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09 Dec 2016

2016 has been a particularly stressful year – it still is.  I force myself to watch the pitiless images from Aleppo; austerity sparks angry populist movements around the world – a failed economic system, with no Plan B; UK spending cuts continue relentlessly – reaching deep into local services; Donald Trump, coarse and confrontational, prepares to sour the mood of international affairs – the advance of nastiness; Brexit gets daily more delusional and dishonest; I want Scottish independence – but not further constitutional confusion – not just now.  By nature, I’m relatively comfortable with turbulence – but right now there are too many moving parts – can’t keep up.

            I was out in the garden last weekend (two spectacular autumn days) – cutting back 2016 shrubbery – dozens of pot plants trimmed or brought in – final preparation for the grip of winter.  With all the volatility in the external world, I feel no inclination to travel abroad for the festive season; our ancestors regarded these as the ‘survival months’ and that matches my frame of mind; time to ‘coorie doon’ – wait things out.

            I spend a delightful few hours this week with a dear friend and her 5 month old daughter; Wee Molly and I stare at each other a lot – I’m captivated – think of Hopkins line “nature is never spent – there lives a dearest freshness deep down in things.”  On Dec 22nd the shortest day will pass – the light will build again towards snowdrops and daffodils; I’ll open myself to the spirit of Christmas – which for me, celebrates a commitment to hope.


The Senscot Bulletin archive is open source – freely available for anyone to use; on the weekend before the launch of the new ‘Social Enterprise Strategy for Scotland’, we pulled up the Scottish Executive’s 2007 version;...Read more

The SENs is the name Senscot gives to our work with Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) - both thematic and geographical. SENs provide members with opportunities for peer support, collective action and market development. The vision is of a growing community of 500 frontline social enterprises across Scotland - connected and energised through a network of Networks.

Visit the new website here

The SENs: Friday 9th December 2016

Like many in our sector, we look forward next week to the launch of the new SE Strategy for Scotland. Many SENs and their members were able to participate in a wide-ranging consultation process that began in late 2014. Reflecting on the first SE Strategy (March 2007) - and Action Plan - offers an opportunity to consider how the SE community in Scotland has evolved over these last 10 years. From the SENs perspective, here are some stats from our annual report in 2007 (2016 figures in brackets): Local SENs - 10 (18); Thematic SENs - 2 (5); Local SEN members - 215 (1068); Engaged on Thematic SENs - 32 (486). It’s certainly not been plain sailing - but the increased level of activity, engagement and influence is there for all to see. We are hopeful the new Strategy helps SENs and their members build on a growing contribution within their respective local communities.

With council funding cuts placing an ever greater strain on delivery of community services, third sector organisations are looking at new ways to address local needs and increase their own sustainability.  This week, several Argyll-based recycling and re-use organisations met in Tarbert to discuss the possibility of developing a consortium approach aimed at maximising use of resources and providing innovative solutions.  If you would like to be involved...Read more
Fake Audiences Update
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Dakota Access pipeline: US denies key permit, a win for Standing Rock protesters
07 Dec 2016
The Army Corps of Engineers will not grant the permit for the Dakota Access...Read more

Do we need 1,000 social care bodies for 5.3m people?
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Two weeks ago on the eve of the government’s deadline for paying all social...Read more

Scotland could trial giving each citizen a universal basic income
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Scotland could roll out a universal basic income pilot after a trial won huge...Read more

Dr Denise Baden battles with the establishment view of Fidel Castro at the BBC
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Educational attainment is inextricably linked to family income and a positive...Read more

Scottish Labour calls for new federal state to unite UK after Brexit
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Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, has called for a radical reshaping...Read more

Scottish education system ‘no longer world leading’
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Scotland’s schools have recorded their worst ever performance in a major...Read more

So much for my dream of retiring to Bute
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I don’t know the detailed history of Craigard House, but my old neighbour...Read more

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A Unique new community café opened its doors offering fresh food and...Read more

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