Welcome to August’s Sport Social Enterprise Newsletter

July was a busy month for many social enterprises who were able to restart some delivery of sport and physical activity in line with Phase 3 of Scotland’s Route Map.  However, not all sports and venues have been given the go ahead, and many, including sports centres, swimming pools and gyms are still waiting for timescales outlining when they might be able to re-open.  These are expensive facilities to sit empty and many of the Sport SEN members are understandably anxious and concerned about the future of their organisations.

Social enterprises by their very nature are delivering programmes to address local community need and create positive social impact.  Sport social enterprises are working with some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, tackling a variety of social issues, including community safety, mental and physical health and wellbeing, loneliness and isolation – issues repeatedly highlighted as significant concerns throughout this pandemic.  Without satisfactory support during this prolonged period of closure, these organisations may fail, leaving a significant gap in existing service provision which would have helped to tackle the social issues facing the country as we recover.

Last week we submitted this letter to Joe FitzPatrick (Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing) and Aileen Campbell  (Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Govt) highlighting some of the concerns voiced by members of the Sport SEN.  We have also shared this with sportscotland to include within a collective response on behalf of the sport sector, and we are hopeful that the sector will receive the financial support it requires to ensure that vital community services, and organisations, are not lost.

Please get in touch if there’s anything at all I can help with, otherwise, hopefully August brings with it more opportunities to kickstart sport and physical activity again.

Take care,


M| 07495 925 388 E| jude@senscot.net

SEN’s and Social Enterprises

Virtual SEN Sessions

On Friday 10 July, Sport SEN members who are operating community swimming pools joined a peer support and networking session to talk specifically about issues affecting them and their planning for reopening when restrictions are eased.  There was great conversation and information sharing and we intend to bring together this focused group on a more regular basis.

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In light of the Scottish Government announcement on Thursday 9 July and the delay in re-opening much of the sport sector, notably indoor sports centres, community swimming pools and gyms, we organised a Sport SEN session on Wednesday 22 July for members to share their concerns and talk about how this delay will affect them.

Part of the purpose of this meeting was to gather intel to inform the Ministerial submission mentioned above, highlighting the ongoing challenges and impact facing the affected sport social enterprises.


As part of our focus on mental health, we hosted an All SEN Session: Supporting Staff Mental Health & Wellbeing.  The Wee Retreat CIC provided a Mindfulness taster, and there were presentations from Grassmarket Community Project and Bridging A Gap/Rural Mental Health Forum.  A recording of the session is now available here.

The mindfulness taster unfortunately isn’t included in the recording, however you can find out more about the services offered from The Wee Retreat here.


As noted last month, the Sport SEN was joined by P4P and Scotland Excel  to talk about support available around collaboration and procurement.  The topic of collective purchasing was discussed, and it was highlighted that it may be beneficial to consider opportunities to join with other organisations to procure goods or services.

Since then, Senscot has been exploring piloting a ‘collective purchasing’ initiative in one locality, which would involve Senscot signing up to purchase items which social enterprises commonly require through Scotland Excel’s frameworks. This could include PPE, cleaning products or a range of other items. We would be grateful if you could take 5 minutes to complete this survey, which will help us assess demand for the service.


Upcoming Virtual SEN Sessions

  • Employability SEN session: Covid-19 Labour Market Insights with Skills Development Scotland : Wednesday 13th August, 10.30-11.30
  • Rural SEN Meeting: Tuesday 18 August
  • All SEN Session: Flexible Working and Mental Wellbeing: Monday 24 August 15.00–16.00

You can find out more about all of the above planned sessions and how to book your space here.


We are currently organising a joint Sport and Health SEN session around using sport and physical activity to promote positive mental health.

Physical activity has been shown to have a strong and positive impact on mental wellbeing.  Many social enterprises are already using sport and physical activity as a tool to promote positive mental health, and many have indicated that this is something they would like to start or do more of in future.

This joint thematic session will focus on how to use sport and physical activity to address mental health within communities.  Further details will follow in due course but we will hear from various speakers about their approach and the support which exists to help organisations develop programmes and initiatives on this topic.

