DSEN August Network Meeting, West Ward Works 

DSEN August Network Meeting, West Ward Works 

Our August Network meeting was held at DSEN member West Ward Work’s facilities which were a former printing facility for DC Thomson. David Cook gave us a tour of this extensive property and updated us on their exciting plans to convert it into a thriving Arts and Cultural Hub. 

As everyone knows V&A Dundee opens on 15th September 2018 and this will be a catalyst to attract an estimated 3 million visitors to Dundee over the next few years – so it seemed a good time to focus on Tourism and the opportunities that it offers to local SEs. 

We heard from Dr Paul Jennings who leads one of Dundee’s premier tourism related Social Enterprises, Dundee Heritage Trust.  He is also involved with Visit Dundee, which is a collaborative enterprise supported by many in the business community and looks to promote Dundee as an authentic and quality short-break destination. Overnight stays being the key to unlocking the economic potential of V&A.  He indicated that Discovery and Verdant Work’s visitor numbers have been largely static over recent years, and their challenge will be to tap into the expected increase of visitors to the city.  One particular adage from the Museums sector that he shared with us, was ‘No Margin, No Mission’ – wise words for all SEs to take on board.  

We then heard from Zakia and Sonny from Invisible Cities.  This is an organisation that started in Edinburgh and works with people who have been affected by homelessness.  It offers people a range of life skills and personal development inputs, as a precursor to training them to becoming tour guides.  The guides then design their own tour, based on their interpretation of Edinburgh – which offers an alternative to some of the more traditional city tours e.g. A tour of Train Spotting related locations in Leith.   They have also been supporting the development of similar tours in Manchester and Glasgow and are keen to look at the possibilities of replicating it in Dundee. 

They have just launched a new newsletter which gives more info on their enterprise and other ‘positive’ SE developments that are happening across Edinburgh:  Invisible News 

Our last speaker was Sarah from Senscot, who leads on supporting social enterprises with Tourism related activity across Scotland.  She highlighted a number of relevant case studies and briefings, see and also gave some suggestions of key resources that are available when developing your tourism offer.  She also gave some important ‘do’s and don’ts’ including being listed on the Visit Scotland website and collaborating with other, complimentary service providers.  Sarah asked people to consider joining Senscot’s Tourism Network.  These Thematic networks offer the opportunity to share ideas, good practice and support with other SEs from across Scotland. Senscot Tourism SEN 

Other discussions at the meeting included the necessity of having an online presence to enable visitors to find, view and book experiences before they arrived.  The trend of paying online was also highlighted so that the need to deal with cash on the day was not necessary. 


Social Enterprises in the Tourism Sector

“Lots of contacts and similar minded individuals to discuss tourism and SE”

“Valuable & Inspiring Information!”

“Great Networking with passionate people”

Just a few of the positive comments from our Making Connections to Realise Opportunities tourism event at Dundee and Angus College yesterday. Thank you to everyone that came along. Below if the full report from our findings. Click  Tourism Sector Final Report  


Speaker Presentations

Angus Tourism Cooperative AMB

Creating CommuniTAY Business SS

Senscot Tourism SC

Visit Scotland MD

HMS Unicorn FR

DD8 Music GG

Showcase VR FS







Social Enterprise Catalogue for Construction Contractors

Download the Social Enterprise Catalogue for Construction Contractors


Spotlight on: Self Reliant Groups

What if the groups you work with weren’t dependant on funding? What if the groups you work with weren’t dependant on you? What if there was a different way of being alongside groups who set their own goals and achieved them?

Kirsty Slater and her colleague Isobel MacNaughton from WEvolution will berunning two sessions on SRG’s (Self Reliant Groups). These taster sessions (2hrs)  will provide participants with an understanding of the SRG way of working so that you can consider the model within your own context and reveal your groups’ potential to be self-reliant.

If you or your staff work with groups, and you’d like to explore a different way of working, this fun, interactive session is for you!

These sessions prelude a more intensive two day course that WEvolution would like to offer in Dundee. It’s a great opportunity to learn a bit more about being alongside people in an SRG, how it can change the way we work across our community and how we support and challenge people to be resourceful and creative.

Session 1: Wednesday 21st February  from 10am to 12pm

Session 2: Wednesday 21st February  from 2pm to 4pm

Both sessions will run at Number Ten, 10 Constitution Road, Dundee, DD1 1LL

To book, please click here:


A New Year – need a new direction? Starting up a Social Enterprise might be the answer.

Social Enterprises (SEs) are organisations that work in the heart of communities looking to support people to have a better quality of life and improve the environment in which they live. Often they are founded by local people themselves and look to address issues or inequalities that exist within their own communities.
One particular area that SEs are really successful with, is supporting people with their health and social care needs. This may be supporting someone within their own home with daily tasks such as bathing or dressing, enabling them to access the wider community, or simply anything that allows them to live as full a life as possible.
Here are a few quotes from people that have been supported by Social Enterprises: ‘A great, unique and imaginative social enterprise covering the very important topic of mental health’; ‘Anne has been a great support and help, she has also given me a lot of encouragement, being there when I needed her and when I wasn’t well’. ‘I love coming here. It means freedom for me and I get support”
Dundee Social Enterprise Network is an organisation that exists to support individuals or groups to start up and develop their enterprise. This can include support with business planning, start up funding, legal set up advice and linking with other local and national organisations that can also help.
So if you have an idea for an initiative that could support people with their health or social care needs please, get in touch:; or 01382 504848.