Senscot Bulletin: 26.09.14

Dear members and friends,

 TV, radio, internet, print – our country is still absorbed in the indyref and its ramifications; people want to stay with it.  In the past week, the SNP membership has gone from circa 25,000 to 65,000 – the Greens (yippee!) are also recruiting like mad; it’s too early to predict – but something big is still unfolding, I have the sense that a new generation has been ignited – minded to take independence all the way.
  One of the most interesting stats is that – up to the age of 60 – Scotland voted majority yes; it was the auld yins like me who bottled it!  By coincidence last week I had a sudden puncture in the Panda; alone, with no mobile, I had no option but to mount the grass verge and fit the spare.  No one stopped – took me 35 mins, several rests – felt old and cowed – the realisation that I will soon be dependent on others for routine physical tasks.  Old people are more fearful.  I’ve always believed that our capacity for optimism/pessimism is determined by early childhood experiences; that once set – our outlook is only marginally affected by subsequent events.  I now understand that as we grow older, loss of confidence; may diminish our optimism – need to watch this.
 My thoughts are starting to stray to a quiet beach I know near Estepona – where the October sunshine will have lost its vehemence – become friendlier.  The same wee casita -with the same firm bed; I have no inclination to try new things. I feel a trip coming on. 

We still have a few copies of both Laurence’s books: ‘You’ve Got to Laugh’ (2001- 2006): and ‘Kindness’;
(2007 – 2012). See,

It now looks almost certain that the ‘Work Programme’ will be a devolved to the Scottish govt. – which invites discussion on how it is to be administered.  My generation remembers the excellent Community Programme – run by local people – on behalf of local people – who all knew each other.  This vehicle of genuine empowerment for individual communities – was displaced by the current generation of giant private sector contractors – remote, impersonal, target driven.  Scottish Govt. – as a matter of priority should draw up detailed plans to reconnect job creation and employability measures to the community most challenged by these issues.  See,

A day ticket for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles would cost you £120 (excluding transport and food); it has also been removed from public broadcasting (the commons) – into a monopolised trading commodity (Sky Sports).  The relentless acquisition by the corporate world – of assets which were once enjoyed in common – is monitored by Andy Wightman on his Land Matters site.  He warns this week that Glasgow City Council’s intentions to dispose of 50 acres at Victoria Park – may be unlawful.  See,

At their annual conference, Chi Onwurah – shadow minister for SE – said that Labour would create a legally binding definition of social enterprise. Not convinced that she understands what she has promised – but we wish her luck and have sent her the Scottish Code. See,  The world of mainstream finance is surprisingly resistant – not only to the model of asset locked SE – but to the very notion of ethical investment. This piece from the FT shows how some struggle with the idea that investing money has moral implications. See,

A fringe meeting about social investment at the Labour Party conference – heard from a delegate of the homelessness charity St Mungo’s – which is involved in a SIB. He said that in addition to the £4.6m cost of delivering services – another £900,000 (20%) was spent on set up costs and payments to investors. “Five and a half million has been turned into four and a half – you wonder if it’s the best use of resources”.  See,

NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See  this week:
JOBS: Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust, Liber8 Lanarkshire Ltd, Transition Extreme Sports Limited, Edinburgh University Students’ Association, LAMH Recycle Ltd, Vivarium Trust
EVENTS: Out of the Blue Flea Market, 27 Sep; Open Grip 6 – Aerial Event, 27 Sep; Leading Growth for Senior Leaders (Certificate in Leadership), 30 Sep; FREE Workshop : Negotiation Techniques, 1 Oct;
TENDERS: Request for Best Offers as Part of a Framework Agreement – Energy Saving Trust Ltd, Provision of Website Services – City of Glasgow College, A two way conversation with the people of Scotland on the social impact of offshore renewable – Scottish Government. See

The SENs Weekly Update; Kim writes: This year’s Social Enterprise Conference and Ceilidh (13th/14th Nov) is filling up quickly – over 80 places have been filled – around 60 still available. Delegate rate for SEN Members is £50 and includes Conference/Ceilidh/Dinner/B&B (day only rate is £30) at the Westerwood Hotel. To get a booking form, could you email, With this being the 10th year of the event, it will provide us with an opportunity to reflect on the last 10 years as well as looking towards what lies ahead for SE in Scotland. Applications are also now open for this year’s Dragons’ Den – as always, £5k to the winner – if you’re brave enough to step into the Den, you can apply here, The draft programme is also available, see    For more SENs News, see

Scotland’s mainstream press is owned by corporate capitalism – and that sums up its loyalties. But indyref has inspired a new independent online journalism – much of which is excellent: Newsnet, National Collective, Bella Caledonia, etc. Let’s hope they can find a business model which can enable them to survive/flourish. The venomous exchanges between Scotland’s two main parties are now boring; but I’m fascinated to see where this online ‘other’ Scotland is heading. See,

MY Adventure, member of the Edinburgh and Sports SENs, has acquired an outdoor centre – Towford, near Jedburgh – and is seeking your support with their crowdfunder campaign. The Centre, formerly local authority owned and managed, has been closed for 17 years. MY Adventure is seeking a minimum of £6,000 raised by individuals and businesses. Buy an activity or away day for a great price and support this campaign – enabling this old school-turned-centre and 17 acres to survive the winter as well as become a vibrant asset for the social enterprise community. They’re almost halfway there! To pledge and/or share and for more info’ – see .

Plunkett Scotland is running a ‘Seeing is Believing’ programme across the country where eight community mentors have come on board to provide support and study visits as well as specialist advice.  The programme is open to rural communities that are setting up or interested in establishing community-owned enterprises. So far they have supported communities thinking of a wide range of enterprises including pubs, shops, community hubs, a heritage centre and petrol stations. For more info, contact or see,

This week’s bulletin profiles Mind’s Well, a social enterprise in Edinburgh (and Edinburgh SEN member) that aims to reduce the need for people to resort to self-harming behaviours such as drug and alcohol abuse, eating problems, self-medication, self-injury and other such behaviours. Mind’s Well offers a range of educational and support services tailored to meet participants’ needs and budget. They have provided training for over 800 people across the UK with clients including West Lothian Council; Forth Valley College; and Waverley Care amongst others. All Mind’s Well profits are reinvested into their projects
For more see,

I don’t know what he means by ‘sacredness’ – some of the writing of J Krishnamurti is too obscure for me – but something about this passage rings true.

 “There’s a sacredness which is not of thought, nor of a feeling resuscitated by thought.  It is not recognizable by thought nor can it be utilized by thought.  Thought cannot formulate it.  But there’s a sacredness, untouched by any symbol or word.  It is not communicable.  It is a fact.

 A fact is to be seen and the seeing is not through the word.  When a fact is interpreted, it ceases to be a fact; it becomes something entirely different.  The seeing is of the highest importance.  This seeing is out of time-space; it’s immediate, instantaneous.  And what’s seen is never the same again.”

That’s all for this week.
Best wishes,


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