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26 May 2017

At Xmas in TK Maxx – on impulse I purchased a double mirror – true image on one side, 10x magnification on the reverse; don’t get one! – it exaggerates every blemish on your face – I look grotesque.  In a similar manner, there’s a prism in my mind which activates without warning – and which accentuates all the negatives in my world; it’s like falling down a trapdoor into a dark place.  I habitually used alcohol to lift these moods – now I just stay down; they seldom last more than a few days.

            Over the years I’ve come to realise that the only light which enters the dark place comes from love; either a memory – or some gracious loving behaviour in the present; those moments when we touch each other – the most powerful we’ll ever know.  The only real regret I have is that I so often failed my friends – allowed other ‘big things’ to edge them out; if only, at the time, I’d been more aware how much I cared about certain people – been able to tell them.

            The last time I saw my dad alive was in 1988 in Italy; he was the age I am now though much diminished by a stroke; died within 18 months. He didn’t have much religion; instead a keen sense – and stoic acceptance – of life’s inherent absurdity; his self-effacing smile conveyed sardonic humour.  As we were parting he got a bit upset – then quickly his trademark smile – determined, courageous; and I remember, at that moment, I nearly said I loved him.



There is horror and sadness all across the UK after the Manchester bombing; the bereaved families – the damage to hundreds of children and young people who have seen ruinous sights.  With solidarity from across the land...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 26th May 2017

As part of our work on a Feasibility Study into the Italian Consortia Model and the lessons we can learn from it, Senscot spent a couple of days visiting Milan – seeing how things work first-hand. The visit was about learning how social co-operatives – through working together – have grown over the last thirty years and are now the major deliverer of social care services in cities like Milan and Bologna. Their Consortia Model was established in 1988 and has benefitted, in particular, from two specific pieces of legislation: Strategic commissioning of services by local authorities – as opposed to putting out tenders; and the introduction of enforceable quotas for the employment of the disadvantaged or disabled people. Over the coming weeks – as part of our Study – Community Enterprise will be delving deeper into this topic with SEN members themselves.

It is Senscot’s intention to submit a written view – one which represents the views of our SEN members – to the Scottish Government’s Health and Sport Committee as part of the Committee’s Sport for Everyone Inquiry. Phase one of the inquiry found that factors such as caring commitments, a lack of facilities and prohibitive costs have impacted participation in sports at a grassroots level. Phase two will investigate ways in which community-based approaches can remove these barriers...Read more
Contracting environment has dulled the voice of charities, says CFG chair
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Both left and right are promoting the idea of a basic wage for everyone, currently...Read more

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Social Enterprise Academy
Closing Date: 29 May 2017 ...Read more

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