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When Sawsan signed up for our new Business Office Skills program, her biggest worry was the math section.  Three weeks into it, she’s surprised to find that’s the part she likes the best.  “The minute you start really knowing and solving the problem, it comes really interesting and you want to do more.”

The Business Office Skills program, launched for the first time in September, is an innovative approach to support newcomer women like Sawsan, a volunteer at New Circles, to enter the workforce. Developed in partnership with Seneca College, Skills for Change and Golden Mile Employment Services, the 20 week program combines classroom instruction with on-the job learning through a placement at New Circles or one of our partner agencies.  The curriculum includes core business and customer service skills including basic math, English, MS-Office and effective communication.   

“LIST has not only helped me with retail, but has boosted my confidence in talking and interacting with other people” – Program Graduate
 
Congratulations to our Leaders in Service Training (LIST) graduates – all of whom successfully completed a 6 week retail skills and leadership program. Our ten students are now Certified Retail Sales Associates through the Retail Council of Canada.
 
Coordinated by full-time staffer, Poppy Phioukham, she saw an opportunity to utilize the successful Clothing Program as a platform to train young people in the community seeking to improve their pre-employment skills.
Celebrating youth committed to planting seeds of positive change in our communities.
 
On July 31st, New Circles delivered its’ first annual Community Service Awards. The inaugural awards were launched to recognize 5 youth who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy. The selected recipients received $500 towards their post-secondary education and a New Circles Community Service Award. Thank you to MP John Carmichael for visiting New Circles and presenting the students with certificates on behalf of the Government of Canada.
 
We wish to thank the following 2014 Selection Committee for their due diligence in selecting the recipients from a pool of very qualified and deserving candidates:
Carrie Anderson – Consulting Associate, OPTIMUS | SBR
Hussein Jadavji – Program Supervisor – Pathways to Education Scarborough Village, YouthLink

July marked the beginning of Ramadan, a month in which many Muslims across the globe observe a period of reflection important to spiritual values. As a core belief of Muslim communities, empathy for others and helping those in need is considered integral. The end of Ramadan is marked with Eid, an important celebration, featuring gratitude, family, festivities and food.

New Circles wants to ensure that regardless of economic circumstances, families in need are not only equipped to celebrate Eid, but also feel welcomed and supported in our community.

On a monthly basis, New Circles brings our mobile mall to local seniors, residing in Toronto Community Housing residences. In partnership with Flemingdon Health Centre, we served a particularly active group of residents, offering a Zumba class before opening up the ‘mall’ for shopping. Thirty residents joined the one hour, energetic class full of fun hip-hop, soca, mambo and salsa moves! Others looked on, to socialize with their neighbours as they anticipated the opening of the mall.
 
Ninety residents attended our mall, lining up two hours before it opened. Some held their place with coats in the chairs as they went off to the Zumba class. One resident told us, “You do such a great job. We look forward to your mall.”
We distributed nearly 1,000 pieces of clothing in just under 2 hours, including new socks and underwear, which are always high demand items.
 

New Circles Community Services and Harmony Place Support Services are pleased to celebrate the 2013 International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPD).

We are honoured that Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner for the Ontario Commission for Human Rights will deliver a keynote message.

This wonderful initiative has been led by New Circles’ Program Assistant, Alphonse Kayitayire. Alphonse was inspired to conceptualize this event by his many years of experience working in areas of human rights and with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Alphonse shared, “I know that Canada is one of the countries that is pushing human rights, particularly for people with disabilities. I wished to bring more exposure to the issue.” As New Circles strives in building a space of respect, caring integrity and diversity, he felt that IDPD was an opportunity to bring more awareness to accessibility.

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New Circles' GLOW clothing service is the largest clothing bank in Toronto. We help 12,000 people of all ages annually.