This year, my first as CEO of Circle, has fairly flown by as we have been working hard to support and develop the work of the charity.

For Circle the Christmas holidays are about working with the families we support to ensure that the festive season can be enjoyed by all in a way that does not put extra pressure on already stretched household budgets. While Christmas can be a time for joy, sharing and celebration, it is worth remembering that for families affected by poverty and austerity it can be a time of increased financial pressure and worry.

We work with families to ensure that the festivities can be enjoyed by all family members in a way that is sustainable and positive within limited family resources. We do this by discussing what is possible within tight budgets, how to manage expectations and helping families to access low or, no cost, alternatives. This helps families to enjoy the festivities, stay within budget and avoid costly credit which can have negative effects long after the season is passed.  We are always grateful to Radio Forth’s Cash for Kids, Inverleith Church, Pilrig St. Paul’s Church, St. Mary’s Church in Hamilton and others who each year help Circle to ensure that lots of these vulnerable children and young people have presents to open.

This is also a time of year when we look back on the difference Circle has made in the past year. In 2019 we have supported approximately 600 families across central Scotland that have been affected by a range of challenges linked to poverty, austerity and exclusion. These families are made up over 800 children and 600 adults. They have been helped to improve their current health and well-being in a way that makes them more resilient and prevents future crisis.

I am extremely honoured to play a small part in bringing about this positive change for families. The real credit for this work should go to the families themselves and the skilled and dedicated staff team at Circle, who regularly go above and beyond what’s expected, supporting families to bring about positive change.

The end of the year also provides an opportunity for me to extend sincere thanks to all the funders that support Circle’s work throughout the year.  The work we do is only made possible through funding from individuals, trusts and statutory bodies and we are extremely grateful to each and every one of you.

If you would like to make a Christmas donation to Circle and ensure our vital work can continue next year then please do so here –

I hope you enjoy our Christmas newsletter and if it raises any questions, or you would like any information, or to get involved, in any of our activities please get in touch with me directly.

Wishing you all a peaceful and merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mark Kennedy