Senscot Bulletin: 26.10.12

Dear members and friends,

A good night’s sleep (7/8 hours) has always been essential for me – high energy burn; an unwelcome aspect of ageing has been waking around 3am – which I came to regard as retribution for my sins – a troubled conscience. Earlier this year, I saw a programme on telly about ‘Segmented’ sleep. Historian Roger Ekirch
maintains that prior to Industrialisation – the dominant form of slumber in our world was two periods – with an hour of wakefulness in the middle. Some scientists agree that this is the natural human pattern. Now if I waken at 3am, I regard it as natural – light on – sit up – open a book – read till I drop off again.
The passing years test our resilience; colder – carry pullover; low blood sugar – eat a banana; forgetful – write things down; increasingly I reach for words which hide from me. Amidst decline – there is consolation in a new found composure; the acceptance that we are powerless over much of life; growing impotence – softened by deepening equanimity.
 When I was seven, I nearly drowned in the sea at North Berwick; I recall a terrible struggle for breath – then, remarkably, came acceptance and a deep peacefulness. I sense that growing old is a bit like this; that once we stop struggling it can be a really delightful experience. NEW BOOK OUT. See,

David Cameron announced last week that he wants to see ‘payment by results’ become the norm rather than the exception, for ‘offender rehab’ contracts. See,  This in effect means that the ramshackle model of the ‘work programme’ – with corporate primary contractors squeezing social enterprises and other third sector orgs – will continue to spread across service procurement. We need to ask if the capitulation of England’s third sector to this Tory ideology has implications for Scotland – and what we can do about it. I’ve found that New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) tell it how it is. See,

Senscot has received notice that Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) is to host a ‘social enterprise fair’ – during November – in each of its Scottish offices – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen. My simple question is WHY? PWC is not a social enterprise – nor does it pretend to any of the values or behaviours by which we define our sector. It is a voracious conglomerate – 161,000 people in 154 countries – a culture almost the opposite of social enterprise. If you get invited to sup – use a long spoon.  See,

It was Charles Leadbeater (in his Demos days) who first pointed me towards social enterprise – through his 1997 pamphlet, ‘The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur’. You may be aware that, in March this year, Leadbeater wrote a report which points to a Co-operative future. See,  "Co-operation – far from seeming quaint and anachronistic – could come to define the spirit of the time – to be successful and modern – aspirational and dynamic." My intuition once again chimes with his – and this case for Co-ops is also well argued by David Floyd – the SE blogger – in this reflective piece. See,

Stephen Maxwell died in April of this year and we continue to miss his authoritative commentary on third sector affairs in Scotland. I’d love to hear his take on ‘payment by results’ – and all this social impact bond nonsense. You may not be aware that Alex Salmond will deliver the Inaugural Stephen Maxwell Lecture on 21st November at Pollock Halls in Edinburgh. See,

Is the debate around Scotland’s 2014 Independence Referendum – too important to be left to the political parties? I think it is – and so does the Scottish Community Alliance – our Coalition of major community sector networks. The attachment is a one page outline of their proposed Referendum Roadshow – which could provide vital stimulus to the debate. See,

NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See  This week:
JOBS: Edinburgh University Students Association, The Development Trusts Association Scotland, Transition Extreme Sports Limited, Ullapool Community Trust
EVENTS: Out of the Blue Flea Market, 27 Oct; Advancing your Social Enterprise, 30 Oct; How to build a breakthrough brand, 30 Oct; 30th Anniversary Events, 30 Oct;
TENDERS: Welfare services for the handicapped in West Dunbartonshire, Enterprise Collaboration Solution in Stirling, Glasgow Addiction Services Employability Project and Garden Assistance Scheme in North Lanarkshire.  For more details, see

NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: Last call for the 2nd National Cultural SEN Conference next Wednesday ( 31st Oct) at the Birnam Institute, by Dunkeld. The event will see the launch of the Social Enterprise and Culture Roundtable’s ‘Position Paper’ – along similar lines to the ‘Papers’ produced by the Health and Sport Roundtables. It will be an opportunity to meet up with other social enterprises in the creative field to discuss the role of arts in the public sector; how can we help cultural orgs realise they are part of the SE community; what support is available. To book, see To download full programme, see  For more Networks News, see

Senscot’s links with colleagues in Northern Ireland (NI) have been developing this year as they looked to establish their own social enterprise network over the water. Their hard work has paid off and, next month, Social Enterprise Northern Ireland (SENI) will be formally launched. Senscot and the SE Academy will be working with SENI during their initial start up phase. As part of our collaboration, a group of SEN members were over NI last week visiting social enterprises as well as participating in a roundtable discussion at Stormont with civil servants and leading figures in the SE community. See programme,   In November, colleagues from NI will be attending our own Conference and Ceilidh at New Lanark. These initiatives are being supported by our respective Govts.

The Scottish SE Awards 2012 were announced yesterday in Edinburgh. Winners were: Robert Tamburrini – SE Leader of the Year; Factory Skatepark – SE of the Year; Talking Mats – Start-up SE of the Year; International Network of Street Papers – SE Supporter of the Year; Udston Primary School – Youth-led SE of the Year. Congratulations all round. See,  And on Tuesday evening, the ReadyforBusiness Consortium won the award for the ‘Best Engagement Initiative of the Year’ at the Go Awards for their work on the Scottish Govt’s ‘Developing New Markets’ contract. Congrats to them too! See

If you work with Govt, you have to get used to the churn of civil servants. Just as you are developing a relationship, people move on – it goes with the territory. To keep pace with changes, Scottish Govt has provided us with the latest ‘Organogram’ for the Third Sector and Equalities Units. The Community Empowerment Unit is also part of this division and consists of Alasdair McKinlay, Kate Thomson-McDermott and Anna Gilbert.  See,

This week’s profile is a bit of a departure from the norm following our visit to Northern Ireland last week. We were fortunate enough to be invited to the 2nd anniversary celebrations of Chocolate Memories (CM), a social enterprise, based close to Belfast. Set up by Autism Initiatives NI, Chocolate Memories was established as a social enterprise for young people with autism. Currently, it is operating with 13 trainees and, earlier this month, won the ‘Best New Social Enterprise’ at the NI Social Enterprise Awards 2012. CM  is keen to make connections with the social enterprise community in Scotland. For more, see

A quote from Warren Buffet – the billionaire philanthropist.

"I tell college students, when you get to be my age you will be successful if the people who you hope to have love you, do love you. Charlie and I know people who have buildings named after them, receive great honours etc, and nobody loves them – not even the people who give them great honours. Charlie and I talk about wouldn’t it be great if we could buy love for $1 million. But the only way to be loved is to be lovable. You always get back more than you give away."

That’s all for this week.

Good luck with your adventures

Best wishes,


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