Tenant Tuesday – Meet Cornerstone

photo       This week we would like to introduce you to Cornerstone, who provide care and support services for adults, children and young people with disabilities and other support needs. They help them realise their true potential while creating increased social inclusion, improved independence health and general wellbeing.

Cornerstone came to The Circle in May of this year because the idea of a social enterprise hub was something that very much appealed to them, particularly the idea of building relationships and co-working with like-minded people from other organisations.

In fact, being able to meet and build a network of contacts with various groups and people that they may not have come into contact with has already proven successful. They have made a really great link with Uppertunity CIC and its “Simply Stitch” Group, which has allowed some of the adults they support to take up sewing. The classes are pitched at a good level for those they support and they have been making some really high quality items, including cushion covers, which has given them a real sense of pride in what they have achieved.

We at The Circle are delighted to see our tenants and groups be able to come together and support each other, and are very much looking forward to see what happens next.

So far we have introduced you to Food Train and  Lumilo Casting Studio. We have more to come.

Tenant Tuesday – Meet Food Train

Your name and organisation and what you do?

Food Train is a Scottish Charity supporting local older people to live independently in their own communities.

When did you move into The Circle – February 2017

What made you choose the Circle? – Location and the opportunity to be more integrated in the community.

What you do like about being here? – Being able to engage with other organisations and possible networking prospects.

What do you and your organisation hope to bring to The Circle and its community ? – Being more visible in the community and accessible.

The Courier Business Awards – The Circle shortlisted for YOUNG BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

We are delighted to be shortlisted for this Award.

Here is a little bit more about it!

The Courier Business Awards

This category acknowledges exciting and innovative new companies operating in Courier Country. Open to any business from any sector which started trading or launched a distinct new business venture within the past three years.

Key criteria:

Demonstration of innovation and service excellence

Entrepreneurial spark

Commitment to developing new talent through apprenticeship/continued professional development programmes,

Commercial success and/or evidence of growth

Commitment to local procurement

Fantastic winners Prize:

Insights is delighted to offer you and your senior management team the opportunity to experience our flagship model, Insights Discovery*.

Insights Discovery helps people to better understand themselves and others. It begins with an easy to answer online evaluation that takes around 20 minutes to complete. The individual then receives an Insights Discovery Personal Profile that highlights their strengths and weaknesses, communication style, approach to problems and value to the team.

 The Insights Discovery Personal Profile can be used for individual coaching sessions or as part of a team workshop experience. By providing learning that works for you and your team, we’ll help deliver personal breakthroughs that lead to business breakthroughs.

*Up to a maximum of 10 people. Offer must be used by 31 October 2018. For more information and additional terms and conditions, please contact:communications@insights.com



Tenant Tuesday – Meet Lucy Milne from Lumilo Casting Studio

Your name and organisation and what you do?

My name is Lucy Milne and I am the director of Lumilo Casting Studio. We specialise in creating life castings of the human body. We take incredibly detailed impressions and make them tangible memories to keep forever. People may be most familiar with baby feet/hand castings, but we are also very busy with couples hand castings, and family castings featuring up to 8 family members.

When did you move into The Circle?
We moved in May 2017 and haven’t looked back since.
What made you choose the Circle?
Unfortunately, I had a bad experience with another studio space I was renting, and was desperately looking for somewhere else. I posted on Facebook, and a friend of mine put me in touch with a friend of The Circle. I am so grateful to both of them for introducing me, as I absolutely love it here. Once I viewed the space, I was blown away with the size of the space, the community feel, and the friendly atmosphere. I knew instantly it was the ideal place for Lumilo Casting Studio.
What you do like about being here?
I like how there are different friendly faces on reception every day, and no one passes you without saying hello. If I ever have any queries, they are always answered quickly and in a professional yet friendly manner. I like how big the building is, I always feel as though I have plenty of my own space. My customers always comment how nice an atmosphere the building has, when they visit my studio.
What do you and your organisation hope to bring to The Circle and its community?
I hope to bring something different to The Circle as we aren’t your typical business model, and we always attract attention from visitors when we are out taking photographs, or have adorable babies in for their castings. I would love to be involved in work with other tenants of The Circle, whether that be to collaborate, or even host a day of team building with a group of people. Life casting is fun after all!
You can see more of Lucy’s work here Lumilo Casting Studio

