Welcome to my first update as Circle’s Chief Executive.

I’d like to start by saying what an absolute honour it is to have the opportunity to take up this role at Circle. Since joining the management team as Operations Manager I have been hugely impressed by the skill and dedication of the staff team and the quality and breadth of work they do with families. I look forward to working with the whole organisation, and our supporters, to consolidate and further develop Circle’s work, while maintaining focus on our key purpose of improving the lives of children through strengthening families.

Unfortunately, I don’t see circumstances for the families we support getting any easier in the coming period. As austerity continues to bite, things are becoming ever more challenging for families and children affected by poverty and exclusion. This is why the work we, and others, do to support families to improve their situations is increasingly important and the support we receive from supporters and donors is ever more vital.

A positive development since the last news includes Circle being successful in an application to The Scottish Government Challenge Fund for a project to develop Family Inclusive Practice in substance use services. The project will be based in East and Midlothian and is a partnership between Circle and Mid and East Lothian Drugs (MELD). We are currently recruiting for a Family Inclusion Co-ordinator and a Peer Support Worker.

We are also delighted to be working in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council and Women’s Aid in the council’s Caledonian System Delivery Team. Our role in this partnership is to support children affected by domestic abuse. The Caledonian System is an integrated approach working to reduce domestic abuse and improve the lives of affected women and children.

Over the summer we have some fun and healthy outdoor fundraising activities happening. Firstly, we have organised a repeat of the DARED Challenge which we ran for the first time last year. The event is happening in partnership with over 20 Edinburgh (and beyond) schools and involves doing a run, either 1 mile or 5 kilometres, every day in June. We are also organising a sponsored Abseil off The Forth Rail Bridge which five brave souls have agreed to take part in, including our Business Manager, Annie Williamson. We wouldn’t be able to run the many vital services we do without your support so please, if you would like to know more about how you can make a difference, then get in touch.

We are also very close to announcing details on this year’s Annual Lecture. We’ve been very busy behind the scenes confirming a topic, speakers and a venue. Make sure you hear about it first by signing up for our email updates. You can choose what you want us to contact you about and how often.

I am keen to speak to and/or meet all of our fantastic supporters so if you have any questions about anything I’ve mentioned above or any other aspect of Circle’s work then please feel free to contact me.

Wishing you all a fun and fulfilling summer,