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17 Mar 2017

The social media attacks on Scotland’s leading women politicians shocked me – what kind of people write that stuff; sometimes the ferocity of public life gets me down – feel the need to shut it out.  When alcohol was part of my life – a few days ‘on the pish’ was my respite; people use all sorts of strategies to keep themselves sane – hobbies, religious practice, frequent travel etc.  I’m fortunate that I can easily ‘lose myself’ in some physical project – in the garden or around the house – which I did last week.

            A letter from my landlord six months ago, cautions me to stop using my wood burning stove until I can provide certification that my chimney is swept and safe – I accede.  Now, trying to embrace more physical activity, I decide to restore wood burning; spend the week erecting and varnishing storage racks on each side of my front stoop (IKEA) – then shifting barrow loads of logs from shed.  Front door now framed by a pleasing tunnel of 200 neatly stacked logs – dead chuffed.

            Contact chimney sweep – make appointment at £60 plus VAT.  After a quick inspection (head up lum) he says he can’t sweep or certify my chimney – as its illegal; it needs to be ‘lined’ and a steel plate fitted – to prevent falling, smouldering soot.  I ask how much; about a grand he replies; no thanks – he leaves.  So, sadly, wood burning has not yet been restored – but the primary purpose of last week’s project (a pleasant distraction) worked fine.  Come April, my Estepona bolthole will offer a warmer distraction.



Theresa May is a prisoner of the Tory right wing - that she can't, or won't, 'cut Scotland some slack', made inevitable Monday's demand for a new indyref; yesterday's attempt to...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 17th March 2017

This week Senscot and the Scottish Community Alliance hosted a Participatory Budgeting (PB) Masterclass delivered by Jez Hall (PB Partners and Share Future CIC). Scottish Government is promoting PB through the £2m Community Choices programme. Over 25 Local Authorities have already begun using PB within their community engagement work, much of it reported on the PB Scotland website. The aspiration of the Scottish Govt for Community Choices us an ambitious one, which means new opportunities for social enterprises seeking to engage with communities and secure public sector contracts. Here’s a link to the presentations from the Masterclass. PB Scotland is now seeking to create a dedicated group of PB champions, who are able to support others on their journey. People with the skills, commitment and capacity to learn, and then, to share that learning, see more.


Supported by the Community Learning Exchange Programme, Senscot is organising a study visit to Centrestage Music Theatre CIC  (Wed 29th March) to learn about their distinct approach to dignified food provision. The recent What Works Scotland’s research report outlines how they use food and the arts to engage people, help to improve life chances and (re)build communities, see flyer.  There are still a few places left - contact  if you’d like to join the visit.


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