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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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.