Case Study – Caledonia Housing Association

In March 2019 we were approached by Caledonia Housing Association to deliver consultancy services. Our consultancy team, Kirsty and Jenny, met with Maureen Menzies, Home Help Coordinator and Gill Donoghue, Head of Support Services who informed us that they were looking for someone to help inspire and motivate their Home Help staff to become more enterprising and autonomous within their roles. Caledonia were looking at changing the way they ran the Home Help Service to improve it for the benefit of their clients, staff and the organisation as a whole. Maureen and Gill asked us to run a course of training sessions for some of the staff and to support them to collate their ideas on how to change their service for the better.

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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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Come volunteer at our Community Café – 3 roles available

The Circle Café provides Living Wage employment and training for one year to looked-after young people and care leavers. We run this in partnership with Barnardo’s Works, Leisure and Culture Dundee and Dundee City Council. It has been funded by the Community Lottery Fund.

Based at Staffa Place, in the Strathmartine Ward, The Circle is a community hub and offers affordable space to charities, social enterprises and small businesses. We support organisations with a More Than Profit approach to become sustainable and make a social impact. Our other services are offices, room bookings, consultancy and The Circle Academy.

The Circle Café currently employs a Café Manager, Café Supervisor and one Young Start Trainee.

Since opening, The Circle Café has had steady attendance over lunchtime and has a growing list of corporate clients who order buffets. In order to continue their growth and support the trainees appropriately, we are looking for volunteers to help us.

Volunteer posts

  • Cooking in the café and serving to our tenants and visitors during our opening times.  Experience is preferred and help is needed from 9am to 2pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Administration – diary and bookings, orders and email communications. Volunteers are welcome from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Promotion – delivering menus and flyers to businesses in Dundee. Can do this at any time but direction and materials provided from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. Mileage paid, if applicable.

If you are interested in volunteering please call 01382 699990 or email reception@thecircledundee.org.uk

Danielle du Plooy

Solving social issues: meet the people who inspired The Circle Academy

For the past three years at The Circle, and for many years in her career before that, our Founder & CEO, Kirsty Thomson has been meeting people with a vision. Their exact motivations differ but their values are the same, they are not prepared to sit by and watch people around them struggle in their lives. They see a problem in their community, they have sought to understand it and they want to implement solutions. Crucially, they also want their work to be sustainable and make an impact.

Time and time again, we have seen such people struggle. We have seen organisations start with great intentions, but the reality is that they don’t make the impact they want. They struggle to maintain an income beyond start-up funding, they don’t have the right governance in place, the skills of their boards don’t have the right balance and they lack the capacity to meet their aims. They then become disheartened and can face personal hardship. There is currently no programme in place to intensely and robustly nurture and challenge people who have the passion and ideas to make changes that improve the prosperity of communities.

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I don’t work for a start-up. Can I join The Circle Academy? – Enterprise training for staff

Leaders of organisations are increasingly looking for their staff team to be entrepreneurial. Public sector cuts are commonplace and demands on services are increasing. Having to offer more services with less resources in place is a common theme in the Public and Third Sectors and embedding entrepreneurial thinking is essential to get organisations on track.

A cut in grant funding or the loss of a key contract would be catastrophic to many organisations providing essential services to the most vulnerable in our communities. Older people, people living with disabilities, minority groups, those struggling with their mental or physical health, people living in poverty and children are most likely to be adversely affected by the failure of public and third sector organisations. We need to ensure that the vital organisations doing this work and the teams working within them are properly supported.

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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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Summer Offer – DISCOUNTED room use

We are offering full-day (9am – 4pm) use of our training rooms and conference room at reduced rates for a limited time only. We have several spaces which can be used for training, meetings and more

The rooms that can be booked are:

  • Training Room 1 – Capacity of up to 30 people comfortably
  • Training Room 2 – Capacity of up to 30 people comfortably
  • Training Room 3 – Capacity of up to 6 people comfortably
  • Conference Room – Capacity of up to 14 people

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Three months as a Creative Apprentice at The Circle

We can’t believe how quickly Jamsin’s three months at The Circle went by. We couldn’t be prouder of her work and can’t quite believe it was her first experience of the working world. She tackled all her tasks with enthusiasm and cheer and made a great impression on the tenants and visitors here. We will miss her while she goes on to work at Creative Dundee and Open Change, our partners with Applied Arts Scotland, in offering this apprenticeship.

We asked Jasmin to complete two tasks in her last week. Record a video on ‘What is a social enterprise?’ and reflect on the first three months of her apprenticeship. These pieces of work show the impact young people can make in the workplace and the rewards of offering opportunities.

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