Senscot Bulletin 30-01-2004


 Dear members and friends,


Through in Glasgow recently – talking with two bureaucrats –
my anger took me by surprise – disproportionate.  Must be some unconscious stuff. 
You know how sometimes you’re chopping away – but no chips are flying –
so you chop harder.  Suddenly I felt
that nothing I could say would make any difference.  These two occupied a protected space remote from the bare-knuckle
world outside.  I remember the exact
moment the anger came – I knew I had to walk out.  Bit scary.

            On train
back to Edinburgh share table with man and woman – suits – doing Times
crossword.  He asks what ‘soporific’
means – she doesn’t know – I feel smug – close my eyes.  He gets off at Falkirk – she resumes
crossword – just by way of conversation I say, “I think soporific means
sleepy.”  Hostile stare, “I know fine
what it means.”  Wish I hadn’t
spoken.  She’s angry, “The man who got
off is my manager – he gets insecure if I know words he doesn’t.”  I smile soothingly, but she’s wound up.  “You’re very smug but any women you work
with will be doing the same.”  Her anger
is excessive – from another place and time. 
I’ve had enough adrenalin today. 
Try to ‘unsmug’ my face.  Look
out window – whirling snow in a field – four workhorses standing shivering –
heads lowered – resigned – so gentle.



Most days Senscot gets requests for assistance – information
-signposting – “Do you know someone who has done this who would help me?”  There is no shortage of ‘new life’ in our
sector – and there is no shortage of goodwill from experienced
practitioners.  Matching individual
requests to the right help is not rocket science – but is takes understanding –
judgement – it takes time.  Senscot has
now received ESF funding for a new post to set up and run such a brokering
service for social enterprises.  We’ve
drafted a job description and person specification which is circulated to invite
interest – comment – collaboration. 
Post will be advertised in February. 



Because of the frequent delay in the pay of ESF claims,
Senscot approached SIS (Social Investment Scotland) last October to negotiate a
revolving loan facility to help with our cashflow. We intended to act as a
Pathfinder on behalf of other organisations who are experiencing similar
problems with ESF delays.  This
facility, which is now in place, has proved to be more complicated and costly
than we anticipated.   A short report from
Aidan is attached.  Scott Anderson of
SIS has been invited to offer comment.  (



The Community Recycling Network Scotland (CRNS) is hosting a
conference on ‘Employment Opportunities for Social Enterprises’ on Wednesday 7th
April at The Tolbooth in Stirling.  This
event is being supported by Senscot and Social Firms Scotland.  Further details and a booking form will be
made available shortly – if you would like to receive further information
please e-mail



The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship within the Said
Business School, University of Oxford is inviting people to apply for five
fully funded MBA Scholarships in Social Entrepreneurship.  For more information see 



Payment is not a condition of receiving the Senscot Network
Bulletin – hope it never will be – but in 2003 it cost approximately £22 per
person to produce 50 weekly editions and maintain our website. We invite
donations for 2004 from individuals of £10, £25 or £50 – and from organisations
of £50 or £100.  Money collected is ring
fenced into a development fund for new Senscot projects. Please send a cheque
payable to Senscot, 54 Manor Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7EH or use a credit card at
our donations page.  (  Last week 12 people donated a total of  £300.



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: 66 vacancies, including posts at SCVO,CVS
Dunbartonshire, The Forest Cafe, Inclusion Glasgow, People First (Scotland),
Scottish Civic Forum, EVOC, Perth & District YMCA, Young Co-op Network.


EVENTS: Performers wanted for Year of the Disabled
productions of Brecht’s Threepenny Opera – meetings in Aberdeen, Glasgow,
Edinburgh, Feb for June 2004; CHE lecture ‘Can responsible public sector
purchasing make a difference?’ Edinburgh, 13 Feb; EQUAL networking event,
‘Social Return on Investment’, Glasgow, 18 Feb; FOE Scotland, ‘Environmental
justice in the workplace’ course, applic. deadline 20 Feb; Charity Law Reform
Seminar, Glasgow, Feb 23; ‘Fair pay, working conditions and funding for the
vol. Sector’ free seminar, Glasgow; Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum seminar
on Leadership and Regeneration, Edinburgh, February 26.


CAN YOU HELP? Member Max Cruickshank asks if anyone could
offer a placement for 4 weeks in July to a 20-yr old young man from Prague
studying computer generated graphic design, wanting experience in this line of
work. Interested in a link to Prague? Contact Max


For details on these and more:


NEWS: For the latest social enterprise news stories, see



Quote from keynote speaker from recent SHARE event, “The
civil service has somehow managed to simultaneously devour and defecate on
Communities Scotland.”



This week’s profile is a community project in Uist. The Uist
Community Riding School is a thriving riding establishment based in Balivanich.
Originally, an Army Saddle Club that started in the late 70s, the club has been
gifted to the community and gone from strength to strength. From May 1st 2002
the stables has been able to employ one full-time staff member and two casual
workers. The School offers lessons, road rides, beach rides, picnic rides, all
day hacks, lessons for children and adults, jumping, dressage, leading rein
hacks, stable management classes .It is also a base for flexible learning in
horse management organised through Thurso College. Further info’, see



The Social Enterprise Partnership GB Ltd (SEP), the Equal D
funded UK Partnership, has produced four additional units (S1, M1, M2, M3) for
social enterprise development that the Small Firms Enterprise Development
Initiative is proposing to incorporate into its core business development
standards. The units are targeted, in the main, at managers in the social
enterprise sector (
As part of the ongoing research, Baker Brown Associates will be testing the new
units through pilot assessments between now and the end of March ‘04. If you
are interested, contact



I’ve tried several times over the years to read Don Quixote
of La Mancha – but it seems – archaic – ridiculous – I don’t get it.  To most critics, of course it’s the first
real novel.  Milan Kundera wrote, “The
novelist must answer to no one but Cervantes.” 
Dostovesky said that Quixote was the most perfect attempt in written
literature to represent a positively beautiful man – he added – “He is
beautiful only because he is ridiculous.” 
Why is Don Quixote, with the sorrowful countenance, so loved?  Julian Evans wrote in The Telegraph last
week, “Because he is the outermost landmark of our own misguided idealism – the
vessel of all our romanticism in a rotten factual world.”  Evans was reviewing a new translation by
Edith Grossman which he called a “marvel because it restores Cervantes
readability – vitality – restores Quixote to a madness we can identify
with.”  So I’ve bought it – 20 quid –
1000 pages.  Let me try again!  Like my sheet of exercises from the physio –
this will be good for me.


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

Best wishes,



If you would like to receive this bulletin directly, e-mail

We now have a ‘pay page’ on our site. To give: