In recent weeks, we have highlighted the difficulties being experienced by Sport SEN members – and other organisations running sport or leisure facilities – including particular concerns about the lack of any dedicated support funding for their sector – as has been seen with other sectors. We’re pleased to report that Scottish Govt has now produced guidance on re-opening procedures for both indoor and outdoor sport and leisure facilities. In addition, sportscotland has also updated its ‘Getting Your Facilities Fit for Sport‘ guidance – which should be used in conjunction with the Scottish Govt’s guidelines.  We are still awaiting word on any dedicated funding stream being made available to support these organisations. In the meantime – for Sport SEN members and others running sport or leisure facilities – we will be hosting Sport SEN session on Wednesday, 26th August 2020 (10am) – where Graham Finnie and Kate Forbes (both from the Facilities team at sportscotland) will be providing an overview of the updated guidance and will also be participating in a Q&A session. To sign up for next Wednesday’s session, email jude@senscot.net

As we look to recover from the current Covid crisis, ‘Recovery Plans’ have been and are continuing to be produced from many different sources. One that has caught our eye this week comes from Dr Jack Barrie (Zero Waste Scotland). Jack has collated this compendium of nearly 270 recommendations – put forward by over 20 organisations and/or committees – for Scotland’s Green Recovery. The main themes focus on Wellbeing; Energy; Natural Capital; and the Circular Economy. This ‘labour of love’ is well worth a look but – for some bits – a magnifying glass may come in handy.

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Last month, Aileen Campbell launched a review of the 2013 Town Centre Action Plan. Part of the review includes this national survey (closing date 30th Sept 2020) –  which is seeking to gather the views of local communities on the future of their towns. In addition to this, the Town Centre Review Group has also launched its Scotland Loves Local campaign – designed to encourage people to think local first and support their local town centres and high streets safely and in line with public health guidelines – see Herald article. On a similar theme, see this recent blog from DTA Scotland CEO, Louisa Macdonell on the contribution of DTA Scotland members to community-led regeneration.

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An event that many may wish to sign up for is GCVS’ online conversation ‘Our World Re-imagined: Community Wealth Building’ – Tuesday, 1st Sept at 14.00pm. Journalist, Penny Taylor will be interviewing Neil McInroy (CEO of CLES – and currently on part-time secondment to Scottish Govt). Neil will be talking about how community wealth building, as a new focused movement, is growing across Scotland and beyond. He will consider how it can be made relevant to people and communities struggling through current hardships and, above all, how community wealth building could contribute to a fairer Scotland with greater levels of wellbeing. See link above to book your place.

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In March 2020, Co-operative Development Scotland, Community Shares Scotland and the Plunkett Foundation hosted an event –  ‘Community-owned Shops and Pubs – Making It Easy’. Community business ‘experts’ shared their knowledge and experience on things you need to know; such as fundraising, governance and community engagement. The organisers have followed this up with this blog and video capturing key issues from the day. Also, see this helpful map of community shops and pubs across the UK.

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Frontline News: Good to hear that Glasgow SEN member, the Glad Café will re-open on Friday 4th Sept. After months of uncertainty, the Southside-based café and arts venue will initially open 3 days a week:

Health SEN member, Twechar Healthy Living Centre is organising a petition to prevent the withdrawal of a satellite GP service that runs in the centre every Wednesday. You can sign up here to support their campaign:

Last is a new social enterprise which aims to end our reliance on single use plastics by helping the public take practical action and to inspire the next generation. Have a look at the products from their online shop:

News of another merger with the coming together of the Prep Table Scotland and the Scran Academy. Both have been working closely together providing over 100,000 meals to vulnerable families across Edinburgh:

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:

The Robertson Trust has announced the appointment of Dr Jim McCormick as its new CEO. Jim joins from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and will formally take up post in October 2020. We wish him well.

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SEN News and Diary Dates:

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 :

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

Employability SEN: Wednesday, September 23rd (2-3pm)Drew Reid from Skills Development Scotland will be talking about how their Skills for Growth programme could benefit members. To book, email Jayne:

Sport SEN: Wednesday 26 August (10am – 11.30am) – Graham Finnie (sportscotland) will be providing an overview of the updated guidance and will participate in a Q&A session.  Email jude@senscot.net to sign up:

Angus SEN:  second Procurement Skills Accelerator will be running on Tues 25th Aug (10am). This sessions – run with  P4P – are for organisations with little or no experience of procurement or bidding for tenders:

Still on Angus SEN – Local social enterprises and third sector orgs have the opportunity to bid for small local grants (£500) towards embedding a new work practices or process developed during Covid crisis:  

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SE around the globe: A couple of months back, we mentioned the formation of ASENA – a new national alliance of Social Enterprise Networks in Australia – covering seven states and territories –  to provide a strong, united voice representing the interests of Australia’s social enterprise sector. Further news this week from down under, with the New South Wales (NSW) Govt reaching an agreement with Social Traders to make it easier for NSW Govt departments to secure goods and services from certified social enterprises.

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SEN Spotlight: This week’s SEN Spotlight looks at the Employability SEN. First set up in the summer of 2016, the Employability SEN now boasts around 230 members. Like all SENs, its purpose is to facilitate peer support, networking and learning & development opportunities for organisations and, in this case, delivering a wide variety of flexible, person-centred employability services. Many take the form of Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISE) – a type of social enterprise that has a specific focus on helping people with a disability or disadvantage into employment. This would also include social firms or supported businesses. In light of Scottish Govt’s response to recommendations made by the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board, the Employability SEN is seeking feedback from members and other social enterprises on their thoughts on the above-mentioned initiatives; how they will support and/or impact on what you deliver; and what you consider is needed for employability/employment support and your own work going forward. To share your thoughts and ideas etc, please email Jayne Chappell at jayne@senscot.net

SE Network News Edition No.8