Welcome to our September newsletter! Like everyone, Circle staff and families we support have enjoyed a glorious summer and we have taken advantage of the lovely weather with plenty of outdoor summer activities for all to enjoy. We ran many interesting and exciting trips including:

  • Edinburgh festival shows
  • Beach days
  • Picnics
  • East Links Family Park
  • BBQs
  • Swimming
  • Soft play
  • Almond Valley Country Park
  • Five Sisters Zoo

These wonderful trips allowed children to play and enjoy time with their family and peers, as well as creating fantastic memories and contributing to everyone’s happiness and well-being. We were also lucky enough to have 35 children given the opportunity to go on a Scripture Union holiday, where they were able to experience plenty of fun outdoor activities throughout the week. We would like to thank the Prison Fellowship for funding this and thanks to Scripture Union for providing such an amazing holiday.

I would like to welcome Grant Sugden as the new Chair of Circle’s Board. Grant previously worked at Circle as a Senior Manager before leaving in 2011 to take up his current full time role as Chief Executive of Waverley Care. Grant is highly qualified with both an MSc in Social Work and an MBA. Both skills will be vital in ensuring that Circle’s work with vulnerable families across Edinburgh, East & West Lothian, North & South Lanarkshire continues to grow to meet the increasing demand for help.

I would also like to welcome Garry Luke as our new Treasurer and Beata Burkinshaw as a Trustee. Both Garry and Beata bring significant financial knowledge and expertise and will be an asset to the organisation. I would like to thank Caroline Lamb who has stepped down as Treasurer. Caroline was with Circle for many years and we are grateful for all the support and time she has given to us. I would also like to thank David Johnson who has been Acting Chair for the past year. David has stepped down from this role but we are pleased that he is remaining a Trustee.

I would like to take the opportunity to remind you of two very important events for your diary. Firstly, our Annual Lecture that takes place on 11th October at George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh.  Our main speaker is Fiona Duncan, Chair of the Independent Care Review. We also have Thomas Timlin who is a Children and Families Social Worker. He is also a care experienced member of the Independent Care Review’s Discovery Group.

This year’s annual lecture will explore what supports care experienced young people need in the home, at school and in the wider community, to enable them to grow into happier and more resilient adults, as well as examining how young person’s services can adapt to facilitate that change.

We also have Circle’s Haven Book Launch on the 23rd November at North Edinburgh Arts. This is the sixth book that has been created by the children and families of our Haven Project. It is an ideal way for children and their parents to work together to build their own story. This encourages communication, creativity and an interest in reading and writing. Please do come along to hear this year’s fantastic new story ‘To the top of the world and beyond’.

I hope you enjoy the newsletter and, as always, if you have any questions or would like to get more involved with our activities, please do get in touch.