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27 Mar 2015


Someone forwards a magazine article about La Ciociaria (pronounced cho cha ree a) – the remote area of Italy – between Rome and Naples – where my family originated. Promoting tourism – the piece enthuses (accurately) about the local scenery and produce; features an upmarket selection of places to eat and sleep; some being invested by the returning descendants of migrants; it all sounds lovely.

            My grandparents left La Ciociaria after the Great War; economic migrants with no money – but with bits of family in Scotland who would help them get a foothold. Passing through our valley, in 1919 – the writer, D.H.Lawrence describes it as ‘staggeringly primitive’. From their own stories (muted) and from research – I am aware that my people knew hunger – and the quiet desperation of peasant life.

            Both families spoke Italian at home – but my dad’s generation – all my uncles and aunts – were totally bilingual. With each generation came greater assimilation – until now you can find the descendants of Italian Scots throughout society; business – the professions – the arts - politics. With La Ciociaria now being promoted as a gourmet tourist trail – soon no-one will remember the desperate poverty that scattered its population across the world. It will be no loss that such misery can be forgotten – because we advance towards a Community where European citizens are free to work and settle in the country of their choice. But I will always choose to remember where and what my grandparents came from – a source of pride to me.



Interesting piece by Paul Krugman – a political commentator for the New York Times. He claims that the present British fixation with budget deficits and austerity – is not a narrative based on fact – but is an invention of media organisations (we...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 27th March 2015

The Ready for Business Consortium which delivers the Scottish Gov’s Developing Markets for Third Sector Providers Programme is now entering its third year. Yesterday, Ready for Business partners hosted a Stakeholder Engagement Event in Edinburgh, which attracted around 80 delegates (see list) – mostly public sector procurement and commissioning staff. The event included two impressive presentations on the progress of Public Social Partnerships (PSPs) at Low Moss Prison and at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. These were followed by a ringing endorsement from Cabinet Secretary, Alex Neil – not only on the value and importance of these PSPs but also on the role and contribution our third sector has to make both to the  wider economy and, particularly, in addressing inequalities in our society.


Following last week’s heads up - The Social Enterprise Census Scotland 2015 survey is now open. The survey will capture the size, scale and reach of SE in Scotland. Social Value Lab will be carrying out the work – and, all being well, the full report will be publically available in September 2015. This is an important milestone for SE in Scotland – so would be great if SEN members could take 15/20 mins to complete it – and, if you can, share it with others. Prizes which include an iPad Air are on offer to respondents, see...Read more
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