Kirsty selected for Saltire Fellowship Programme

Kirsty Thomson, Founder and CEO of ACK and The Circle Dundee, is one of 18 people from across Scotland who will take part in this year’s Saltire Fellowship Programme through Entrepreneurial Scotland.
Designed and delivered in partnership with Babson College in Boston, Massachusetts, the Saltire Fellowship Programme will offer individuals access to a world-class executive leadership development programme with an experiential dimension.
The programme is short, sharp and intense. It is experiential, not theoretical; taught largely by very successful business people who provide pragmatic teaching shaped through their real-world business experience. The core programme is delivered over six months in Scotland and the USA and it will cover Sales, Marketing & Markets, Innovation, Entrepreneurial Finance, Business Strategy and Leadership.
Whilst at Babson, Fellows will be immersed into the Boston ecosystem with weekly company visits. Fellows will then travel to Silicon Valley for a week-long learning journey.
Upon return to Scotland, company sponsored Fellows will reintegrate into their organisations while open enrolment Fellows will begin working with their hosts for three months on a growth/change project. A second learning module delivered by Strathclyde Business School will take place in January in Scotland.
This year Scottish Government have part funded two social enterprises to take part in the fellowship this year Kirsty Thomson – ACK/The Circle and Christine (Tynah) Matembe – Passion 4 Fusion.
Will Tyler-Greig, Head of Social Enterprise at the Scottish Government, said:
“Social entrepreneurs like Kirsty harness the power of business to improve communities right across Scotland, reinvesting profits into a social or environmental mission.  As part of Scotland’s new 10-year social enterprise strategy, the Scottish Government is delighted to support Kirsty, founder of ACK and The Circle Dundee, allowing her to participate in this world-class leadership and development programme.”
Dr. Claudia Cavalluzzo, Head of Saltire Fellowship Programme Entrepreneurial Scotland said:
 “By supporting Kirsty to enrol on the programme, both ACK and the Circle will grow and this will create a ripple effect of inspiration and support for Social Enterprise communities nationally.”
Kirsty said:
“I am delighted to be recognised for my work. A massive thank you to Scottish Government for the funding to represent Social Enterprise. Also thank you to The Northwood Charitable Trust for their support, to the Board of Directors of both companies, staff and volunteers who are supporting me on this journey”.

Welcoming you to The Circle on a Monday afternoon is Vhairi Urquhart


I am a recent Business Management graduate; therefore I found this as an appropriate time to search for local projects and activities that I could become involved in. I discovered The Circle through my research and felt this is an interesting and unique opportunity that immediately caught my attention.


Now I am no longer committed to my studies, I feel I have a lot of spare time on my hands. I like the idea of spending my time giving back to the community by using my skills and experience, however also learning additional skills along the way.


The Circle is a friendly and welcoming environment, with the aim to enhance the community and encourage collaborative working conditions. I think this is a special opportunity for Dundee. Offering space to local charities and groups under the same roof, at affordable prices, is ideal as this encourages a sense of direction and working together.


I hope to give visitors and tenants a positive first impression of The Circle and its many benefits. I am a hardworking and motivated individual; therefore I am dedicated to achieving any set goals or tasks given to me. The future plans for The Circle are exciting and the opportunities are endless. I am looking forward to telling people that I have been involved in the process of transforming this facility into something new and unique for Dundee.

Welcoming you to The Circle on a Friday is Eddie Baines


I had heard about what was happening at the circle firstly through our Eco-Abertay staff at University, who told me of what was happening up at the old Dewar’s House, I had then been notified through the staff at the Student Association of the volunteering opportunities that where becoming available, as the staff where aware I was looking for something to do over summer.

It’s great to see these projects rising up especially in Dundee at present with communities no longer sitting waiting on help but pro-actively seeking and creating opportunities, through the work being done in Strathmartine and Lochee, and now with the Circle people who may not have had a chance to shine now do and its thanks to the dedication of people like Kirsty and others who create and give up their time for these ventures to start.


