Senscot Bulletin: 26-08-205


(Going out weekly to over 2700)

Dear members and friends,

In the short term, luck can be blamed for life’s fluctuations – but luck evens out. In the end, our life story is mostly chosen – our unconscious decides what we deserve – we make it happen. Loving relationships – rewarding work – holidays in the sun. Or abusive relationships – drudgery – chaos. Psychologists tell us the programme is set very early on in life. As wee people we get enough love or we don’t. This is the real ‘Big Lottery’: whether we internalise a smiling or a frowning parent – who stays with us for life.
People living on the streets almost all have difficulties with relationships – many were abused as children, or ‘unclaimed’ – naebody’s bairn. Homelessness in the real sense is the inability to belong or stay anywhere. As a community worker going round the high rise flats- if the door had been kicked in a lot – if the smell reached the landing – we didn’t knock that door. There’s a level of poverty we recoil from because we fear people who have given up hope. If they have children we remove them. If they are violent we lock them up – but mostly their anger is turned inwards. The most distressing thing about working with the real homeless is that so many will kill themselves.
On Wednesday I woke at 3am, very frightened. The ‘bogeyman’ had come to get me again – it happens a few times a year – less and less. In my drinking days I took the cognac to bed – sipped from the bottle – till the fear evaporated in fumes. Sober, it’s more difficult. I lay and thought about love – people who would care about my distress. I’m not saying there was a whole bunch of them – but a few. Enough to calm me. Some people don’t have enough. Not everyone makes it through the night.

Ernesto Sirolli says that the future of every community lies in capturing the energy, imagination, intelligence and passion of its people. He believes that right now in your neighbourhood are people dreaming about doing something to improve their lot; that these self-motivated entrepreneurs are the powerhouse of the economy and wider social change. It’s difficult to argue with this thesis – but Sirolli is not just a theoretician. He has devised a methodology called Enterprise Facilitation, designed to help these budding capitalists to transform their dreams into business start-ups. There is ample evidence from around the world that Enterprise Facilitation works and recently the Executive invited Sirolli to Scotland to show us how he does it.
 Next week Ernesto will be strutting his stuff at meetings in Inverness (75 attending), Aberdeen (40), Perth (31) and Glasgow (94). Still time to register at
 Whilst lounging on a beach in Puerto Escondido (Mexico) last January, Senscot trustee Rodney Stares penned a learned critique of Sirolli’s book, ‘Ripples on the Zambesi’:

There is increasing recognition in official circles that societal problems, whether economic, environmental, educational or social, are not separate from one another. On the fringe of all sectors, new, often creative hybrid workers are emerging who deal directly with the interdependent realities of contemporary problems. Artists are working with hospital patients, theatre practitioners with young offenders, police are working with designers on common spaces. Excellent extract from an article on the subject – seems to be the way we’re going:

I think of the community sector as quite distinct from the voluntary sector and personally I feel more affinity with its issues – the dispersal of centralised power – down from the state into communities. UK-wide, the biggest annual gathering for the community enterprise sector is the Development Trusts Association’s annual conference. DTA (UK) takes its annual bash seriously – moving it around – this year it’s in Glasgow. This is partly in recognition of how widespread development trusts are becoming in Scotland and the steady growth in membership of DTA Scotland. Attendees will note that most of the delegates are local people. DTA is a grass-roots movement – not top-down. Conference info available from

YELLOW PAGES/EXCHANGE: Space constraints mean we can’t carry every notice sent but please any relevant items (before noon Thursday) to and we’ll post them on our site. This week:

JOBS: 40 vacancies, incl. posts with: Lochaber Environmental Group, Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust, Energy Action Scotland, Equal Futures, TRAM Direct Theatre Company, Greencity Wholefoods.

EVENTS: Social Enterprise Academy – Creative Enterprise Learning Journey, 15-16 Sept,Holyrood Events, Green Jobs, 16 Sep; Social enterprise ‘Supercoaching’ workshops, Glasgow, 12-16 Sept; Scottish Centre for Regeneration, SCR Events Programme, 22 Sep; Making sense of impact assessment?, Edinburgh, 27 Sept; Social Firms Scotland, Banging the Drums for Social Firms, 22 Sept

Senscot will be attending a two day event on the Ardnamurchan peninsula on the 6th and 7th September. The event – the Community Land Units Skill’s Development Programme – being hosted by the Acharacle Community Company, will focus on  ‘Social Enterprise: The Business of Financing Community Initiatives’ . The programme will include visits to local initiatives, as well as workshops and presentations on Hill Holt Wood, Investment Opportunities in Woodlands as Carbon Sinks. The event is free to organisations based in the Highlands and Islands but visitors from the Scottish Enterprise region will also be very welcome.  For more information or to book a place, contact Lesleyanne MacMaster:

The Edinburgh Mela was founded in 1995 by members of Edinburgh’s Pakistan, Indian and Bangladeshi communities. For 2 days, 3rd/4th Sept, they take over Pilrig Park in Leith – I went lat year on a beautiful afternoon – great atmosphere – great scoff. It’s a kind of vibrant multicultural festival, heavily influenced by south Asian cultures. High quality live shows and a bazaar of over 100 stalls attracted 40,000 visitors last year. If you’ve got kids to entertain – problem solved.

This week’s bulletin profiles a national organisation that is working to develop sustainable inclusive education structures for children in Scotland with additional support needs. The Equity Group is a partnership of adults with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, educational professionals and other interested supporters who have come together because we share a commitment to inclusive education. Having completed a pilot supported by the Executive, the Equity Group is now working in partnership with six local authorities delivering an active learning programme bringing teachers and parents together to learn how to work in partnership to include all children in mainstream schools.
The Group hope to move toward increased sustainability by securing further contracts with other local authorities in Scotland. For further info’, see our ‘profiles’ section at

From End of the Imagination by Arundhati Roy: ‘To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.’
 Jose Marti, a Chilean poet, ‘Anyone who offends the sacred freedom of our adversaries is reprehensible, and more so if he or she does it in the name of freedom. There is no forgiveness for acts of hatred. Daggers thrust in the name of liberty are thrust into liberty’s heart.’

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

Best wishes,