There will also be an interactive Q&A, the opportunity for general discussion and to share experiences.

We would like to invite you to provisionally save the date of Wednesday 9 September at 10am for this session and for more information please email Jude@senscot.net


Rural SEN

Hosted by InspirAlba the Rural SEN was recently formed and has a steadily increasing membership.  They meet monthly to connect, collaborate and share learning.  You can find a note of the previous Rural SEN meeting on the Rural Social Enterprise Digital Hub.

The Hub includes tools, resources and guidance to support rural social enterprise and has a focus on recognising and learning from the unique characteristics of social enterprise in a rural context.  Contact Ailsa to find out more about the Hub or joining the Rural SEN – many Sport SEN members are located rurally so may find this additional network of support valuable.

The most recent meeting of the Rural SEN highlighted the importance of social enterprises in providing access and progression routes for young people, especially in light of unemployment challenges anticipated as a result of Covid-19.  It is vital to provide young people with opportunities to remain in their rural communities, rather than migrate to urban centres.  To better understand what social enterprises could offer, it would be appreciated if you could complete this survey.


What the Social Enterprises are up to!

Animalia CIC  are busy training for their Ben Nevis 24 Hour Challenge on 29-30 August this year.  The event brings people together to raise awareness of mental health and this year they also want to raise awareness of two charities:  Loveleigh Community who aim to help fight the stigma of mental health by encouraging openness, sharing and acts of kindness; and Go Gold Live to raise awareness for childhood cancer.


Eat Sleep Ride CIC were able to re-open in July and start delivering some of their services whilst adhering to Scottish Government guidelines.  They have continued with their online programmes, various accreditations and launched the Youth Borders Hi5 Awards.  So far 11 young people have completed their Hi5 Challenge and feedback has been extremely positive.  They have also remained focused on plans for their move to a new home which will be a purpose built, eco-friendly community hub.


Get Active Coaching CIC are a new social enterprise promoting health and wellbeing through sport and exercise.  Find out more about their latest programmes, including a new online exercise programme and family physical activity packs here.


Mid Argyll Community Pool have had a huge boost to their plans to transform MAC Pool into a Health and Wellbeing Community Hub.  They received the fantastic news that they have been awarded £700k from The National Lottery Community Fund towards their project.  This takes them to 90% of the capital build cost! Read more here and find out more about TNL Community Fund here.


Partick Thistle Charitable Trust  in partnership with Progrez 1, NG Homes and Partick Thistle, has reached the incredible landmark of delivering 25,000 free meals to vulnerable people in the North of Glasgow.  Throughout lockdown their programme has evolved and now offers packages of fresh food with simple recipe cards, hand sanitiser, weekend breakfast packs and self-help books.  Find out more and watch their video here.

They have also launched a new health and wellbeing programme called Fit for Good and you can find out more about this here.


Scottish Sports Futures has recently published their Annual Impact Report for 2019/20 which sets out their outcomes and fantastic achievements over the past year.  They have also been busy delivering Wellbeing Workshops for young people and are offering their Education Through Cashback programme virtually and online.  Find out more here.




Following a recent series of webinars, the Changemakers consortium in partnership with sportscotland are delivering a further six sessions which focus on themes relating to the Clubs and Communities Framework and the Changing Lives through sport and physical activity approach.

  • Friday 7th August – Confident coaches and volunteers
  • Friday 14th August – Delivering a blended model of sport
  • Friday 21st August – Return to Sport plans for clubs
  • Friday 28th August – Social enterprise for sport
  • Friday 4th September – Including everyone in the sport recovery
  • Friday 11th September – Route map for community facilities

The format is presentation based, with the Changemakers and sportscotland staff providing content and inciting reflection across the clubs, hubs and communities environment.   If you wish to attend please complete the following sign-up form.

Audio and slide decks from the previous webinars can be found here.