The biggest reason for volunteering for me is gaining experience, and I am definitely about constantly challenging myself to achieve new goals and doing new things, I think it’s great as volunteering enables us to gather some experience so when it comes to applying for jobs in the future they can see a vast array of experience that you have gained.



The variety is what makes it interesting to me, although only here for short periods of time, the days can be very different depending on what’s happening in the building, the tenants are all very warm friendly people and always stop for a chat, the staff they employ are just the same, then the visitors these can brighten up your day and are always a joy to welcome to the building, it has a real community feel to the space and its always great to be part of a community.



I would hope to bring a warm inviting personality to the reception a can do attitude and a willingness to go the extra mile whatever the circumstance, I believe the receptionist or first contact should always be the one who makes you feel welcome and at ease, and hopefully that’s what I do.


If you are interested in any volunteering opportunities at The Circle please contact Paul




Welcoming you to The Circle on Wednesday afternoon is Christopher Hills


After searching online whilst I was on Facebook I came across a link for The Circle and it opportunities and found it incredibly interesting! So a bit by fortune than judgement and straight away jumped out.



To have a change of atmosphere and scenery after being at university for the last 2 years and also this gave me the opportunity to transfer skills learned in college and then university into an exciting project.  Also volunteering at The Circle with the various different events gives me the opportunity to see what else I can personally do.



That it all based around community projects and giving back to people. It targets all demographics from the young who are just leaving school to older people wanting to have some activity and work after retirement. It also a great location for groups around Tayside to meet and work together.  The working space and the amount of rooms creates a lovely atmosphere around the building whilst also been affordable.



I would want to give a friendly first impression to everyone who arrives into the reception area of The Circle. I like how my role means I can use my IT skills I’ve learned and put into practice as well.  This position gives the opportunity to meet and work with very different people than I have before which is very exciting for me.

Welcoming you to The Circle Dundee on a Wednesday morning is Shiyi Liu


I noticed some interesting events of The Circle via Facebook, it was shared by the University of Dundee page.


As a passionate young adult, I am finishing my International Business project and I am looking forward to be a volunteer here since Dundee is a really nice and magic place that gives me a lot of surprises. At the same time, I have been very grateful for what I have received and now it seems a good way to give it back. I thought  I could be involved in some productive stuff especially to gain some new skills this summer.


Before I came here to see the building here I knew that The Circle is a hub for charities, social enterprises, community groups in Dundee, providing affordable offices, co-working and community space. The founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kirsty Thomson, is a friendly and charming lady who showed us every corner inside the building and after that I knew more about of The Circle and how things operated here.


Smiling is a lovely way to greet with people and I think it’s a good way to start a brand new day as well. Working as a receptionist can be a pleasant experience because you can see different individuals and try to help them as much as you can. Besides, being patient and willing to listen to others really make sense. I am quite happy with the current situation and every week I feel inspired by all my lovely colleagues.


If you are interested in volunteering opportunities at The Circle please contact paul@thecircledundee.org.uk for more information.

Welcoming you to The Circle on a Tuesday afternoon is Corinne Duncan


Having been going through some changes at work, I found myself looking for some new opportunities so I actually came across The Circle by accident in my search. Everything happens for a reason right?


I have been a Volunteer Therapist at Roxburgh House for the last 3 years so I already know what a difference it can make to offer a service that might not otherwise be available. It’s an excellent way to feel part of the community. Having been in the same job for a very long time, volunteering at The Circle also gives me the chance to see what else I can do.


The first thing I noticed was how friendly everyone is. It makes for a great environment. I really like that the circle is about the community and giving back. I think it’s a great idea to give the different charities and community groups around Dundee a chance to come together, get to know each other and share ideas. The co-working space is genius…and affordable. I remember my son looking for something like this a few years ago when working from home (it might have saved him a small fortune in coffee shops) but the few spaces available were expensive.


I hope to bring a warm friendly welcome to everyone who walks through our doors. My IT skills only just get me by but I’m keen to learn and hopefully my HR experience will help make up for that. I feel quite excited to be part of something that is going to grow into something special for Dundee.