The SENs: Friday 18th December 2015

As is customary for the last SENs Newsletter of the year, we reflect on activity over the last 12 months. Two of the most significant developments over the year have been the launch of the SE Census 2015 and the publication of the SE Vision 2015-2025 document. A major part of our own work is in supporting the SENs and their members. The SENs themselves – 17 local and 5 thematic – now have around 1100 social enterprises as members or engaged. This has risen sharply from 350 in 2011 – an increase of approximately 300% – and would suggest, as per Census figures, that around 20% of Scotland’s 5,000 SEs are now engaged with local or thematic SENs. In order to offer appropriate support to this expanding network and the challenges and opportunities that are presenting themselves, we plan, as reported last week, to refresh our approach, particularly in view of ongoing developments in areas such as ‘Sport for Change’; Health and Social Care Integration; Tourism; Employability; Partnership and Procurement; and the emerging EU Funds 2014-2020. More in the new year. Following on from last week’s piece on the West Lothian TSI – news this week that the existing Board resigned at this week’s AGM – with a new Interim Board being appointed, see more. Hopefully, the new Board can begin to get things back on track. NB: For clarification, our reference last week to Avante Consulting’s ‘monopoly’on TSI Reviews was our own observation – not that of West Lothian SEN. Senscot will be holding its 16th AGM on 29th January at the Grassmarket Community Project in Edinburgh. The day will include a session looking at the implications – challenges, opportunities and risks – for social enterprise and the third sector in playing an increasing role in public service delivery. More details after the festive break. Last week, Mary attended the ‘Food Poverty & Social Justice: what next for Scotland?’ event organised by the Poverty Alliance. The morning session was particularly powerful including speakers on the lived experience of food poverty and lessons emerging from networking on emergency food aid,see full report.  How we measure food poverty was a key consideration of the day, exploring the need for meaningful measurement and how Canada has addressed this. The afternoon focused on potential solutions, with a clear appetite for action and anticipation for the recommendations that the Short Life Working Group on Food Poverty will present in the new year.  Congratulations to Borders SEN member, Bookdonors , which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.  Formed in 2005 by Lawrie Hayworth and Rona Strathdee, the company, which trades in used books collected from Charity Shops all across Scotland and North East England, has gone from strength to strength – now employing 32 staff with a turnover exceeding £1m. See more.  Another congratulations – this time to Glasgow and Cultural SEN members, Glasgow Women’s Library, who have been awarded the ‘Recognised Collections of National Significance’ status from Museum Galleries Scotland, joining Scotland’s elite list of must-see museum collections. This covers GWL’s entire collection of museum and archive holdings. This further cements Glasgow Women’s Library’s status as the only accredited museum dedicated to women’s history in the whole of the UK. Latest Sport SEN newsletter out this week, see more. Notices TENDERS: IT Disposal Service contract – Scottish Government, Family Support Service – Dumfries and Galloway Council, Care at Home – The City of Edinburgh Council, Programme to Improve the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People – NHSGGC and more. Join the Ready for Business Linked-In group and follow on TwitterIMPACT: A subsidised training workshop from Just Enterprise takes place at Brag in Fife on the 14th of Jan. The training session will provide vital information and tools that will support your organisation’s capacity to demonstrate the social impact it has on people and the communities it works with.  BURNS SUPPER: Glasgow Women’s Library is launching a new programme, Herland, that will bring the established and emerging talent of Scottish women to the fore. The first Herland event will be compered by comedian Susan Calman and will be an alternative Burns Night, on Friday 29th January 2016. PROGRAMME: Do you work with young women in Scotland? Passionate about gender equality and creating safe spaces? Join a 3-day professional development programme in January and February 2016 from YWCA. CROWDFUNDING: Congratulations to Glasgow Locavore on exceeding its crowdfunding target for its Big Plan, a social enterprise supermarket which stands up for a better food system. FAIR TRADE: A Scottish social enterprise has launched a new rice product this week which it hopes will create a ‘rice revolution’ by persuading consumers to buy ethically and, in turn, help to benefit the lives of smallholders in Africa. Dates for the Diary South Ayrshire SEN, 13th JanStirlingshire SEN, 14th JanPerth and Kinross SEN, 25th JanDundee SEN, 28th JanSenscot AGM, 29th JanGlasgow SEN, 3rd FebInverclyde, 16th FebPerth and Kinross SEN, 23rd FebSouth Ayrshire SEN, 9th Mar Merry Xmas and Best wishes for 2016! Kim