Honey (KVH), set up by Kilsyth Community Market Garden, in response to people’s concerns about the dramatic decline in the area’s honey bee population in recent years – and its impact on the local food chain. KVH’s objectives include raising awareness of this issue as well as looking to increase the number of local people involved in bee-keeping. In doing so, they intend to set up small to medium sized social enterprise producing honey and honey by-products. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=13468
Wendell Berry, the 78 year old American activist writer and farmer – wrote last year about sustainability, as it applies to small communities; he says it requires a ‘continuously turning cultural cycle’.
"The cultural cycle is an unending conversation between old people and young people – assuring the survival of local memory; as long as it remains local – this has the greatest practical urgency and values. This is what is meant – and is all that can be meant – by ‘sustainability’. The cultural cycle turns on affection; the primary motive for good care and good use is always going to be affection – because affection involves us entirely."
That’s all for this week.
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