This week saw the First Minister announce Scottish Govt’s Programme for Government – Protecting Scotland, Renewing Scotland. Headlines have predictably focused on the plans for IndyRef 2, however, there are a raft of other measures that, in the view of the First Minister, will address the immediate priority of tackling the impact of the Covid pandemic – whilst retaining a focus on looking to grow and develop Scotland’s economy. Some initiatives that jump out include the Youth Guarantee; further details on the £2bn Green New Deal (first announced last year) – including a £100m Green Jobs Fund; and plans to create a National Care Service.             For our own sector, there was confirmation of the £25m Recovery Fund – with further details out soon. Further reference to the third sector is made on Page 60  – and includes reference to the launch of the new Social Enterprise Action Plan in the autumn. No doubt further discussions will take place as the new Action Plan takes shape – but it is vital that the Plan builds on the support to the sector that has been made available over recent months and recognises the importance of localism and the key role community-led organisations have played in local responses to the pandemic. It must look to ensure, as best it can, that resources are targeted at frontline organisations – to be able to successfully deliver on the Plan’s ambition. In May, with other member-led organisations, we submitted this letter to the Cabinet Secretary, calling for a ‘recovery-focused’ Action Plan that can meet the current needs of the sector and the communities they serve.

As Scottish Govt lays out is plans to support our sector via a new Recovery Plan and the impending SE Action Plan, colleagues in Glasgow are facing a different reality – with the likelihood of extensive cuts across the third sector as Glasgow City Council looks to balance its books. This afternoon, the Council  debates proposals put forward to reduce funding to the sector of up to £30m over the next three years. Reports – to date – suggest over 100 organisations seem to have had their funding bids rejected. The Council announced yesterday that an extra £4m of transitional funding is now being made available to organisation supporting those most severely impacted by the current pandemic.

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Wednesday saw over 200 delegates log-in to CEIS’ SE Policy and Practice Conference – with its focus being on recovery and how we can help to rebuild together. Three key themes – the Wellbeing Economy; Climate Crisis; and Community Wealth Building (CWB). One significant announcement – from Cab Sec, Aileen Campbell, was the roll-out of the CWB model which will now include the following local authority areas – Ayrshire Region; Glasgow City Region; Clackmannanshire Council; South of Scotland (SOSE); Tay Cities; and Western Isles Council. With the focus of the event being on ‘recovery’, this sobering report  (collated by SES) – from data provided via the Resilience Fundand the recent OSCR survey – drives home  the fact that what was already a very fragile sector (prior to Covid) – now faces even more challenging times.

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On 17th Sept, P4P will be launching a new series of monthly webinars, titled ‘In Conversation With…….’. The series will feature a range of voices from across our social enterprise community who are successfully collaborating with others, or are supporting those that are already doing so. The first webinar will see P4P joined by Co-operative Development Scotland – discussing the Consortium Co-operative model – with  October’s webinar featuring the newly-formed Glasgow Arts Partnership, led by the Glasgow Connected Arts Network. Here’s the booking form for both webinars. As a warm-up to September’s webinar, see

P4P’s latest Guest Blog where Suzanne Orchard (Co-operative Development Scotland) explains potential benefits for social enterprises in adopting the Consortium Co-operative partnership model:

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Frontline News:

Prep Table Scotland is also hosting a ‘virtual’ Community Learning Exchange (CLE) on Thurs, 17th Sept. The CLE is being jointly run by the Health, Community Food and Employability SENs. See booking details

Glasgow SEN member Lingo Flamingo is back – offering a brand new Online Semester – where people can

Continue their Lingo Flamingo journey, from home, participating in their online classes via ZOOM:

DTA Scotland’s August Newsletter now available – with features on the ongoing activity of its members – from Largo in Fife to Staffin in Skye – as well as up-and-coming details on their November Conference:

This year’s Social Enterprise World Forum will be taking place (virtually) between 21st-25th Sept. Tickets cost £49. Scottish participants include InspirAlba; the SE Rural Hub; CRNS; and the SE Academy:

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Dates for your Diary:

All SEN Session – Rescheduled: Monday 14th September (3-4pm) – Flexible Working & Mental Wellbeing. Our re-scheduled session will include contributions from Geoff Leask (Young Enterprise Scotland); Lisa Gallagher (Flexibility Works) and Claire Carpenter (The Melting Pot). To sign up, email mary@senscot.net

Sport and Health SEN: Wednesday, 9 Sept (10am) – Using Sport and Physical Activity to Promote Positive Mental Health’ will include various speakers about their approach and support which exists to help organisations develop programmes and initiatives on this topic. To book, email jude@senscot.net

Angus SEN: Wednesday,9th September – in partnership with Evaluation Support Scotland – will be hosting Learning to Tell Your Story – an introductory session on the basics of evaluation:

Aberdeen SEN: Friday, 11th Sept (11am) – looking at the 3 biggest challenges members face as they come out of lockdown; the support that is needed; and how the SEN can help. To book, email janice@senscot.net

Health SEN: Wednesday, 16th Sept (10.30am) – Anne Connor (Outside the Box) will talk about how smaller providers can play a bigger role in the world of health & social care. To book, email mary@senscot.net

Community Food SEN: Friday, 18th Sept (10.30am) – Opportunity for SEN members to discuss together challenges faced moving from Phase 3 to Phase 4 of Scotland’s Route Map. Contact mary@senscot.net

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SE around the globe: This week’s, we highlight a Pan-African social enterprise that is producing African news for the young people throughout the continent – via social media. UMWE Africa was established in 2018 and works with contributors (mainly students) from multiple African countries who are dedicated to engaging young people with matters that are shaping the future. One current project that UMWE Africa is working on is the production of a series of four documentaries – called ‘Pandemic: Covid-19 in Africa‘ – working with 20 students across 17 African countries to capture the unique experiences in each country.

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SEN Spotlight: This week’s SEN Spotlight looks features the Community Food SEN which was originally  set up in 2011 on the back of  a series of training events sponsored by Community Food and Health Scotland.

The Community Food SEN works with over 70 organisations from around the country engaged in different aspects of community food – including growers, community cafes, food cooperatives as well as providers of emergency food aid. All members have been prominent in local responses to the current Covid crisis – providing crucial services to vulnerable people. Over the years, the Community Food SEN has produced a number of documents promoting the important work of its members. Recent examples include Briefing Papers – and option models for Community Cafes – see Scenario 1; Scenario 2; Scenario 3: The next Community Food SEN meeting (by Zoom) is scheduled for Friday, 18th Sept (10.30am) – and will provide members with an opportunity to discuss together the challenges faced in moving from Phase 3 to Phase 4 of Scotland’s Route Map. To join in or for further info on the Community Food SEN, email mary@senscot.net

SE Network News Edition No.10