Meet Margaret Anne

Meet our Referral Manager, Margaret Anne!

Margaret Anne is the first point of contact for many of our young people, she is very passionate about making sure they feel at home and comfortable in their new environment.

Margaret Anne is a strong advocate for our young people and is fierce competition at our Common Thread Baking Competition!

Staff Bakers

Our Staff Bakers have been real stars since lockdown began. We collaborated to put together a programme of activities and challenges online over Zoom to help connect our young people.

While they lunged with Joe Wicks and tackled cheesecakes, their enthusiasm hasn’t wained. We know that this interruption from our normal lives will be temporary but the lessons we have learned as we adapted to our changing environment will inform what we do in the future. We have seen the importance of regular cross residence communication with the young people and that the creativity of our staff is limitless!

Like our young people, our staff have been rolling up their sleeves and submitting wonderful bakes every week and we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge these Star Bakers!

Julie Joseph OBE, Founder of Common Thread’s Wonderful Tray Bake

Mario Cassani, CEO of Common Thread’s Exceptional Beach Theme Cake

Margaret Anne Haggarty, Referral Manager for Common Thread’s Adorable Cheesecake.

Darren Dow, Service Manager for Common Thread’s Incredible Unicorn Biscuits

Ready, Steady, Bake!

For the last few weeks our young people and staff have been rolling up their sleeves, tying up their apron strings and going head to head in the ultimate challenge ‘The Common Thread Baking Competition’.

Move aside Prue and Paul, these wee star bakers have been pulling out all the stops to create the best biscuits and buns this lockdown has ever seen.

Our panel of guest judges have had a tough task picking their favourite each week with creative beach scenes, vegan bakes and even bird feeders being cooked up by the contestants.

This week scones were studded with raisin and loaded with jam and cream. There was even an extra special celebrity guest speaker to offer some baking encouragement. His advice was to make sure you have fun, and always pick flavours that you love the most. That way, even if it doesn’t win a gold star, you’ll still enjoy eating it!


In The Post This Week…

This week we sent our young people a care package full of activities and goodies to inspire their creativity! Each hamper had a colouring book and games for them to enjoy while remaining safe at home during lockdown.

Each of our Environments have beautiful views and outdoor spaces to explore but sometimes it’s just too chilly to put on wellies and get stuck in the mud. Cosying down with a Where’s Wally is just the thing to recover from an enthusiastic game of ‘Head Butt’!

Common Thread Child Care Scotland Lockdown Hamper
Common Thread Child Care Scotland Lockdown Hamper

A Carer’s Cry by Dail MacDonald

As we have entered another period of Lockdown keeping up moral and organising activates for the children to connect with each other online has become essential to their wellbeing.

We have put together a series of Zoom events which include a Bake Off Challenge, Weekly Yoga Sessions, P.E with Joe Wicks and Paper Weaving.

Today we will be having a Burns Night Supper and all of the young people and carers are being invited to share a ‘turn’. One of our homes in the Highlands has created a Burns inspired poem called “A Carer’s Cry” which is an example of the creativity and passion shown by the carers in these challenging times.

Join Our Team: Head of Care and Education Services

Common Thread is looking for a driven, free-thinking individual seeking a platform to grow as an empathetic Head of Care and Education Services.

An equal opportunity employer, we have a position available for an innovative problem solver with a commitment and passion for improving the outcomes of some of the most traumatised members of society.

The successful candidate will:

  • Provide values-based leadership and management.
  • Be required to energetically pursue excellence and creativity in all aspects of care.
  • Spearhead research and implement new approaches.
  • Contribute fully to the development and execution of company strategy.
  • Able to lead complex operations and a workforce across multiple remote locations.
  • Experience in the health and care sectors would be a particular advantage.
  • Salary negotiable.

Common Thread has a strong commitment to improving the outcomes for the young people in their care.

Send your CV to Mario Cassani, CEO at [email protected]

Closing Date: 1st February 2021

Common Thread Share Christmas Cheer

With the challenges of 2020, Child Care Providers Common Thread based on Dumfries Road, Lockerbie hope to brighten the spirits of local residents with their spectacular display of Christmas Lights. The lights were switched on by Mario Cassani, CEO, on Tuesday 1st December.

“I am thrilled to be asked to perform the switch on of the Common Thread lights and I hope that all those passing our Head Office in Lockerbie will enjoy the spectacle. As the new CEO, my eyes, ears, mind and door are open for business!”

Rebekah Robertson, Mario Cassani and Helen Carruthers at Common Thread’s Lockerbie Base.
Picture courtesy of Dumfries Standard.

In the spirit of the season the 200 staff at Common Thread have this year decided to donate their Christmas bonuses to those in need. The bonuses in the form of a voucher up to the value of £50 will be distributed on a discretionary basis by Local Authority Social Work departments and Foodbanks across the regions where they have homes for young people in care.

Common Thread provides specialist residential child-care services to young people who receive very high levels of care and supervision from experienced, trained and registered care workers in areas of Scotland including Lanarkshire, Stirling, Ayrshire, East Lothian and the Highlands.

Common Thread Gallery

Though our Head Office isn’t busy at the moment we wanted to create a space to show off some of our young people’s artwork.
Over the years we have been lucky enough to be gifted these pictures from our young people. So when the time comes and you finally can come back to Head Office, pop into our new meeting room to experience the gallery!




Common Thread Childcare providers with homes throughout Scotland anticipate an additional demand for staff in these unprecedented times and ask those, particularly in the hospitality, entertainment and airline industry with customer facing backgrounds to consider supporting the childcare industry and potentially starting a new career.


Job opportunities exists, particularly in the Dumfriesshire, the Central Belt and Invernesshire areas. Common Thread is a Scotland wide organisation offering a stable and caring environment to those who work with some of the most vulnerable young people in Scotland. Common Thread will be offering flexible working hours to ensure those with families are able to support their own needs.


We will be processing applications, interviewing via video calls and conference calls and screening successful applicants in line with Care Inspectorate expectations as quickly as possible. This will be significantly faster than normal and successful applicants are expected to start working within three weeks.


A bonus system will be in place for those who complete a minimum amount of shifts.  Furthermore, these employees will be prioritised for permanent positions as and when they become available.


Nicola Hewitt, Head of HR said, “We have applied for fast tracking for certification to enable new support staff to join our team. Given the rise in restrictions, we fully anticipate that those in our care will require additional support, and let’s all work together to make this happen.”


Those interested in applying, please apply through the link below.

Common Thread Christmas Card Competition

Once again our talented pupils across our schools were asked to create a Christmas Card that would be made into Common Thread’s 2019 Christmas Card. This year we had incredible standards and picking just one winner was so hard! We finally decided on this incredible design created by one of our Dumfries School Pupils.