All the latest news, reports, updates and announcements from Circle’s various projects
Circle have been working across central Scotland since 2006 to ensure that families in Edinburgh, East and West Lothian, North and South Lanarkshire and more recently Fife, Forth Valley and Tayside get the support they need as soon as possible.
We have deliberately based our offices in the heart of the local communities we work in to ensure that we can reach those families most in need of our help. We hope that by being based close by we can build positive, trusting relationships with the individuals, families and communities we work with. Our Head Office is in the West Pilton area of Edinburgh with other smaller offices in Hamilton, Armadale and Musselburgh.
Below you’ll find a short update of some of the things our projects have been getting up to…
Since the summer period, the Harbour Team have continued to have conversations with parents and children in the project around how we can further develop the service and this work is ongoing particularly for Ian, our Family Inclusion Co-ordinator. What we have heard so far, is that in addition to the crucial family support we provide, families are really benefiting from the peer and informal support provided through our family activities and WhatsApp group. In response to requests from a number of mums supported in the project, we have established a dedicated mum’s group in addition to our dad’s group and both meet weekly.
Following on from a successful summer programme, the Harbour Team consulted with families and organised 2 activities over the October break.
11 families (11 adults and 14 children) came along to a day out at Edinburgh Zoo which included a tour by Zoo staff. The zoo provided free tickets for our whole group meaning we still had Cash for Kids funding left which we used to have a Halloween party. A record 27 families (24 adults and 33 children) came along to what was a fantastic day.
We were really grateful to Sharon, ASDA Leith Community Champion for donations for the party, as well as for coming along to help at the party. We were kindly loaned some party decorations as well as being sent some brand-new ones by a kind stranger so we had the hall looking fab.
The children enjoyed a visit from ‘Animal Man’ who brought lots of amazing animals including tarantulas, snakes and lizards. We had a photo booth, glitter tattoos, pumpkin carving and lots of other arts and crafts activities to name a few. Feedback from families has been really positive.
In October, we welcomed Jenny Ziltener as Family Outreach Worker in the team and we are looking forward to our new Parent Peer Support Worker starting next month. Now to start planning for Christmas!….
Any questions about our Harbour Project can be sent to the Project Manager – Julie.King@Circle.Scot
Brunch Boxes- Youth Philanthropy Initiative
Following the success of Trinity Academy securing £3,000 for our Haven Project through the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) scheme, we are delighted to share what the money has helped go towards.
The money has been used to create brunch boxes for parents that attend the baby brunch groups, which contain a variety of items to support parents and babies (six months +) in the weaning process.
The Brunch boxes contain a food blender, storage pots for freezing food, baby bowl, cutlery and cup, bib, cloths and some ingredients that are used in the baby brunch group, such as lentils, rice and pasta with a variety of dried herbs and spices.
A huge thanks again to the students at Trinity Academy for choosing Circle as their charity for YPI, and all of their hard work in winning the money.
To read the whole story, visit: https://circle.scot/youth-philanthropy-initiative-success/
Vialex- Painting Haven’s facilities!
Employees from our corporate partner, Vialex, kindly volunteered to paint our Mentoring Project playroom! Not only did they volunteer their time, but Vialex also offered to purchase the resources needed to carry out the work, and we are so grateful to have such a fab corporate partner.
The new playroom looks amazing and we are so excited for our young people to see it!
A huge thank you to Vialex and all the employees who volunteered with us.
Ben Macpherson visit:
Recently, our Mentoring Project Co-ordinator, Claire, and Haven Manager, Emma, attended George Heriot’s School for the launch of their voluntary service programme. Ben Macpherson MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith volunteered previously as a mentor for Circle in his sixth year at George Heriots School in 2001, and delivered a talk about his experiences at the launch day.
Find our more about our Mentoring Project, and Ben Macpherson’s involvement with Circle on our website: https://circle.scot/local-msp-visits-circle-project/
Any questions about our Haven Project can be sent to the Project Manager – Emma.Hinton@Circle.Scot
Groupwork programmes for parents and carers have been unable to run for two years, planning and preparation took place and the first group commenced in September 2022. We have 9 participants who attend the groupwork sessions at Circle West Lothian office in Armadale.
‘Living Life to the Full’ is delivered in partnership alongside WLDAS.
Living Life to the Full teaches a range of life skills to deal with low mood, stress, and aims to improve wellbeing and resilience as you go through the journey of life.
- Understanding why we feel as we do
- Practical problem-solving skills
- Using Anxiety Control Training relaxation
- Helpful and unhelpful behaviours
- Using medication effectively
- Noticing unhelpful thoughts
- Changing unhelpful thoughts
- Healthy living – sleep, diet and exercise
- Staying well
Any questions about our West Lothian Project can be sent to the Project Manager – Hazel.Tyson@Circle.Scot
Children’s Resilience Group:
Our Children’s Resilience Project has been supporting children and young people on a 1:1 basis across East Lothian since May 2021.
As part of the Autumn 2022 group, Jen and Hazel organised a fun-filled Halloween party, which included a range of activities from dunking for apples, pumpkin carving, lava lamp making and much much more.
The children came dressed up in their spookiest Halloween costumes, and started off with some pumpkin carving, which were then lighted with tealights so children could see how great their designs look at night! The children then took part in a sensory activity, which involved making their very own lava lamp jars out of oil, glitter, food colouring, and an alka seltzer to make them glow!
