Senscot Bulletin 28-05-2004



Dear members and friends,


It’s a small enough risk – missing your blood pressure pills – but last Wednesday was my first time – had to leave for Glasgow before Chemist opened.  Heavy traffic – running late – guiltily occupy disabled space in St Enoch Square car park level 4.  Work goes ok but tiring – leave sharp to get back for prescription – can’t find car.  Decide it’s towed away ‘cos no disabled pass – £120 – serves me right.  Find office – ask where pound is – how much etc.  Kind Glasgow woman – ‘We don’t tow cars – it’ll be where you left it.’  Search every level for 45 minutes – return to office – demoralised.  ‘My car’s been stolen.’  ‘Believe me, sir, it hasn’t.’  Senses my desperation.  ‘Frank will help you.’  Frank and I trudge the various levels together – he’s ages with me but fitter – tells me he worked ‘on the boats’.  Suddenly I feel ill – sharp chest pain – lean on wall dramatically – panic – Please God – not my heart – not in this dark smelly place.  Frank says, ‘You better wait in the cafe downstairs.’

            Try Boots the chemist – explain my situation – but the pharmacist is used to deflecting irregular requests for drugs – she’s so young for such unbelieving eyes.  Sit in cafe – order large espresso and carrot cake (for heart attack?).  Wee girl of about three is watching me – comes over, ‘Mummy says it’s rude to fill your mouth so much’ – I smile, ‘Mummy’s quite right – I won’t do it again.’  She gives me more advice about my manners.  Wee earnest face calms me down.  Frank comes in – ‘The car was on upper level 2.’  Jump up overjoyed to hug him – seems a bit embarrassed.



Early in June, Scottish Enterprise is to unveil new strategic targets – the current 28 likely to be reduced to about a dozen.  CEO Jack Perry has made it clear that he would like to see an ‘orderly hand over’ of social programmes to ‘other agencies’ so that Scottish Enterprise can return to a sharper focus on pure economic development.  ( Highland and Islands Enterprise take a different attitude.  Ian Hunter, chairman of HIE speaking to MSPs in Edinburgh this month said, ‘It’s a pity that down here in the central belt you’ve chosen to separate community development, community regeneration from the task of fostering economic growth.  Of course what happens in company boardrooms and university laboratories is central to the emergence of a smart, successful Scotland.  But equally central, maybe more so is the job of liberating all the talent, the potential, we’re squandering in Sighthill or in Pilton or the Raploch.’  (



Senscot’s AGM – our annual gathering – is at The Teacher Building, 14 St Enoch Square, Glasgow on June 17, 1.30pm.  Our speaker is James Cornford who was the recipient of the Achievement Award at this year’s Upstarts Awards for Social Entrepreneurs.  James worked closely with the late Lord Young of Dartington, inventor of many social innovations including the School for Social Entrepreneurs of which James is a trustee.  He will speak about the School’s approach to learning – possible lessons for the new Scottish Social Enterprise Academy.  James and I are fellow trustees of UnLtd in London – he’s the one I agree with most.  James Cornford is no stranger to Scotland; he was Professor of Politics at Edinburgh University from 1968 to 1976 (Where he taught Gordon Brown, Nigel Griffiths etc.).  Link to bio of James (

The AGM will be asked to approve a formal motion from the board that we change our structure of governance from a non incorporated association to a limited company.  ( If you are eligible to vote but cannot attend the AGM – you can vote by proxy.  To attend or vote e-mail



Quote from Muhammad Yunus – founder of Grameen Bank, ‘The future of the world lies in the hands of these market-based social entrepreneurs.  We cannot combat poverty within the orthodoxy of capitalism practised today.  Economic theory has not provided us with any alternative to this familiar model but I argue that we can create a powerful alternative: a social-consciousness-driven private sector, created by social entrepreneurs.’



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


JOBS: 82 vacancies, incl: Move on, The Rock Trust, Firsthand, Broomhouse Centre, Inclusion Alliance, Building Brighter Futures, Ownership Options in Scotland, The Edinburgh Home Link Partnership..


EVENTS: ‘Asset-Based Community Development’ SCR Masterclass, Glasgow, 2 June; ‘Quality & Impact’ SEDI event, Edinburgh, June 3; ‘A wee blether about…Culture!’ Voluntary Arts Scotland Event, Edinburgh 8 June; ‘Training For Facilitators’ Consultation Day, CHE event, Edinburgh & Dundee, 9 & 14 June; ‘One World Peace and Justice’ concert, Edinburgh, 12 June; ‘Intro To Economic Development’ – EDAS course, Glasgow 16 June;


The Scottish Procurement Guide is being launched in Inverness on June 23. Much credit to Kevin Robbie for his efforts to produce this valuable document for social economy organisations.  The event will also give info on the new BuyEthic website which can give a head start when seeking tendering opportunities.


For details on these and more, visit ‘Yellow pages’ at:   



Liam Black, one of the UK’s best known social entrepreneurs, is to leave Liverpool’s FRC Group – the company he built, to head Cheeky Chops – the charity that oversees TV chef Jamie Oliver’s London restaurant – Fifteen!  Cheeky Chops expects to replicate the model across the country offering opportunities to young people in other locations to train as professional chefs.  ( This will be a difficult adjustment both for the FRC Group and for Liam – one which he discusses in his book, ‘There is no business like Social Business’ in chapter 3, ‘Surviving the Social Entrepreneur.’  I recommend this book as it is obviously written by someone who is actually ‘doing the business’.  Whilst I strongly disagree with some of Liam’s opinions – I wish we had a few more of him.To order a copy of the book, contact The Cat’s Pyjamas on 0151 702 0564 or



This week’s bulletin profiles the work of Foyer Enterprise in Aberdeen.  Set up 1998, Foyer Enterprise is the trading and commercial arm of Aberdeen Foyer, a local charitable organisation, working with homeless and disadvantaged 16-25 year olds in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire areas.  Foyer Enterprise operates three businesses – the Foyer Restaurant and Gallery, Foyer Graphics and the Marywell Training and Conference Centre.  All three businesses meet the organisation’s key aims of generating income to support the work of Aberdeen Foyer, promote the work of the Foyer and link with the wider community and to provide training and employment opportunities for young people. For further info’, see (project profiles)



Good article in Third Sector last week about the tension between delivering state services and remaining independent.  Ed Mayo says, ‘Government contracts are not for everyone.  If charities lose the ability to campaign it would be like killing the goose that lays the golden egg.’  (



My pal Ruari, a 6ft 7in giant of a man – hovered on the edge of representative rugby for several years – probably not aggressive enough.  Saw him up the town recently with his new born baby (Callum) – can’t remember seeing a father so besotted – so changed.  Inspired me to read again Don Paterson’s poem about falling in love with his four day old son Russell.

            ‘Whatever the difference is, it all began the day we woke up face-to-face like lovers and his four-day-old smile dawned on him again, possessed him, ’til it would not fall or waver; and I pitched back not my hard-pressed grin but his own smile, or one I’d rediscovered.  Dear son, ……the true path was as lost to me as ever when you cut in front and lit it as you ran.  See how the true gift never leaves the giver; returned and redelivered, it rolled on until the smile poured through us like a river.  How fine, I thought, this waking amongst men!  I kissed your mouth and pledged myself forever.’ Waking With Russell – Don Paterson.  If you liked this poem, here’s another:  


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

Best wishes,



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