Dear members and friends,
I never learned to type – do my stuff in pencil on lined paper – fax it to the office; comes back in Times Roman – which I print – amend in pencil, fax back etc. I write best early in the morning – propped up in bed with pillows – black coffee. If they’re quiet, I like to write in certain cafe’s – at certain tables; like Wednesday afternoon at the corner seat in Edinburgh’s Dean Gallery Cafe – a warm, clean, friendly place – best polenta cake in town. My piece started with a rush – practically writing itself – so I can hardly keep up – then as it slows down I enter far into it – get lost in it – without sense of time. Then suddenly it’s finished and I feel tired – like after gardening – but you don’t know till later if the stuff is any good.
When my attention returns to the room – 2 hours have passed. A strikingly beautiful woman (Italian looking like Claudia Cardinale) is sitting nearby – restless. As I watch, she’s joined by a man – and though I can’t hear a word, their exchange is painfully clear. It’s a kiss-off – she’s saying that what has been between them is no more. His face collapses – all joy and hope drained; he doesn’t raise his eyes or speak – trying not to break down. Then the beautiful Claudia leaves. I feel some of this guy’s pain. My instinct is to dial 999 – “There’s been an incident in the Dean Gallery – man down – needs help”. I hope he has a friend to get drunk with tonight. Sometimes what matters is how well we walk through the fire.
If the Third Sector is to continue to grow as a force in the UK economy we need to improve the infrastructure for social investment. The English Adventure Capital Fund (ACF) under the leadership of Jonathan Lewis, has pulled together £410m worth of govt. funding pots and has announced last week its intention to bid for the Social Investment Bank now under consultation in England. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8457 If they pull it off, ACF would become a billion pound- plus Third Sector investor – but none of this applies to Scotland. Are we to have our own Social Investment Bank? – if not, what is to happen to our unclaimed bank accounts money? We’ve already got SIS – and it’s clear that the new CEO, Craig Campbell, wants to give his own shape to the organisation – but it’s too early to discern what that shape will be. Will the sector in Scotland be included in these discussions – as in England?
An editorial in yesterday’s Herald comes out strongly in favour of `enabling communities to acquire their own assets` – and calls for the extension of the Lottery’s Growing Community Assets funding. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8456
In England – particularly since the Quirk Review – there has been an acceleration of policy initiatives to encourage community organisations to own and manage assets. In Scotland however, we’re fast falling behind; Community empowerment is treated as an issue for COSLA – and turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. Here are two recent evaluations of asset transfer – one by Rowntree – the other by our own Lottery. Both refer to the poor evidence base. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8447
We need to start with an understanding of the kind of society we want to create – and then design our banking system to serve this vision. Those of us who want a society which includes all citizens – even the poorest – believe that banks should be compelled to reinvest in all areas where they take deposits. We no longer accept than anything less than legislation will change their behaviour http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8449
In May the UK Govt. hosted a Social Enterprise Summit and this short ‘Next Steps’ paper reiterates its commitment to our sector. They seem better joined-up than us – e.g. they make the connection between social enterprise and asset transfer. Our Govt doesn’t yet acknowledge a community sector. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8446
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but submit jobs and events and we’ll post them on our site. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php. This week:
JOBS: Cupar YMCA-YWCA, Renfrewshire Environmental Trust, Glenboig Neighbourhood House, Sparqs (Student Participation in Quality Scotland), Long Term Conditions Alliance Scotland, ASH Scotland, Lodging House Mission, Equal Futures, Crossroads Youth & Community Association
EVENTS: Festival Exhibition, West Kilbride Community Initiative Ltd/ Craft Town Scotland, 15 Aug; Stress Awareness at Work, Fife Employment Access Trust, 21 Aug; CRNS 6th Annual Furniture Reuse Conference, 26 Aug; From Ideas To Action, CWA/DTAS, 28 Aug
NETWORKS NEWS: Colin writes: The Enterprise Fund is a great opportunity for LSEN members to develop their capacity. To date, the Fund has approved nearly 40 applications (approx. £2.7m). Aberdeen SEN has had a lot of success with Aberdeen Forward, Multi-Ethnic Aberdeen (MEAL) and Send-It (formally Printability) all receiving awards. The Melting Pot in Edinburgh also got good news this week with an award of £100k. Applications are particularly sought from Inverclyde, East Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire. See more Networks News, see http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=100
Scottish Government has contacted us this week with an updated version of `who’s who` in the Third Sector Division. They call it an `Organogram`. See here, http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8450
A couple of months back, Senscot commenced a study exploring the feasibility of establishing a Legal Practice, focused on the needs of social enterprise – and which is itself a social enterprise. We`re reaching the final furlong and should have the report available by the middle of August. Watch this space.
Senscot is recruiting for a Network Co-ordinator. We’re looking for a colleague for Colin and Anna as they work with the Local Social Enterprise Networks (LSENs) to help them move towards their next stage of development. Please note contact details. See more, http://www.senscot.net/view_job.php?viewid=8452
New blood at Social Investment Scotland (SIS) with additions to the staff team and Board. Of particular interest is Edel Harris` appointment as chair of the SIF Investment Panel. Edel is currently CEO of Cornerstone having previously spent a number of years with Ken Milroy and co at Aberdeen Foyer. See details http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8451
Thanks to SURF, Scotland enjoys its own regeneration awards (not decided in London) and SURF tells us that this year’s round is now open for applications. See details, http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8455
This week’s bulletin profiles a social enterprise that works with communities ‘ to map the things that make life worthwhile’. Action for Change has been involved in two key projects – West Fife Villages and the Clackmannanshire Green Map. Both initiatives have focused on developing strong, active communities in which local people within a geographical area are able to come together and define the challenges they face and tackle them either independently or, if they choose, in partnership with others. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=8452
I’m a great enthusiast for the ideas of E.F. Schumacher (Small is Beautiful) and his work is very much alive among his worldwide following. I really enjoyed this address by John McKnight – given in Nova Scotia on July 8. ‘There is a new worldwide movement developing, made up of people with a different vision for their local communities’. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8458
This piece is from ITHAKA by C.P. Cavafy. His message seems to be that the point of life is not simply to reach a destination – but to enjoy the journey.
“As you set out for Ithaka, hope your road is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery…….. Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you are destined for. But do not hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you are old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you have gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey. Without her you wouldn’t have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.”
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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