We thought it might be time to introduce ourselves! Grab a coffee and let's get to know each other...
We’re three friends who live in Molesey. Janine Macqueen, born and bred here, Kim Craig - a resident and community champion of fifteen years (both Janine and Kim are on the Molesey Carnival committee) and Lucy Donoughue, a relative newcomer who has been living in the area for five years, but still very much in awe of the community spirit in and around the Court.
The idea for the magazine first about over a glass of wine (or three) in late summer 2020, following a conversation about the brilliant ways our local community responded to news of the pandemic. We wanted to help those who had helped others, to find a way to support the small businesses who’d been hit the hardest by restrictions, and to showcase the amazing community projects and activities who were still finding ways to connect people and keep them well.
Lucy, Janine and Kim
Our idea was to create a bi-monthly magazine that would provide a platform for all the wonderful people, places and happenings in and around the Court. We agreed that our focus would be upon community, culture, cuisine and creativity and we wanted the magazine to be free, beautiful and a great read.
Over lots of excitable Zoom chats in lockdown 2.0, we developed this idea. The Court Circular was to be a place to positively promote the efforts of community groups and small businesses in the local area. A celebration of what is amazing about this place we collectively call home.
And so, The Court Circular was born! There’s still just three of us who run, write, design and organise its distribution, and we’re currently doing this voluntarily, in pockets of time around our day jobs. The feedback we get makes it so worthwhile, especially when we hear about connections made, small businesses receiving sales and conversations about collaborative working started as a result of the magazine.
Since the first magazine was printed, we've had requests for wider distribution and there's so many small businesses and community groups we want to feature and support, so right now we're looking at how to scale up our print and activity to meet these requests and needs.
We’re working on growing The Court Circular’s social following as well. We want this space to be a constant supportive community, echoing the work of the magazine. We’ve also got big plans for events and initiatives in the coming months and we can’t wait to get cracking with the next phase of ideas.
We're now a CIC too (Community Interest Company) too, and we're working behind the scenes on developing as an organisation, planning for the future and funding avenues.
Thank you to all supporters!
We'd like to thank all the wonderful local people supporting us along the way as The Court Circular grows. Artist Lisa Tolley contributes illustrations, we have guest feature writers, our advertisers currently make the printing of the magazine possible and so many volunteers from across the community help us distribute 10,000 copies to local homes, shops and businesses.
We couldn’t have got The Court Circular off the ground (and through letter boxes) without them!
In the coming months we’ll be looking at ways to raise funds to secure the future of the magazine. At present, the advertising just about covers printing costs but with requests for a greater print run and more people hoping to benefit from coverage in the magazine, we have to find long-term financing and support to make it sustainable.
Other ways you can get involved
It's still early days for us and we’re finding our feet and flow, but you can help by…
● Joining our community on instagram and sharing
● If you’ve benefited from the magazine in any way, please send a testimonial to email@example.com - this could help us with funding applications.
● If you’re able to, advertising with us ensures that we can print the magazine for the time being
● Letting us know if you’re aware of funding streams that could help secure our future
Want to be featured in the magazine?
Firstly, a little disclaimer. We currently give our time voluntarily to the production of The Court Circular and all have other jobs, which means that it's not always easy or possible to respond to every enquiry but we’ll try our hardest.
We’re a bi-monthly magazine and generally work at least one issue in advance, so please send us information that will be relevant in around 2 months from the current date. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any information about your business, community project, restaurant or activity and we’ll let you know what might be possible. We'll also be looking to increase the number of articles we publish and share online.
While the email address is checked occasionally throughout the week, Friday is the day that all enquiries will be responded to (Lucy's time away from her day job!) - so please bear with us.
● Stories about independent makers, small local businesses, community groups and projects from Hampton Court, East and West Molesey, Teddington, Hampton, Walton-on-Thames and Thames Ditton.
● Creative and cultural events, including online events
● Activities in and around The Court (low cost and free are more likely to receive editorial)
Thank you, but we’re not currently looking for the following...
● Corporate stories, or profile pieces on large businesses
● Features that don’t have a local connection
● Advertorials - we make a clear distinction between editorial and adverts
● Anything political or to do with planning (we’re obviously interested personally but it's not the remit of The Court Circular).
We hope that explains a little more about how your new community magazine came about, who we are and what we’re trying to achieve. We hope that we’ll be producing The Court Circular, with your support, for a long time!