The Sport SEN comprises more than 100 organisations involved in delivering sport and physical activities in local communities across Scotland. The most recent Sport SEN meeting – held on 22nd July – looked to address a number of the immediate issues being faced by these organisations both in terms of response to and recovery from the impacts of Covid 19. On the back of this meeting and information fed back by other members, this letter has been submitted to both Joe FitzPatrick (Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing) and Aileen Campbell (Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Govt.). The letter focuses on three key challenges being faced by Sport SEN members as they explore the gradual re-commencement of sport and physical activity whilst, at the same time, prioritising public health and safety: Funding and loss of trading income; challenges with regard to facilities; and costs incurred in preparing to re-open. An over-riding requirement for Sport SEN members – and sports organisations across the country – would be news of dedicated funding support from Scottish Govt as has been witnessed across numerous other sectors. 

We are pleased to say that our proposed new name – Social Enterprise Network Scotland – has now received formal consent from OSCR. Our final hurdle – via a special resolution – is to seek formal approval at a general meeting of members – which will be held virtually (by Zoom) on Friday 7th August 2020 at 9.30am. 

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Firstport announced, last week, the re-opening of the Social Entrepreneurs Fund (SEF). SEF is a Scottish Govt-funded programme that supports individuals in Scotland to test, start, and grow social enterprise ideas. It runs five different funds – but three are now ‘open for business’ – Pounds for Purpose (PfP) for 16-26 year-olds; their flagship Start It programme;  and Build It for those up and running for circa 2 years. To apply or to find out more, see further details

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One of the ideas to recur during our recent SE Reset week was around the potential for collective purchasing. This idea has been floated in the past without gaining any real traction – for various reasons. However, on the back of Scotland Excel’s decision to open up its frameworks to social enterprises to utilise during the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt it was something worth exploring again and are looking at the possibility of running a ‘pilot’ in one geographical area – with the option of expanding to further locations – depending on demand. This short survey is looking to understand what level of demand there is within the sector to purchase collectively, and, also, to allow organisations to express an interest. 

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CEIS annual bash – their SE Policy and Practice Conference will still be going ahead this year – but as a ‘virtual conference’. The event takes place on Wednesday 2nd September – with this year’s focus being on recovery – with three linked themes – Wellbeing Economy; Climate Crisis; and Community Wealth-building. Keynote speakers include Josiah Lockhart (Firstport); Katherine Trebeck (Wellbeing Alliance); and Joe Cullinane (North Ayrshire Council). See full programme – and to book your place, see Registration Form

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SEN Sessions: Dates for your Diary: With various SEN meetings scheduled over the coming weeks, we’ll be listing core details – dates, times, guest speakers etc – to keep people up to date with what’s on and when: 

Employability SEN: Tuesday 30th July (11am-12noon) – to find out more about new Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) Framework  CAEHRSTo participate, contact jayne@senscot.net  

Rural SEN: Tuesday 13th August (time – tbc). Following on from their last meeting on 39th June 2020. You can see notes from June meeting here. To sign up, contact ahiggins@inspiralba.org.uk  

All SEN Session: Monday 24th August (3-4pm) – Flexible Working & Mental Wellbeing. This 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  

Employability SEN: Wednesday 13th August (10.30-11.30) – Covid-19 Labour Market Insights with Skills Development Scotland. To join in, contact jayne@senscot.net . See further details of all sessions

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SE around the globe: Although the UK will leaving Europe in the near future, many in our sector will be hoping to maintain links, built up over the years, with european colleagues – and will continue to monitor developments and initiatives that we can learn and benefit from. This includes the forthcoming European Action Plan on the Social Economy (2021-26) – which includes 20 policy measures and 64 actions structured in seven pillars. Also on the european front, this week, the Spanish city of Toledo has been appointed european capital of the social economy for 2020. 

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Frontline News: Cultural SEN members will be interested in Scottish Govt’s new Museums Resilience and Recovery Fund . The £4m fund – to be administered by Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) – will provide support for Scotland’s museums and galleries as they look towards re-opening their services: 

Glasgow SEN member, Glasgow Piano City, in partnership with the Pianodrome, has been receiving UK-wide media coverage for helping create the Springburn Park Auditorium – made up entirely from old pianos. 

Wasps Studios have been in touch to let folk know of several office spaces that have become available in their properties in both in Glasgow (at both the Briggait and South Block) and Perth. See full details

#ShiftThePower Coronavirus Response Fund is now open. Grants up to £10k are available to grassroots organisations in Scotland (with turnovers under £250k) to support vulnerable individuals, families, and communities, including coping with the impacts of Coronavirus. Fund is managed by the Corra Foundation

Partick Thistle Community Trust announced, this week, that it has reached the landmark of 25,000 free meals delivered locally to help the vulnerable during Covid-19 crisis in the north of Glasgow. 

This month’s Health SEN Newsletter is now available – with features on SEN sessions coming up; local news from Health SEN members; as well as information on community food initiatives across the country. 

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SEN Spotlight: This week’s spotlight falls on West Lothian Social Enterprise Network (WLSEN). WLSEN has been operational since 2014 and currently has over 60 members. It is a membership network composed of leaders in social enterprise in West Lothian – all playing a key role in helping communities thrive socially, environmentally and economically. WLSEN looks to provide support, representation, promotion and development for its members to achieve its aim of having a robust, vibrant social enterprise sector in West Lothian. It is one of the few SENs across the country that has had consistent support from their local authority and is also contracted by the West Lothian TSI to deliver it social enterprise support function. 

This week, WLSEN’s new website went live. To find out more on WLSEN, contact info@wlsen.org.uk

SE Network News Edition No.5,