GSK Volunteer team brightened up one of our meeting rooms

A few weeks ago we had volunteers from GSK visit our building and help us out by painting one of our training room spaces.

GSK are an organisation that develop and manufacture innovative pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer health products. They aim to bring differentiated, high-quality and needed healthcare products to as many people as possible, with their 3 global businesses, scientific and technical know-how and talented people.

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Caledonia Learning Academy

The Circle launches training programme in partnership with Caledonia Housing Association

The Circle has worked with charity Caledonia Housing Association to run a training programme for their home help service staff. The aim of this initiative is to empower the staff to become more enterprising in order to help make the changes that they would like to see made to the current home help services.

The Circle has worked closely with Caledonia Housing Association’s Home Help Coordinator, Maureen Menzies, and Head of Support Services, Gill Donoghue, to develop the course. The training sessions will cover a range of topics including growth mindset, business models and pricing. The outcome of the training will be that the staff who attend will develop a more enterprising mindset and work together to create a pitch on the changes think should be made to the current home help service. They will then deliver their pitch to the CEO and the Board of Caledonia Housing Association.

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Dundee Soup Returns for its Sixth Serving

The Circle and Creative Dundee are collaborating again to deliver the sixth round of Dundee Soup. Dundee Soup is a social event which gives micro grants to local community based projects to make their ideas a reality.

The next Dundee Soup is taking place on Wednesday 8th May from 6pm – 8pm at the V&A Dundee as part of Dundee Design Month 2019. With a special focus on design, we’re looking forward to hear from people who want to use design in their community – in relation to space, organisational change, food sharing, human well-being or energy efficiency, to name a few. Find out more about how you can attend or pitch your idea here.

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Fire Starter Festival 2019 at The Circle

We are excited to be facilitating a programme of free events here at The Circle as part of this year’s Fire Starter Festival. These events will be run as part of the Resilient Communities programme in partnership with UnLtd.

These events are part of the Fire Starter Festival 2019. The Fire Starter Festival is an annual festival highlighting and celebrating innovation and creativity in Scottish public services, with a particular focus on transformational change. The Festival is curated and organised by Scottish Government, with events hosted by a broad range of public sector, third sector and community organisations. In 2019 it will run between 28 January – 8 February.

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social digital society

Social Digital Sprint Day

In October the University of Dundee‘s Social Digital Society ran the Social Digital Sprint Day. The Social Digital Sprint day is a day of design, fun and problem solving. It involves participants being split up into teams and working on producing a creative solution to the brief set within the space of a few hours. This day encourages people from different backgrounds in different years to all come together over a common goal to produce a coherent piece of work.

The Circle was asked to present a brief for the teams to come up with ideas for in order to win the competition. This was the brief that the teams were presented with:

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Meet our Creative Apprentice, Jasmin!

We are delighted to be working with Applied Arts Scotland, Creative Dundee and Open Change to offer a Creative Apprentice post. Jasmin Simpson joined us this month in her first placement of her apprenticeship which will lead to a Modern Apprentice qualification in Creative Digital Media. Jasmin will also work with Creative Dundee and Open Change in this twelve-month long post. We are glad we could partner with other forward-thinking organisations to offer an important employment opportunity so early in our own journey and put employability in the heart of what we do at The Circle.

Jasmin has got off to a busy start at The Circle with facilitating events, scheduling social media and responding to enquiries. We grabbed her in a spare moment to get to know her better.

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Dundee’s social enterprises get design boost from Creative Dundee

Earlier this month I attended an Information Session for Boost by Design, the venture by Creative Dundee to start the process of embedding design thinking into the city’s social enterprises. The Rank Foundation has funded Creative Dundee to facilitate four workshops for up to 20 participants. The programme of half-day workshops provides an introduction to design, digital tools and community building and be led by service design agency, Open Change as well as Creative Dundee and local designers.

Creative Dundee started as a community-focused blog sharing events happening across the city that set out to amplify the creative community and connect it to the rest of the city. It formally became a social enterprise in 2013. It continues to use its website to publicise groups, particularly those in the 3rd sector. The enterprise holds events such as the large scale, Pecha Kucha Night regularly attracting audiences of 300 people and the more intimate Make/Share, where people can talk about what they make and how they make it in a city pub. As a social enterprise, Creative Dundee has to earn its keep and does this via securing contracts and grants. It’s also created a crowdsourced guide to Dundee and raises the profile of good things happening, such as the Postcard from Stobswell project. Creative Dundee is making a big impact for such a small team and that’s what they’re all about, and actually, the city of Dundee is about that too.

Introducing us to the Boost by Design programme, Creative Dundee Director, Gillian Easson, told us that getting and keeping the UNESCO City of Design has been a priority for the city’s creative leaders and they are keen to see the accolade used to its full advantage as well as inspire organisations to think differently about design. The published Dundee Design Values shows that Dundee is not just using design to think about aesthetics but that it’s integral to addressing social justice, inclusion and challenges communities are facing.

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