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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Our Café Supervisor, Caitlin

I am one of two new members of The Circle having joined in May 2019. My role is Café Supervisor. I will be working closely with the other new member Steven who is Café Manager.

I had previously worked in The Circle’s building at Staffa place for one of the many tenants based here, The Food Train which is a food delivery service for the elderly. During my time here with The Food Train, although I didn’t work directly with The Circle team, I learned more about what The Circle was about and how much they help better the community and continue to do so.

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Our New Café Manager Stephen

I am originally from Dundee but have been working down south for the past 15 years. I’ve been back here now for the past 4 years. The last position I was working in was at The Deaf Hub as a Catering Manager, training and supporting people with employment challenges, and working along-side the deaf community.

I have been working in the third sector and with social enterprises for about 5 years now. I decided to get into charity work after I stopped working in busy restaurants, due to a family tragedy. I started volunteering with young people in the scouts, and then with people with disabilities with Mencap, which I really enjoyed, despite being out of my comfort zone.

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Living Wage Employers welcome Scottish Government Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills to celebrate ‘Making Dundee a Living Wage City’

Dundee’s most recently accredited Living Wage employers gathered at Social Enterprise ‘The Circle’ today to host a visit from Jamie Hepburn, the Scottish Government Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills.  

Mr. Hepburn met with staff from The Circle alongside representatives from Coldside Medical Practice, cleaning company Star Clean, vegan café Marwick’s, mental health charity Feeling Strong and arts charity Creative Dundee.

Their Living Wage accreditation ensures all staff and regular contracted workers earn the real Living Wage rather than significantly lower statutory minimum wage rates. Together these 6 small organisations employ 47 workers, 24 of whom have received a welcome pay boost to the real Living Wage, currently set at £9.00 per hour.

Mr. Hepburn met workers earning the real Living Wage and spoke with employers on the importance of the real Living Wage.

Sekai Machache, who works at The Circle and earns the real Living Wage, said:

“I feel that being paid the Living Wage is important because it makes you feel more valued by your employer. It’s their way of showing that they want you to thrive and not just survive”.

Fair Work Minister Jamie Hepburn said:

“I welcome the opportunity to congratulate Dundee’s latest Living Wage accredited employers. This follows Dundee being recognised in March as Scotland’s first city to demonstrate its commitment to becoming a Living Wage city.

“I am proud that Scotland has the highest proportion of people paid the living wage of any UK nation and I encourage all businesses to commit to doing the same for their employees. Paying the real Living Wage and becoming accredited treats people fairly, benefits the economy and sends a positive signal about the organisation into the wider community.”

Dundee’s City recognition as part of the new ‘Making Living Wage Places’ scheme was awarded in March 2019 when a group of prominent Dundee employers joined forces to form the Dundee Living Wage City Action Group and launched their 3-year Action Plan to begin ‘Making Dundee a Living Wage City’.

Dundee City Council Councillor Lynne Short, Convener of City Development Committee said:

“I am pleased that these local employers have so quickly demonstrated that they too share the vision of Making Dundee a Living Wage City. 

“Every employer in Dundee can help tackle low pay in the City, and the Dundee Living Wage City Action Group are available to help and guide local employers through any challenges they might face in committing to the real Living Wage.

“Lots of businesses in the city already pay the real Living Wage and I want to encourage them to seek accreditation and move Dundee a step closer to achieving our goal of becoming the first Living Wage City.”

Lynn Anderson, National Coordinator for the Making Living Wage Places scheme in Scotland said:

“Dundee are the first City to begin delivering their ‘Making Living Wage Places’ plan, which has already resulted in a spike in awareness and interest from employers on becoming Living Wage accredited.

We call upon prominent local employers in Towns and Cities across Scotland to step forward to begin their journey with us on Making Living Wage Places too.”

Media Contact:

Julie McGahan, Living Wage Scotland Manager: julie.mcgahan@povertyalliance.org  

The Circle Cafe

The National Lottery to fund training café at The Circle

The Circle is opening a training café at its Staffa Place premises. The café will train young people to work in the café and offer employment. We have joined forces with Barnardo’s Works, Dundee City Council and Leisure and Culture Dundee to apply to the Community Lottery Fund for funding to start-up this innovative project. Designed to support the needs of looked after young people and care leavers, the café will employ a Café Manager, Supervisor and several Café and Events Assistants. The Manager and Supervisor positions have been funded by The National Lottery Community Fund Young Start.

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Our Business Development Officer, Nicola

I joined The Circle in the summer of 2016 as Facilities and Services Development Manager. It had been a difficult year for me personally. I had closed down my retail business at the start of the year and was working for another organisation in the city which wasn’t quite the right fit for me. Prior to opening my own business, I had worked for the University of Dundee for eight years and was experienced in and enthusiastic about communication, marketing and administration. I needed something to get my teeth into, where I would have a level of autonomy and  be in a culture that needed initiative, effort and resilience.

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Job Opportunity – Academy Manager

Academy Manager

Location –The Circle, 4 – 6 Staffa Place, Dundee, DD2 3SX

Hours –Full time (35 hours per week)

Salary –£25,000 – £30,000 dependant on experience

Introduction

The Circle is an award-winning Social Enterprise in Dundee. Recognised for their social impact, The Circle is a business and community hub and is home to 17 organisations ranging from small private businesses to national charities. With big ambitions for 2019, The Circle is seeking a commercially aware and professional Academy Manager to join their team and take the lead on developing the programme within the organisation. An exciting opportunity to join the motivated team of one of Dundee’s most thriving new Social Enterprises.

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The Circle team at the Courier Business Awards

We are launching our Social Impact Report!

The Circle will be launching our 2 year Social Impact Report on Thursday 6th December from 4pm until 6pm. 

The report will showcase the impact The Circle has had on our tenants, the local community and social entrepreneurs. This event will be the public and free to attend at our premises on Staffa Place.

The report will be available to view and download on The Circle website from 4pm on Thursday 6th December.

Kirsty Thomson Founder and CEO is delighted with the impact with the impact that The Circle has made just two years after launching.

“I am looking forward to celebrating the hard work that myself and The Circle team have put in since our launch. We have been operating for just over two years and are very proud tosee the difference that The Circle is making to individuals and organisations across the city.

This event will also give us the chance to thank everyone who has supported us in this time including ourtenants, board members, volunteers and the local community.”