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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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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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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Young stroke survivor, Jennifer, goes from strength to strength at The Circle

The Circle has taken on a new member of staff to handle bookings of their event and meeting rooms as well as scheduling training for the local community. Jennifer Gall joined The Circle team in November 2018 as Bookings and Training Administrator. This followed a year of working as a Junior Administrator for third sector consultancy, ACK, a role that was funded by Community Jobs Scotland.

Before her time with ACK, Jennifer had been unemployed for a number of months and had struggled to find employment. Jennifer had a stroke when she was 18 which left her with aphasia – an inability (or impaired ability) to understand or produce speech – as a result, some organisations that Jennifer had applied to work for doubted her abilities which made finding a job harder.

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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.”

Kirsty gives a masterclass at Dundee University

On Wednesday 21st November, Kirsty delivered a free masterclass at the University of Dundee’s Centre for Entrepreneurship. The Centre of Entrepreneurship host Entrepreneurial Masterclasses which offer advanced insights into the career journey of successful entrepreneurs, and also knowledge of a cutting-edge area which they have become experts in. Masterclasses complement the Enterprise Challenge programme by providing insights you can apply to your business idea drawn from the latest trends for the modern entrepreneur. The talks are open to students, staff and general public.

Kirsty Thomson is Founder CEO of ACK CIC as well as The Circle Scotland CIC.

After graduating with a degree in Social Science from University of Abertay and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology from The University Sunderland. Kirsty embarked on a career research through the University of Dundee and Newcastle University which involved working across psychology, health, community development and the voluntary sector in the UK. Kirsty has worked with and for charities, social enterprises and community groups for the past 20 years.

Kirsty is working with community groups, charities and social enterprises to become better businesses and help communities thrive. She believes in doing things differently and moving away from the silos that keep sectors and structures apart. She has secured over £13 million in her career and wants to promote the #MoreThanProfitApproach to running a business.

Search now on for The Big Lunch walk team 2019

Next year in May The Big Lunch, an idea for the Eden Project made possible by the National Lottery, will bring together a team of walkers to visit and shine alight on thriving community projects right across the UK. The search is now on for eight community-minded people to take part in 2019.

The walk teams will step out on four routes starting on Friday 17th May, visiting people and communities on the countdown to The Big Lunch culminating on the weekend of 1st & 2nd June. 

Over two weeks the team will set off on a journey across Scotland, Northern Ireland,Wales and England to chit-chat with the nation and shine a light on the extraordinary things that ordinary people do to bring people together where they live.

Peter Stewart, Executive Director of The Big Lunch said: “We’re looking for friendly folk who love to bring people together as much as we do. We’re going out across the UK to celebrate the positive and amazing people at the heart of our communities; so if you’re passionate about community and fancy joining us for a stroll next May, it’s time to apply now!”

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Dundee Soup - Funded by BEMIS Scotland via Scotland’s Winter Festivals, and part of the St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival.

Dundee Soup joins St Andrew’s Fair Saturday

Dundee Soup will be back at The Circle again for this year’s festive edition and this time it will particularly special because it will be part of St Andrews Fair Saturday. Fair Saturday is a Scottish Government pilot initiative for 2018 which is being delivered by the Fair Saturday Foundation. After Black Friday, thousands of artists and cultural organisations around the world get together in a unique festival and support social causes through their show and events.

This edition of Soup has been funded by BEMIS Scotland via Scotland’s Winter Festivals, and part of the St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival. This is a partnership between BEMIS Scotland and the Scottish Government to facilitate diverse, multicultural celebrations.

Dundee Soup #5 will take place on Saturday 1st December 2018, from 11am – 1pm at The Circle.

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Social Entrepreneurs pitch for a share of £20k

Four social entrepreneurs will be pitching for their share of a £20k grant through the Resilient Communities Awards programme. As well as the pitching event, there will be a range of free events open to the prospective grant recipients and the general public.

Run in partnership with UnLtd Scotland, these events are taking place over Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th September at The Circle Dundee on Staffa Place. Attendees will hear from entrepreneurs about their journeys and watch the pitching event. There are also free spaces to learn how to improve pitching skills, find out about the benefits of adopting a growth mindset and hear from members of The Big Lottery Scotland team.

Kirsty Thomson, Founder & CEO of The Circle, said, “We are grateful to UnLtd for partnering with us to provide this opportunity to social entrepreneurs to gain access to a share of £20,000 to support their own development. It is clear to support social enterprise we have to invest in the entrepreneurs behind them. By working with experienced facilitators we will be making sure that the pitchers are well-prepared and are pleased that the public can also benefit from these sessions.”

More information about the Resilient Communities Dundee Awards programme of events can be found at: https://thecircledundee.org.uk/2018/08/24/resilient-communities-dundee-awards-events-2018-19/

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”.