Dear members and friends,
In spite of a flu jab – I’ve caught some bug that’s doing the rounds: bad cough, shivers and sweats, low energy. When I’m below par, routine maintenance tasks pile up – housework, garden etc. I don’t fret about this because I know normal energy will soon return – but it’s a kind of preview of being an old person who can’t cope on his own – other people making all your decisions. I’m mostly in denial of this prospect – it doesn’t apply to me.
I have known for years that rodents live in the roof space of my cottage – as long as they don’t visit ‘my bit’, I don’t bother. Recently though, I’ve seen them downstairs and last week they had a midnight feast on a bar of chocolate; so now I’ve got wee trays of rodent poison on offer, which they seem to enjoy. It has surprised me how much these creatures have got into my head; I imagine them everywhere – and feel something like fear; this is not rational – but who says we’re rational.
The general mood of decrepitude extends to my car – the wee panda; when I park, water drips from under the engine – cooling system leaks require urgent attention. Tommy, at the garage, does my annual service and exudes competence; he shows me a concealed gutter – a water run-off around the inside of the bonnet. It’s choked – so he cleans it – problem solved in ten minutes. Driving away, I wonder if I could take Tommy home to fix other bits of my life.
Whilst the digital revolution benefits our lives – it has created singular problems for our times. Google and Facebook now command 60% of the digital ad market; generating enough cash to buy any emerging rival – a concentration of power that would not be tolerated in any other field. How to rectify this? Media regulator Ofcom said recently that Facebook and Google should now be regarded as publishers – not merely platforms; from mounting political pressure, Facebook is hiring 3000 editors to screen unsuitable posts – but what will prevent the regulation of Facebook ending up as the full blown regulation of free speech. It is time for Westminster to debate this issue and try to redefine press freedom for the digital age. Spectator Editorial.
The largest organisation in the Netherlands, providing home care to the sick and elderly is called Buurtzorg – a non-profit, founded in 2006; Buurtzorg’s operational model, based around hundreds of self-organising teams, is influencing practice around the world. The boldest adaptation in Scotland is at the Cornerstone organisation, which issued a statement this week from CEO Edel Harris. Like other care providers, Cornerstone grapples with the linked challenges of staff recruitment and inadequate funding; but recent technology and management innovations will enable them to deploy local teams of upskilled social care workers at significantly more that the real living wage.
The tawse was a specially manufactured weapon designed to cause pain to children. When I was campaigning for it abolition in the 1960s, I remember writing that future generations would be incredulous that corporal punishment had official approval; coming generations will regard striking children in the same way – as a crude assault. Where loving attachments have failed to develop – parents will probably still hit children – and I wouldn’t expect many criminal convictions; but making it illegal sends an important message about the reduction of violence in our society.
This week’s is the 900th Senscot Bulletin – 50 each year since October 1999; a record of how the SE eco-system has evolved in Scotland over 18 years. This week a Daniela Roichman – from a Vietnamese NGO – emailed for consent to copy something from our website. This tool was created by Forth Sector in 2007 – and I was struck by the number of SEs mentioned which no longer exist. Tim Harford’s column in this week’s FT Weekend, argues that a fast ‘churning’ rate of business start-ups and exits – is a sure indication of economic dynamism. I think the failed social enterprises in particular contain learning which we miss.
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See https://senscot.net/jobs/ this week:
JOBS: Fortune Works (Enable Glasgow), Newmilns Snow and Sports Complex, The Touring Network, Re-Union Canal Boats, The Coalfields Regeneration Trust
EVENTS: Pre-start Leadership (Aberdeen), 31 Oct; A Culture Strategy for Scotland: Engagement Phase, 02 Nov; Just Enterprise: Budgeting for Your Organisation & Funding Applications, 09 Nov
TENDERS: Supported Living Services Framework Agreement – Inverclyde Council, Venue Cleaning Services (G2018) – Glasgow City Council, Provision of Outdoor Activity Instructors – Orkney Islands Council. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on Twitter.
The SENs Weekly Update: This week saw the launch of the Social Enterprise in Glasgow 2017 Report – detailing the activities and economic impact of the social enterprise community in the city. The report, produced by Glasgow SEN and Social Value Lab, was launched at Glasgow Women’s Library with keynote speaker Cllr Rhiannon Spear pointing to Glasgow City Council’s commitment to promote inclusive economic growth across the city. The report itself threw up a range of interesting statistics – and contrasts with the recent national SE Census 2017. Some of the headline stats include: 732 SEs operating in the city; £777m generated from trading; 26% turnover over £1m annually (only 12% nationally); and a significantly a higher concentration (24%) working in the 5% most deprived communities (5% nationally).
The SE Conference – Collaborating towards a Sharing Economy – at the Westerwood Hotel on 7th and 8th Dec, will see a refreshed version of the Dragons’ Den – with the emphasis on the theme of ‘collaboration’. Applications are invited for ‘pitches’ from SEs either delivering or planning to deliver a new or amended service by working in partnership with others. Again, in keeping with this year’s theme, prize money for the winning pitch will come in the form of support/services/products etc from SEN members or intermediaries to the value of £5k. See Dragons’ Den Application Form. Some places still available – see Booking Form.
Reminder: SCRT is exploring the establishment of a ‘loan fund’ for SENs and their members – and has prepared this short survey (6 questions) to test the water for both potential ‘borrowers’ and ‘investors’. Your co-operation would be very much appreciated. The survey will remain open till 31st October 2017. SCRT also bring our attention to another loan fund that may be of interest to a number of social enterprises – Big Issue Invest Scotland’s Power Up – offering up to £50k as well as a mentoring and support package. If you are interested in the range of loans available to SEs in Scotland, see SCRT’s Providers and Products.
Last week, we covered the story about Bield Housing’s decision to close twelve care homes. Bield has subsequently been in touch with this response – which was circulated to all those affected by this decision.
Our new website went ‘live’ last week – although some tweaking remains. We are hoping that folk continue to find it a useful resource. As part of the website ‘refresh’, we have overhauled our jobs and events pages, making it easier for folk to post vacancies and promote upcoming events. You can use these links to post a job or submit an event and the rest should look after itself. Your post will go out to around 4,000 bulletin subscribers as well as to our 7,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget – this service is FREE.
This week’s bulletin profiles a new social venture from Edinburgh Larder aimed at making local food more accessible by working with schools and communities to develop cooking skills. Edinburgh Food Social wants to bring the benefits of using local food into schools and communities across Edinburgh by taking a food truck around the city and beyond to showcase what can be done with local food, all year round – both to inspire children to cook with local produce and become involved in planning the menus in their schools, and also to help people of all ages and backgrounds develop their cooking skills. Their venture will be supported via their existing café, takeaway and new indoor food and craft market.
Clocks go back on Sunday – our annual reminder of Winter and our switch to ‘survival’ mode.
“No animal, according to the rules of animal-etiquette, is ever expected to do anything strenuous, or heroic, or even moderately active during the off-season of winter.” Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows.
“If the dark days of winter are a struggle where everything seems that little bit harder, it is not just your imagination. Scientists have discovered that the brain actually works differently throughout the year, with some parts far more active in the summer than in the winter months. In fact, brain activity related to attention and concentration peaks during the summer solstice and slumps to a low on the shortest day of the year.”
(From an article in The Telegraph, February 8, 2016)
That’s all for this week.
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Senscot is a Company, registered in Scotland. Company Reg No. 278156: Scottish Charity No. SC 029210