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22 Aug 2014

In his book, ‘Stone Voices’ – Neal Ascherson wrote about the dismal 1979 devolution referendum; of the widespread pessimism and sense of alienation he encountered going round the country – speaking in near empty halls; the demoralisation, particularly in the housing schemes, made him angry: “Scottish local government is preoccupied with control – and a condition of silent, divorced dependence is what it prefers from its tenantry; a patchwork of Labour Party power cliques – who want as few people as possible to participate in running their own lives”. In 1979, I was a community worker in Edinburgh’s Wester Hailes; Ascherson says it true – ‘Socialism from one centre’ was the prevailing doctrine; action from citizens independent of the one party state was openly resisted; we were a curiously cowed people. Not now though.

            Read this week – that since Margo MacDonald’s sad death in April – Jim Sillars has addressed almost 50 meetings around the country; he says that people have a new hope in their eyes – widespread engagement in shaping the future of Scotland. He believes that the referendum has politicised groups that will not be silenced after September 18th. Professional politicians don’t enjoy engaged citizens; for 50 years in this country – our greatest asset – the energy and urgency of local people – has been intentionally removed from political life. Veteran campaigners for the missing local tier of democracy – believe that we can build on the present levels of engagement. Regardless of the indy vote – momentum is building for a radical makeover of the way Scotland does local democracy.


The recent report ‘effective democracy’ – from the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy – is a truly radical one – making big suggestions that could change Scotland.  It follows reports in the same vein like ‘the hidden crisis’ and...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.

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The SENs: Friday 22nd August 2014

We’re now opening up bookings for Senscot’s 10th SE Conference and Ceilidh on 13th/14th November at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld.  This event has become a fixture in our SE calendar and has very much been for front-line social enterprises and SEN members. This year, we will be looking to reflect on the progress made over the last 10 years and the challenges that lie ahead. We’re aiming to make it as informative and interactive as possible - giving attendees plenty opportunities to contribute and participate in discussions. The intention is to ensure that as many active SEN members as possible are able to attend. If you would like a booking form, contact


This week, Scottish Govt published the list of organisations successful in securing awards from the £6m Enterprise Ready Fund. We’re delighted to see so many SEN members being successful - with 51 of the 115 awardees being engaged with SENs. The Enterprise Ready Fund is helping organisations to develop, become more efficient and self-sustaining and/or diversifying into new markets. Priority was given to activities that contribute towards the Scottish Govt’s Prevention and Welfare Reform agendas.  The fund is being delivered by a consortium of third sector organisations led by Foundation Scotland in partnership with Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEiS), Developing Strathclyde Ltd (DSL) and Social Value Lab, more...Read more
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Volunteer Counsellor
Closing Date: 29 Aug 2014 ...Read more

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Senscot works closely with these social enterprise intermediaries: The development work of Senscot is also supported by the Scottish Government.

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