You can find updated information on their Covid-19 information and resources webpage, with sport based guidance being updated continually as further announcements are made from Scottish Government.  https://sportscotland.org.uk/covid-19/


Funding and Support

The SCVO website is still the place to go for the Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub which is the key resource for the whole third sector in responding to Covid 19.


The Senscot Resources Webpage has key information and signposting for Social Enterprise.  We are still updating specific webpages for the thematic areas so you can find a new section called ‘Sport and Recreation Resources – Covid 19’ at the bottom of the Sport SEN Webpage.  This includes various guidanceresources and funding opportunities.


Scottish Community Alliance (SCA) has reconfigured their highly successful Community Learning Exchanges (CLE) programme  to allow community groups to deliver their knowledge and expertise virtually to other community organisations.  Contact Jude if you are a member of the Sport SEN interested in hosting a CLE.


Scottish Community Development Centre plan to redevelop Communities Channel Scotland Communities Channel Scotland  and refresh the Social Impact Pledge.  SCDC wants to hear from you about how to make their content as useful as possible.  Please complete this survey to provide your views by Friday 7 August.


Just Enterprise are offering a packed programme of support including one to one coaching  and online learning.


Firstport have opened their Social Entrepreneurs Fund which supports individuals to test, start and grow social enterprise ideas.  There are five different funds, three of which have now re-opened: Pounds for Purpose (PfP);  Start It and Build It.


Social Enterprise Academy continue to roll out their new learning resource, The Spotlight Series. The Learning Spotlight is a short learning experience such as a brief article, video or audio clip and can be used as a ‘talking point’ to keep everyone engaged. They are targeted at all team members, including furloughed staff, directors and volunteers.

The Learning Spotlight will:

  • Introduce you to a new idea or concept around leadership
  • Explain why it’s important at the current time
  • Identify what it means for you in your situation.

For more information please contact Emily (emilyhouston@socialenterprise.academy)


GSK and The King’s Fund have announced that the GSK Impact Awards  are now open for applications.  They recognise and reward charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health and wellbeing.  Winners receive benefits including funding, training and development, publicity and national recognition.  Closing date: Monday 14 September 2020.


Zero Waste Scotland has a Covid-19 Adaptation Fund which is open for applications until 28 August 2020.  Grant funding of up to £500 per site is available to support eligible organisations to implement control measures that will allow operational capacity to recover in line with recommended practices.

They have also launched a food redistribution matchmaking service  aimed at rescuing food that would otherwise be wasted during this period of uncertainty.  They connect suppliers with surplus produce to organisations who will benefit from it.  With many sport social enterprises currently offering food provisions to those most in need, this might be of interest and you can find out more about reducing food waste here.


Corra Foundation have opened the #ShiftThePower Coronavirus Response Fund.  Grants of up to £10k are available to grassroots organisations in Scotland (with turnover under £250k) to support individuals, families and communities, including coping with the impacts of Coronavirus.


People’s Postcode Trust open their People’s Postcode Lottery Fund for applications between 4 – 19 August.  This is the last round of funding for 2020.  See if you might be eligible and find out more here.


Greenspace Scotland and The National Lottery Heritage Fund have launched a new guide to help manage parks, gardens and greenspaces during the coronavirus pandemic.  Managing Scotland’s Parks and Greenspaces During Covid-19 brings together latest guidance from Scottish Government and advice from Public Health Scotland, sportscotland, Visit Scotland and a range of other organisations.


Keep Scotland Beautiful manage the Climate Challenge Fund  on behalf of Scottish Government.  With organisations looking to make cost savings at this time, it might be worth having a look at this fund to see if you could help tackle climate change by reducing emissions through energy efficiency improvements, whilst also making long term savings on operational costs.


And Finally:

Returning to where we began on the subject of re-opening the sport sector and the future for many organisations in the sport and fitness industry.  Community Leisure UK has suggested that up to a third of its members will be unable to re-open.  This interesting article in The Conversation online magazine puts forward the case – and the benefits – the community ownership can bring in protecting these important local services.

SE & Sport Newsletter – August 2020