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22 Sep 2017


When I heard, last week, that Susan had died of cancer, aged 70, the decision to attend her funeral was immediate.  For 15 years, from 1976, she was a valued colleague and friend – one of the most impressive community organisers I’ve ever worked with; I felt sad that we’d lost contact.

            At the service (Mortonhall, Edinburgh), it is quickly obvious that the minister doesn’t know Susan – but he’d taken the trouble to visit her family – listened to their stories – tried to shape a narrative; but it just doesn’t work for me.  I came to pay tribute to a warrior – a ‘sister in arms’ through many a battle with the ‘non-believers’ -  his text has no sense of this; I pay tribute silently to the Susan I knew.  In a few years, I reflect, something like this ceremony will be staged for me; someone (I hope familiar) summarising my life in ten minutes.  These rituals serve a purpose – help with grieving – a reminder where we’re all headed; but I can’t summon much interest in my own ‘send-off’ - don’t feel it matters.

            I love and am loved by a number of people – some are dead now, but when they were alive, we loved each other; is this not a better summary of our lives.  When I think about these individuals – I realise that I am the sum total of all that love – that is who I am; it’s within this sense of belonging that I exist.  Philip Larkin’s great line: “What will survive of us is love”.



Last week, joblessness in Scotland fell to a record low of 3.8 percent - but wages also continued to fall; economist/journalist Paul Mason writes that UK workers are living through the longest period of wage stagnation for 150 years. The...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 22nd September 2017

The Draft Programme for our SE Conference at the Westerwood Hotel – on the 7th/8th December 2017 – is now shaping up. “Collaborating towards a Sharing Economy” will again be run in partnership with Social Firms Scotland and Community Enterprise; with support from the Scottish Community Alliance – exploring how social/community enterprises can work better and more effectively together. Places are available for around 120 delegates and, as always, we anticipate 70% of attendees to be made up of front-line social enterprises – with around 20 places being reserved for national intermediaries and/or support agencies. Further details over coming weeks. To book your place, see Booking Form.


The Social Enterprise Census 2017 certainly caught the imagination of the sector with its publication earlier this month, and huge credit must go to Jonathan Coburn and the Social Value Lab team for a painstakingly thorough operation. While the research certainly pulled up plenty of positives across the sector – an increase in the number of SEs generating at least half of their income from trading, plus an overall increase in the number of SEs – there were also some sobering insights to be taken into consideration. We’ve written a blog outlining our initial observations from the Census, which you can read here.


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