Record Turnout at New Circles’ Agency Open House
On March 2, New Circles opened its doors to local community service agencies. Eighty individuals from 45 different agencies attended information sessions to learn about volunteer opportunities and our employment training programs, took tours through GLOW, and spent time networking with New Circles staff and other service providers.
The Open House was organized as part of a larger outreach initiative that is focused on developing relationships with community agencies in order to build a network of community support, and increase referrals to our programs.
“This is a great evolution for New Circles, with so many partners looking at our agency as a resource to support their clients,” said New Circles Executive Director Alykhan Suleman. “Events like these help to build and strengthen partnerships that will help us to grow our clothing and employment programs and develop potential placements for Business Office Skills students.”
Client Services Coordinator Virginia Trotter has been working with a volunteer committee to develop and implement the outreach strategy. According to Virginia, the Open House was also an opportunity to get to know our community partners better. “By working collaboratively, we will build stronger connections with each other, and be better equipped to meet our clients’ needs through an effective mutual referral process,” she said. “The more informed we are of city-wide social and community services, the better advocates we’ll be for those residents who face multiple barriers and challenges.”
Alykhan concurs. “Poverty and newcomer settlement are complex, multifaceted issues, and we need to work together to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of vulnerable residents effectively.”
The feedback from participating agencies has been great so far. “New Circles is always a warm and positive environment with friendly, knowledgeable staff and enthusiastic volunteers,” said one participant from the TDSB. “It was wonderful to see familiar faces and have the opportunity to make some new connections with engaged, receptive staff from other agencies.”