WHY Lunch and Learn?

As a new and growing organisation, we have much to learn. We want to invite the community to come along and learn with us too.

The Circle is the most recent tenant of a 1960s training centre. It is ideally set up to offer learning opportunities in classroom, seminar and practical settings with a kitchen and gardens available; so let’s start learning!

From June we will be offering free weekly ‘lunch and learn’ sessions on an absurdly wide range of topics. We can do this due to the generosity of the people in our network who are happy to give us an hour of their time to talk about and demonstrate their skills and expertise. We also invite you to bring a packed lunch with you so you can spend your lunch hour replenishing both your mind and body.

We will be holding most of the sessions in our co-working space. This gives you a chance to see the space that is currently available for free use and gives you an opportunity to meet other people from the community.

Our lunch and learn sessions can be of interest to businesses, charities, individuals, community groups, members of the public and families. The whole point of The Circle is to get these groups mixing and sharing skills and services. By building a community, we can make connections and build collaborations for the benefit of Dundee.

The second session can be booked via Eventbrite:

21st June at 12noon – Easy steps to increase your IT security with Steve Smith from Shackleton Technologies.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lunch-and-learn-at-the-circle-easy-steps-to-increase-your-it-security-tickets-34745906943

Please consider booking a place at one of these sessions and if you wish to come and share your skills, do leave a comment.

We are also keen to get a range of requests for topics to cover. Future events may include tax, sour dough pizza-making, personal injury and credit score strategies.

By Nicola Donnelly

Three months as a Creative Apprentice at The Circle

We can’t believe how quickly Jamsin’s three months at The Circle went by. We couldn’t be prouder of her work and can’t quite believe it was her first experience of the working world. She tackled all her tasks with enthusiasm and cheer and made a great impression on the tenants and visitors here. We will miss her while she goes on to work at Creative Dundee and Open Change, our partners with Applied Arts Scotland, in offering this apprenticeship.

We asked Jasmin to complete two tasks in her last week. Record a video on ‘What is a social enterprise?’ and reflect on the first three months of her apprenticeship. These pieces of work show the impact young people can make in the workplace and the rewards of offering opportunities.

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Volunteer Week – Interview with our Volunteer Receptionist, Yulia

During #volunteerweek we caught up with our newest volunteer, Yulia, who is in her second week of volunteering at The Circle as a Volunteer Receptionist.

How did you find out about The Circle?

Alison from Dundee International Women’s Centre helped me send a CV and covering letter to different organisations in Dundee.

Why do you want to volunteer?

First of all, I want to gain experience in an office environment and with accountancy in particular. I previously worked in the Payroll department of a bank in Russia. I want to learn new things and develop my skills.

I can practice speaking English at The Circle – it’s impossible at home because my husband and I speak Russian. It’s more natural to speak your mother language.

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Volunteer receptionist posts (4-8 hours per week)

The Circle is growing. We are delighted that we are filling up and seeing more and more bookings. Soon we will be looking to employ part-time receptionists to support the Facilities & Services Development Manager (me, Nicola). But. We are not there yet and in order to grow a bit more and get some funding in, we need to add some new members to our team.

We are therefore offering volunteer receptionist opportunities at The Circle for people looking to find something to do for a few hours per week, practice their skills, get work experience, or just contribute to a growing social enterprise. For this, you will get, first of all, our love, and then, travel expenses, experience in a start-up social enterprise environment, the opportunity to make your mark in an organisation dedicated to making an impact and regular supportive supervision sessions.

Volunteers will be well-placed to make a great application when our receptionist roles are advertised.

We are looking for a minimum of four people to do one or two 4-hour shifts per week for at least a few months (and for as long as you want to). These shifts will be either mornings or afternoons, Monday to Friday.

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Seeking new board members

We are looking for up to three people to join our Board of Trustees.

On a voluntary basis, trustees help The Circle develop its work, becoming a sustainable organisation that acts as a hub for charities, social enterprises, community groups and socially aware businesses in Dundee.

