Congratulations on surviving another Covid affected year…

And welcome to my final update of 2021. Once again I find myself looking back at another challenging year, for the families we support and for us as an organisation, but one full of positives, innovations and successes.

I’d like to start by wishing all our staff, families, donors, board members, volunteers and supporters a very peaceful festive season and a happy New Year. I think I speak for everyone at Circle when I say we hugely appreciate all your hard work and support during the last year. We could not continue to support families through some of the most challenging times we have experienced without you. Thank you!

Looking back to the beginning of 2021, when we were still working within the safety measures required to manage the pandemic, I am struck by how much progress we have made in our work with families over the year. While we have continued to use, and develop, remote working where necessary and appropriate, we have also worked to bring people together where it is safe to do so.

This face-to-face contact is particularly important for children and parents of young children where social isolation and anxiety can be a challenge. For example, our Children’s and Early Years groupwork in Edinburgh recently re-started after a two year hiatus, which you can read more about here. We are also delighted to have re-started our ISSEP mentoring project after almost a year and a half without regular, in-person contact. This project provides children from local primary schools opportunities to enjoy after school activities with mentors and peers from other high schools, see pictures below. While we are acutely aware of the need for safety in everything we do, we remain committed to bringing children and families together, where possible, to help address the challenges they face.

If you would like to support Circle’s work then you can do so here.


‘Tis the Season…

Christmas is always a special time for the families we work with. Given the difficulties families have faced over the last year, the season of celebration and goodwill will be even more welcome this year. Our staff teams work with families to ensure that they can enjoy the festivities in a way that is affordable and stress free. We are grateful for the support of Forth Cash for Kids, Inverleith St Serf’s Church, St Mary’s Church in Hamilton and many other groups and individual donors who help to ensure that all children have presents to open on Christmas morning. It also helps to mitigate the financial pressures that families can feel at this time of year. Seeing the office fill up with toys and gifts, to the point where it resembles Santa’s Grotto, is one of the real highlights of the year, and your generosity always lifts the spirits of the team.

If you would like to support Circle’s Christmas efforts to get every child a present and every family a meal, then you can make a donation to our virtual tree and light it up!

Give a gift to local, vulnerable children this Christmas – Circle | Visufund

You can also support us by choosing Circle as your Amazon Smile recipient meaning we receive donations from every purchase you make and it doesn’t cost you a penny!

You can select us as your charity choice, just search for ‘Family Service Unit Scotland’ (our business name): Low Prices in Electronics, Books, Sports Equipment & more


A Winter Update on Circle’s Ongoing Work

As well as featuring all of our annual Christmas activities our latest newsletter also contains updates from our Haven Project, our FABI Project’s latest work (including an octopus), as well as a series of interviews with various Circle team members, including new staff, students, established members of the Circle team and a trustee.

Have a read here.

And sign up to get our quarterly newsletter by email here.


Wishing you a very peaceful festive season

If you would like to discuss anything raised in the newsletter or any aspect of Circle’s work, please feel free to contact me directly. Looking forward to speaking to you all again in 2022.

Kind regards

Mark Kennedy