On Wednesday of this week – 1st July 2020 – the merger between Senscot and Social Firms Scotland (SFS) became official. The name of the new entity will now be Social Enterprise Network Scotland – pending consent from OSCR. This late change to the proposed name has come about as a result of concerns raised by Social Enterprise Scotland. The Board of our new entity decided – as a gesture of goodwill – to re-visit the name and, in doing so, has agreed on Social Enterprise Network Scotland. This brings to an end the specific roles both Senscot and SFS have fulfilled over the last two decades. However, the new organisation is committed to maintaining the same values and principles that have underlined their respective work over the years. Social Enterprise Network Scotland will now represent the interests of grassroots social and community enterprises and social firms across Scotland – advocating on their behalf and promoting policies and initiatives that will be of genuine benefit to both these organisations and the communities which they serve. Here is an overview of the proposed functions, aims and objectives that Social Enterprise Network Scotland intends to adhere to. Our new body will be led by Pauline Gordon (Director) and Kim Wallace (Deputy Director). This organogram lays out our governance and staffing structure. Over the next week or two, we will continue to use the Senscot website and twitter account etc for communications – but Social Enterprise Network Scotland will have its own distinct ‘comms’ in place very shortly. 

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Social Enterprise Network Scotland will continue to produce a weekly bulletin – SE Network News – going out each Thursday (we’re giving Larry’s Lunchette a free run at Friday mornings). As before, we will be seeking to cover news relevant to frontline social enterprises in Scotland; policy development; wider civil society matters; as well as observing development and news from other parts of the UK, Europe and further afield. If you do not wish to continue to receive this weekly bulletin – please use link to unsubscribe

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It is still too early to get an accurate picture of the impact of the Covid 19 virus on wider Scottish society – let alone our own sector. However, what is clear is that it will be significant – and extremely damaging. This Report carried out by the Third Sector Interface Scotland Network confirms this view – and paints a bleak picture. The recent Scottish Govt Report on Economic Recovery highlights the central role our sector plays in contributing to Scotland’s social capital and its critical importance in maintaining a level of community resilience during the crisis. There has to be more to our ‘recovery’ than just ‘strong economic growth’. 

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, gets it: “Economic growth accompanied by worsening social outcomes is not success, it is failure”. 

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Last week’s ‘SE Reset – Re-Opening’ hosted a number of separate sessions (see SEN Spotlight below). Amongst these were: Sport SEN session with P4P and Scotland Excel on partnerships and procurement – focusing on the benefits for sport and community facilities; Planning Re-Opening for Retail – running through the excellent guidance developed by the Revolve network; and a peer support session focusing on considerations required for re-opening for customers and visitors. Further events coming up include: a Joint Thematic SEN Session ‘Supporting staff mental health & wellbeing’ will include input from Jonny Kinross from the Grassmarket Community Project. See link for details and, to sign up, contact jude@senscot.net  

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Frontline News: CEIS’ annual SE Policy and Practice Conference is on 2nd Sept. This year’s event is virtual and will focus on recovery and rebuilding a better future. To book your place, see Registration Form

Inspiring Scotland, this week, launched a Creative Communities Cultural Funding Programme – which will distribute up to £600k to support communities to develop new culture and creative initiatives: 

Community Enterprise and DTA Scotland both circulated their latest newsletters this week – check links: 

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SEN Spotlight: SE Network News will be making a departure from Senscot’s regular ‘project profile’ and, more recently, the response from SEN members to the Covid crisis within their local communities. Instead, over the coming months, we will be running a SEN Spotlight – highlighting the work of the 19 local and 7 thematic SENs. This week, in the 1st Edition of SE Network News, we look at the Scottish Borders Social Enterprises Chamber (Borders SEN or SBSEC) who hosted their AGM last week. One of earliest local SENs, SBSEC was formed in 2005 and is now a partner in the local TSI – supporting over 300 organisations across the Scottish Borders. Their Annual Report  provides details on the range of  activities they have been or currently are involved in. Last week, they also hosted their own SE Reset – Re-Opening session – being joined by colleagues from around the country. See their SE Reset – Re-opening Report

SE Network News Edition No.1