A letter from our Founder and CEO, Kirsty Thomson

April 26, 2024
A letter from our Founder and CEO, Kirsty Thomson

Photo by Kathryn Rattray


Good morning,

I hope this letter finds you all in good health and spirits. I am writing to share some important news: I am planning to step down from my full-time role as CEO of The Circle in June 2024.

Over the past 12 years, it has been an incredible journey from the early days of ACK working together to turn our vision into a reality at The Circle. I am immensely grateful for the unwavering support of our dedicated staff, many non-executive directors, and our wider community. Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones and made a lasting impact on the lives of many. 

As I step down from my current position, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you who has been part of this transformative journey. Your dedication, hard work, and commitment have been instrumental in our success.

There have been so many highlights along the way:

  • Created 48 jobs over the past 12 years in ACK and The Circle
  • Supported over 70 social entrepreneurs – including 5 overseas – through The Circle Academy, Scotland’s first SCQF Level 7 Accredited Social Enterprise accelerator programme
  • Offered office space to over 70 tenants
  • Operating our community hubs in the East Coast (Dundee) at Dudhope Castle and The Circle Mobility, and West Coast of Scotland (Glasgow) in Easterhouse
  • Trained 100s of charity leaders, trustees, social enterprises and aspiring social entrepreneurs
  • Awarded over £100,000 in funding to social entrepreneurs in Dundee through partnerships with local and UK-wide funders
  • Completed two mergers into The Circle with ACK Third Sector Consultants CIC and Shopmobility Dundee
  • Created a social enterprise work experience programme supporting 10 young people
  • Pioneered a More Than Profit® approach
  • Created a volunteering programme supporting over 100 students, young people and people who were long term unemployed or faced disadvantages in the labour market
  • Became delivery partners for Just Enterprise through Scottish Government for social enterprise support in Dundee and Angus
  • Founded a charity, The Circle Learning Foundation SCIO, which will launch in 2025 incorporating the tried and tested SCQF Level 7 accredited Academy training programme for social entrepreneurs
  • Delivered presentations on social enterprise to hundreds of university students across the UK

While I will no longer be CEO of The Circle, my commitment to our vision remains steadfast. I am fully dedicated to fostering strong connections and providing ongoing support and guidance to our board and staff as we embark on this new chapter together. I am confident that under new leadership, our organisation will continue to thrive and make a positive difference in our community.

I am excited to see the continued growth and success of The Circle and to remain connected with all of you in different capacities. Please feel free to reach out to me at if you have any questions or if there are ways I can assist during this transition period.

Additionally, I am pleased to share that the board has appointed two senior members of The Circle’s current management team, Paul Hastie and Ruth Finnan, to a newly created co-leadership role. They will jointly manage the organisation, ensuring continuity and strong leadership as we navigate this transition. Although I am stepping down from full-time CEO role, I will keep working with The Circle in an advisory capacity.

As we move forward, I want to assure all stakeholders that The Circle remains fully committed to serving our customers. The Circle’s dedicated team is focused on driving our business forward and adapting to new opportunities and challenges ahead. The strength of The Circle lies in our collective dedication and expertise, and I am confident in the organisation’s ability to thrive under this new leadership structure.

Thank you once again for your unwavering support and for being part of this incredible journey. Together, we will continue to uphold The Circle’s values and pursue our goals with enthusiasm and determination.

Warm regards,

Kirsty's signature