Senscot Bulletin: 28-04-2006

Dear members and friends,

I’ve had friends who considered him ‘The Messiah’ – I’ve never been a
Bob Dylan fan.  But Martin Scorsese’s film ‘No Direction Home’
(Sunday TV) has given me a new respect for the lad from Hibbing,
Minnesota with a passion for making music.  Bobby told on camera
how, when he was young he tried to pick out the performers who were
‘doing it for real’ – how the ‘greats’ had something in their eyes
saying ‘I know something you don’t know’ – how he wanted to be like
that. He believes artists must be always in a state of becoming – never
arriving – so that long after he’d moved on, his worldwide fan club
wanted him still ‘Blowing into the Wind’.  I thought the sarcastic
way he fielded inane questions from the press was hilarious.  One
of the many influences he recounted was Liam Clancy (Clancy Brothers)
who told him over pints of Guinness ‘Remember Bobby – no fear; no envy;
no meanness.’  The fact that he quoted such wisdom means that he’s
smart.  The moral of the film for me was that fame means loss of
independence – which is too high a price for a true artist to pay.
a different theme the weather at my bit won’t settle – the false spring
which has confused Mother Nature has unstrung me too.  I need 3
consecutive days of light and heat to unfurl my soul, but a cold May is
forecast.  Don’t be surprised if the next bulletin comes from
somewhere on the Med.

believed that Scotland wasn’t ready yet for a Social Enterprise Trade
Fair – that our sector needed another year to build for it – but I was
wrong.  I thought the Perth event on Tuesday was an inspiring
coming of age in Scotland for the growing army of people who believe
that we can change the way business is done – the way our society is
run.  Nigel Lowthorp, founder of ‘Hill Holt Wood’ in Lincolnshire
said recently ‘In the 21st century social enterprise will be the way to
do business.  It was a capitalist model for the 20th century, but
times are changing.’  At Senscot we discern an increasing interest
from the private sector in what we’re all doing – but it’s not to come
and teach – its more to learn how they can improve their one
dimensional business model.  One of the best teachers on adapting
the Capitalist model is Muhammad Yunus – here is his speech to the
recent Oxford Skoll Event:
Herald is getting thinner – both in content and volume. As with the
Scotsman, I’ll stop getting it soon. This is sad because serious
political commentary keeps our politicians and civil servants from
getting lazy. A lot of traffic is moving online, where the Guardian
Unlimited is streets ahead of everyone else. The Guardian is owned by
the Scott Trust and its ‘Living Our Values’ report is one of the best
examples of social auditing you’ll come across:,,1166317,00.html.

write a weekly column just now for Regeneration and Renewal magazine,
so I’m probably a bit biased, but I believe that the National
Regeneration Conference which they are hosting on the 15th-16th May is
the most balanced in the UK circuit. There is genuine recognition of
the importance of community empowerment, and the programme on Day 1
reflects this. I’m going to be there myself on the Monday and have
ascertained that there are still sponsored places at £55 plus VAT:
week, we jumped the gun by posting an early draft of Jon Molyneux’s
briefing paper to the Executive on EU funding. Apologies to Jon. On
this note, we hear of recent appointments to the EU Economic and Social
However, the gossip at the S2S event was that the Executive is
considering a co-financing scenario involving Communities Scotland and
Scottish Enterprise.

NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but submit jobs ( or events ( and we’ll post them on our site. This week:

33 vacancies, incl. posts with: Sustainable Communities Initiatives,
The Rock Trust, Flourish House, Greater Easterhouse Development
Company, Theatre NEMO, Cuthbert Recruitment.

Breathing Space’, BTCV Scotland free event ‘hands-on opportunities
involving the natural world and the environment’, June 4, Hamilton;
Assist Social Capital conference, Glasgow, 9 June; Midlothian Social
Enterprise Trade Fair, Dalkeith, June 12

Local Social Enterprise Network gets off the ground next week. Johann
Lamont, Deputy Communities Minister, will be speaking at the launch of
the East Dunbartonshire Social Enterprise Network on 2nd May. For more
info’, see

Engine Shed (run by Marian McDonald) has made it into the Guardian’s
top 50 reader survey of Healthy Eating places in the whole of the UK.

week sees OSCR officially take on responsibility for determining
charitable status in Scotland. Contrary to the promise of ‘a seamless
transition to the new regime’, we understand there’s been a two month

‘The Warrior’ Wightman’s campaign to protect Scotland’s common land
assets continues relentlessly. He enjoyed a wee victory recently:

This week the Upstarts Awards have reached the shortlist stage:

Maxwell’s article on community empowerment prompted a number of
comments from Senscot members last week. One in particular drew our
attention again to the progress made on the Isle of Gigha since the
local community purchased the island just over 4 years ago. Since then,
the community has seen the population increase by 50%, the school roll
increase by 300%, 11 new enterprises set up by existing islanders, the
paying back of a million pound debt, the UK’s first community owned
wind farm, 24 new house starts compared to 1 new house in the previous
35 years as well as the first craft apprenticeships since the 1940’s
etc etc. For further info’ on the Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust and
what’s going on Gigha, see            
poem should be read by every parent – it’s about the realisation that
one day your bairns will walk away from you – ‘Walking Away’ by C

is eighteen years ago, almost to the day – a sunny day with the leaves
just turning, the touch-lines new ruled – since I watched you play your
first game of football, then, like a satellite wrenched from its orbit,
go drifting away behind a scatter of boys, I can see you walking away
from me towards the school with the pathos of half-fledged thing set
free into a wilderness, the gait of one who finds no path where the
path should be.
‘That hesitant figure, eddying away like a winged
seed loosened from its parents stem, has something I never quite grasp
to convey about nature’s give-and-take – the small, the scorching
ordeals which fire one’s irresolute clay. I have had worse partings,
but none that so gnaws at my mind still. Perhaps it is roughly saying
what God alone could perfectly, show – how selfhood begins with a
walking away, and love is proved in the letting go.’

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

Best wishes,

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