Founded by Kirsty Thomson, The Circle meets a need for affordable workspaces that also provides opportunities for sharing resources, collaboration and networking. It is based in the former Claverhouse Group training centre in Dundee. Launched in November 2016, The Circle has embarked on a transformation of the building into a thriving, productive hub for the community.

This is an opportunity to work with an innovative social enterprise where your contributions will have visibility and real impact. Time commitment can vary, but preparation for and attendance at monthly meetings in Dundee is a minimum requirement.

If you are interested please send us a covering letter (or an intro video) and a CV.

We’re looking for somebody who can help by doing the following

  • Ensure that The Circle complies with legal and other obligations.
  • Assist with providing strategic oversight (including digital, business development and fundraising).
  • Contribute specific professional skills and expertise as required (including IT management, marketing).
  • Work closely with the core team.
  • Act as an ambassador for The Circle.

An understanding of the voluntary sector or social enterprises, and previous experience as a trustee are both desirable but not essential.

Please respond by Friday 5th May 2017 to Kirsty via email – kirsty@thecircledundee.org.uk

Come and use our co-work space for free

We are working on our plans for the co-work space at The Circle. We have completed a survey and we are going to be interviewing some of our regular visitors.

It’s very important to us (and you!) that we get this space just right. That’s why we’re not rushing into anything until we have a community of people regularly working in the space who can tell us how to get it right for them.

From now, until the end of June. we are inviting you to come in and use the space completely free. You will become beta testers of our prototype space. The prototype space will consist of furniture we already have with the added bonus of WiFi.

All you have to do to take advantage of this offer is email bookings@thecircledundee.org.uk and let us know when you are coming. Then, bring along your laptop, notebook, hand-knitting or whatever it is you do and spend the day with us and a growing community of co-workers, absolutely free.

How to recruit delegates to your next training event

We often see organisations book our meeting rooms in Dundee to offer training sessions. Typically, organisations identify a training requirement that organisations across Dundee and Angus share. It is a way of offering a snapshot of their expertise and deliver valuable information in a short timeframe.

Organisations have to cover the cost of their time, the venue, catering and of course, the valuable expertise they have spent years developing.  Sometimes organisations have funding to deliver training free of charge to the recipient. In many cases, the organisation charges delegates to come along.

Most training sessions come about with an identified need in a particular sector or due to changes in external factors.

The training organisation books the room then puts the event up on Eventbrite or their own website and they get on with trying to promote the event. There are some factors we have seen that can lead to events being very well subscribed, and others struggling. Here are some things to consider.

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What has The Circle manager been doing all this time? A behind-the-scenes story

It’s now been over seven months since I started in my role as Facilities & Services Development Manager at The Circle. I have the ‘lived in’ desk and a well-used whiteboard to show for it. Hopefully, there are other visible changes too!

The biggest change I have felt has been the ‘buzz’ around the building. You can measure this to some extent by an increase in the number of the cars in the car park, or the number of sign-in sheets we now go through at reception. But mostly you feel it.

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Why do training off-site? The benefits of booking external meeting space for staff training

At The Circle we see groups receiving all kinds of training at our Dundee location – health and safety, operational procedures, business strategy, customer service, social media, confidence workshops, parenting, social enterprise start-up, design, volunteering and more. Sometimes this training is delivered to members of the public but often organisations come and do their internal staff development work at The Circle.

We are on hand to see and hear the benefits of getting out of your usual workplace for staff training.

  • Being interruption-free

While writing this blog, I was interrupted four times. I wish you could read the brilliant version that I could have written in isolation without phone calls and reception desk enquiries. We all know that in business that is not always possible but for some things you really need to be in an interruption-free zone.

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Questions asked about The Circle on a daily basis

A blog post by Jasmin, Creative Apprentice at The Circle.

Nicola and myself have come up with some questions about The Circle people tend to ask the most often. I have typed up the questions and also put the answers to them underneath so it is easier for people to find out more information about The Circle without scanning through the website for the answer you are looking for. Hopefully we have covered all of them!

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