I’m delighted to write my first update for Circle’s Summer Newsletter.

My time with Circle has absolutely flown in. I joined the organisation in May and initially prioritised spending time with the staff and attending team meetings. I was blown away with the enthusiasm, energy, professionalism, and the very warm welcome I received. This time spent together brought each service to life.

I also spent a great deal of time meeting with partners, stakeholders, and funders across the different local authorities we work in. It’s been a busy, but incredibly enjoyable first few months. I’m appreciative to the staff and families alike who have made me feel very welcome and part of a dynamic organisation.

Coming from a background in the third sector, and for the last fourteen years in Local Authorities, I have a wide understanding of the challenges we all face in supporting and responding to the growing needs within our communities. Using lessons learned from the pandemic, our teams developed new and exciting ways of working to harness innovative approaches. Our learnings helped us navigate as we moved almost instantly into a cost-of-living crisis. These challenges are constant and tiring but they are being responded to.

I’ve heard how colleagues at Circle have worked with families to provide support and develop solutions to have the most impact for each individual situation. I’ve heard from families about the positive difference that our staff and summer programme has had on them. A parent from our Harbour project said, “I’m so grateful to have joined this group. It can feel quite lonely as a parent stuck in a loop. I’m glad we went and had good memories.”

I am in no doubt there are great challenges ahead but as a team we will respond to them.

Over the next year we will refresh our strategy alongside families and staff, reviewing our current values to make sure they continue to align with the needs of families and staff teams. This strategy will link into wider areas of work such as Plan 24 – 30, the change plan for Keeping The Promise as well as Children’s Partnership Plans. We need to keep our services relevant to these wider pieces of policy, while maintaining our core values. Circle will focus on responding to needs in local communities while delivering whole family support.

We will continue to create safe spaces to listen to families’ voices, place them at the centre of our work and most importantly, do it!

If you would like to speak to me or have any questions regarding our work, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Find out more about what has been happening in our services in our Summer Project Update.