The day also involved lots of Halloween themed games, like donuts on a string, dunking for apples, and putting their hands in spaghetti to find the missing key!
The day was a huge success and the children had a great time interacting with one anther and taking part in all of then activities. A huge thank you to all of the children and young people who made the day really memorable, as well as the fabulous Circle workers and Pennypit Community Centre staff who made it possible.
The East Lothian Team have developed a brand new free drop-in service, which offers a confidential and relaxed space for families and parents to come for a cup of tea and a chat and receive support in a non-threatening and friendly environment.
The East Lothian Family Outreach Workers offer advice to parents on subject areas such as managing stress, good parenting, understanding their children’s behaviour, health and wellbeing, substance use, relationships and budgeting.
The drop-in service runs every two weeks and is also open to children of all ages and provides toys and activities for them to play with.
The service is open to families supported by Circle on a regular basis, but is also ideal for families in the local community seeking some extra support, who can just “drop in” as required.
The East Lothian Team and everyone at Circle really appreciate our DARED participants sweat and aching legs for the cause, as well as everyone who donated to support them, so THANK YOU for helping us to make the drop-in service happen.
You can read more about the drop-in service here: https://circle.scot/dared-what-your-fundraising-has…
Recently, two Family Outreach Workers from our East Lothian Team, Hazel and Bob, attended a Recovery event in Dunbar hosted by the Ridge Community Hub. The event was part of their ‘Festival of Recovery, which aimed to celebrate all types of recovery through exploring personal journeys and social support networks, promoting the need for acceptance, hope and resilience.
There were a number of local projects from the recovery community that were represented at the event and it was also open to the public.
“It was good to network with others and to share Circles work and values with a view to more partnership working in the future.”- Bob
The East Lothian team enjoyed a Staff Development Day at Go Ape Dalkeith!
At Circle, it’s important that we give staff the opportunity to bond with one another, and develop strong relationships within their teams and across the wider organisation to ensure that we continue to learn and progress. Staff Development Day’s, such as East Lothian’s trip to Go Ape is a major part of helping to build these relationships and provides staff with the opportunity to reflect, and relax.
A huge thanks to Go Ape for such an eventful day!
Any questions about our East Lothian project can be sent to the Project Manager – Angela.Gentile@Circle.Scot
Families Affected by Imprisonment (FABI)
Our fabulous FABI Team took part in a 4 mile walk round Strathclyde Park to raise funds to contribute towards purchasing Christmas Eve boxes for children and young people, to alleviate some of the stress around Christmas time for parents. Whilst the FABI team were walking, Lisa, our Senior Family Outreach Workers daughter ran a 10K round the park as part of the fundraiser.
The team raised a total of £690 and are delighted to be able to use the money to purchase the Christmas Eve boxes. A huge well done to everyone who took part, and thank you to everyone who donated.
You can read more about the fundraiser here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fabi-fundraiser
The FABI team held their Halloween party at St Mary’s For All Community centre for children and families over the October half term break. This was an amazing afternoon with 37 children and parents coping along to join in all the spooky fun. There were loads of games and activities for all to take part in including apple dooking, cookie and cupcake decorating, spooky rock painting and of course pumpkin decorating! They also had a visit from the Animal Man, who brought along all sorts of animals including cockroaches, bunny rabbits, chicken and a snake!
14 children who hadn’t been able to make it along were delivered there very own pumpkin and activity pack so they dint miss out on all the fun.
Massive thank you to Family Holiday Association for funding this family event where all (little and big kids) had such a fabulous afternoon. Our thanks to D&M at the Beechtree Café who kindly donated our teas and coffees for the afternoon. A huge thanks also goes to two mums, one who took all our amazing photos of the day and one who did all our spooky face painting ?
“The party was fantastic and the kids had so much fun. The food layout was brilliant. Thanks again for the invitation”- Parent
Women’s Outreach Team – Parents Forum
As part of our Women’s Outreach Team (funded by The National Lottery and Charles Hayward Foundation) another Parents’ Forum took place over the October half term break with four parents attending. We have continued with our theme of exploring and strengthening our ‘Shanarri Safari’ with the focus at the session being ‘Nurtured.’ This session allowed parents to share their views on what is nurture? Challenges they experience with nurturing themselves and their family and informing us on what Circle could do to support them and families with nurture. So many thoughts and ideas were shared all of which we will take forward to inform and shape support and service delivery.
You can view the nurture feedback form, with key headings/thoughts on views shared in the session here: Circle Nurture Feedback (1)
Any questions about our FABI project can be sent to the Project Manager – Georgina.Lyttle@Circle.Scot
Support Circle’s Work
Without your support our projects could not deliver the innovative, and vital, work that you have just read about. Making a lasting difference to the lives of children, and families, affected by poverty and struggling with social inequality takes time, patience and high quality staff.
Please consider making a donation that will change a life here.
Or you could take on a challenge to support our work, why not take a look at our fundraising events here-https://circle.scot/support-us/fundraising-events/
Want to know more?
Project Annual Reports: Circle have always been keen to share our experience and knowledge and so these reports are also used in reporting to partners, funders and local authorities. Here is a link to all of our 2021 reports :