Why Dundee? Scotland’s only ‘More Than Profit’ training programme launches this month in the City of Discovery

Dundee as a centre for social reform

In its recent history, Dundee has seen a transformation of its waterfront, the opening of V&A Dundee, a renovation of its railway station, the attracting of major hotel chains and the award of UNESCO City of Design. The city is making big strides in building on its cultural reputation and bring visitors from across the world. The impact of that work is to be applauded.  

While it gives many in the city a boost and we consider how to make the most of the opportunities this shift brings, we cannot ignore the other story playing out in a tale of two cities. 

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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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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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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.”

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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The “Highly Commended” Circle

Being recognised for doing a good job is always rewarding. It makes your efforts ( read: screaming internally whenever the bell/phone/door/sanity goes) feel worthwhile! So when we, The Circle, were recognised as “Highly Commended” at the recent prestigious Courier Business Awards it served as a real milestone of just how far we’ve come.

 

Days fly past at an incredible rate where you’re left scratching your head wondering where the hours have gone. Only in hindsight can we recognise the great work that has been done, and continues to be done by the whole team at The Circle. This award has cemented that thought, by being something tangible in the form of a formal recognition. We can actually look at it and know that we’re going in the right direction. Who knows where that direction will take us next.

 

The award  not only reflects the hard work of Kirsty, Nicola and myself and of course our fantastic board of Directors Euan, Ali, Mike, Jo and Pete. It really belongs to all of us… The volunteers who, day to day keep this place running. Manning the reception, cleaning the corridors, kitchens and toilets. Delivering the mail and just overall bringing life to the building. It also belongs to the remarkable family of tenants we’re so lucky to have here. Without them and the incredible work they do, The Circle just wouldn’t be The Circle. The tremendous combined effort of everyone has paid off, coming full “Circle”. This is exactly what we’ve set out to do, and we’ve proven it – that working together, from individuals to organisations – breeds success.

DNQehkDXkAIHiuoLooking to the future we want to continue to build on that success. We’re still keen to recruit more volunteers for various roles from marketing to gardening. We’re open to using the building for great ideas to serve the community. We’re also looking to secure more venue bookings for local and national charities, social enterprises as well as corporate businesses – so get in touch!

 

For enquires about anything please email reception@thecircledundee.org.uk who will direct your query to the relevant people!

 

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.