Autumn meeting of the Fife SEN

As part of Fife Business Week 2018 Fife SEN held its Autumn meeting in the Enterprise Hub, Glenrothes.

With over 40 attendees there was plenty of chat and discussion about what is happening in the Social Enterprise sector in Fife at the moment.

The meeting consisted of 4 “speed date” overviews from our business support agencies including :-

  • Lindsay from Social Investment Scotland (SIS) brought us the latest news in social investment.
  • Chris from Cyrennians gave us a lively talk with some amusing slides about Conflict Resolution, a subject that we probably all need some training on! How many of us really know how to listen or are we just waiting for our turn to talk? Cyrenians are offering workshops and training on conflict resolution and mediation – find out more HERE
  • It was also Living Wage Week and Lynne detailed the new recognition model for towns and cities
  • Marrisa from Business Gateway admirably stepped in at the last moment and gave an update of the great workshops and free expert help that’s available to you over the next few months.
  • Sam from Skills Development Service gave us a brief workshop on Skills for Growth which is a fully funded programme offering ‘deep dive analysis’ for your business.

There was also the regular “open mike” time in which to allow Social Enterprise managers to give an update on their particular projects. This even included a Social Enterprise pre-start who had travelled from High Valleyfield with their guitar.

  • Community Learning Exchange

This is a fantastic opportunity for communities to learn through the exchange of ideas and the sharing of common solutions. The Exchange will cover up to 100% of the costs of a visit by members of one community to another community project up to a limit of £750. If you are interested, take a look at the attached guidance notes and application form. BRAG are a member of SCA and can put you forward for the Exchange.

  • Business Gateway Information Service

Just to let you know that Fiona Elliot, your liaison for this service is going on maternity leave (congratulations Fiona!) so if you need to access the service, please send any info to Liesel.Hill-McManus@Scotent.co.uk

  •  A Fun Evening Out!

Josee Scott from Freedom Unlimited stood up in our Open Mic session to tell us about her exclusive evenings to treat yourself or as a gift for a special someone!

Join them for an up-cycling jewellery experiential craft evening with some special twists. Please see the attachment ‘Jewels & Tools’ for more details.

  • Cyber Fund

Earlier this month, the Scottish Government launched a £500,000 cyber fund under the National Cyber Security Programme for a voucher scheme to support small and medium-sized private and third sector organisations in Scotland to achieve the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) endorsed Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus certificate.
Eligible organisations can receive up to £1,000 towards the costs of achieving Cyber Essentials accreditation.

With the estimated cost of a cyber attack being around £3,000 quite apart from the damage to your organisation’s reputation, taking preventive measures is cost-effective, especially with the financial support on offer.

  • Cyber Essentials certification is a relatively simple way to make sure you have controls in place against the most common cyber threats. You can apply for the grant funding online and, if approved, will be eligible to access the money once you have achieved Cyber Essentials accreditation
  • ** Silverburn Park needs your help**

Brian, the Chair of FEAT got up in our open mic session to ask for a few mins of your time. This is what he has to say:

We are seeking funding from the Aviva Community Fund for a project to start 2 volunteering programmes at Silverburn Park, and I would like to ask for your help by voting for us.

The first programme will see 5 groups of 8 volunteers a year getting training and experience in a range of horticultural and land management skills that will help them gain employment.  The second will see 5 groups of 3 volunteers a year growing fruit and vegetables on site, and then getting training in food preparation, cooking and customer service in our Cottage Window café.  We are looking for funding to help towards the cost of employing 2 Project Leaders to run these very worthwhile schemes.

If you would like to help, please use this link https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/4-727   You will need to login or register, but once you have done that you can cast up to 10 votes each.  But please hurry as voting closes on 20th November.

Thank you in advance for your votes! Please make the effort to vote – you never know when you may need the favour returned!

  •  Skills for Growth

Skills for Growth is a free service for small businesses with between 5 and 250 employees. Sam Greer came along and gave us a great overview of what the project can offer to Social Enterprises. For more information click HERE

  •  Living Wage

Lynn Anderson was pleased to see a few Living Wage Employers amongst the attendees at the FSEN (Brag being one of them!). The real living wage has now increased to £9 an hour in Scotland which is great news and Lynn told us how the plan is to get the whole of Scotland on board, region by region (and the first region they are targeting is Fife!). If you’re not already but would like to be a Living Wage Employer, then contact Lynn: lynn.anderson@povertyalliance.org or for more info, see the attachment.

  • Understanding Social Investment

Lindsay from Social Investment Scotland gave us an interesting 5 minute pitch and if you don’t understand social investment by now then you need to get yourself booked on the course on Wednesday 14th. I’ve attached the invite or you can find more info HERE. I’ve been to this workshop myself and found it really useful.

  •  Fundraising Event 24th November

Maggie from Families in Trauma used the open mic session to invite everyone along to her fundraising event ‘Winter Festival’ which will be held at Fife Renewables Innovation Centre in Methil. Looks like a great family day out. For more info open the attachment Winter Festival.

  • BRAG AGM

We are holding our AGM on 28th November from 5pm to 6.30pm and would be delighted if you would come and join us. Find out what we’re getting up to these days!

  • Procurement – Is it working for SE?

Brian has been asked to speak at an event in a couple of weeks time and would value some of your opinions and feedback. If you would take the time to read the attachment and get back to him, it would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Fife Charities Trust

This is a payroll lottery set up by Fife Council. They give away £3k every month in total to charities and SEs so speak to your local Community Manager to ask them to nominate you! If you’re not sure who your local manager is, just ask me.

  • Social Enterprise Day

This is on the 15th November – get a shout out about the great work your SE is doing using the #WhoKnew hashtag. For more info click HERE

  • Business Gateway

The latest free workshops can be accessed HERE. Also Digital Boost have loads of really useful guides on everything from GDPR to Social Media which you’ll find HERE or if you want some 1:1 help, get in touch with Marissa – marissa.yassen@bgfife.co.uk

Lots of discussion and networking as well with both Bikeworks and Warrier Academy training taking advantage of having so many advisors in the room at one time to hold in depth discussions on their future plans.

We look forward to seeing you there.