Children and families to benefit from Blackcircles donation to Children 1st

More of Scotland’s vulnerable children and their families will get support to prevent and protect them from trauma, thanks to a £141K donation by to Scotland’s National Children’s Charity, Children 1st.

The online tyre business, founded by Mike Welch, one of Scotland’s most successful young entrepreneurs and philanthropists, chose to donate the funds to enable Children 1st to support more families to overcome trauma so their children reach their full potential.

Mike Welch, founder of said: “All families need a helping hand from time to time, and the Blackcircles team are only too happy that children and families most in need of extra support will benefit from our donation. I’ve been blown away to see at first-hand how Children 1st helps families, often in desperate circumstances, to transform their children’s lives.”

Mike Welch, Founder and MD of

Above: Mike Welch, Founder and MD of

Mike originally became involved with Children 1st when he helped the charity establish their annual Dragons' Glen fundraising challenge. During the challenge, teams of 5 to 10 try to turn a £500 investment into £5K, or more, with support from Scotland’s best business minds. To-date the challenge has raised a total of £360K to support Children 1st’s work with families in local communities across Scotland.

The Dragons' Glen concept is incredibly appealing to Mike, who first started selling tyres online aged 18. Mike said: “Children 1st’s Dragons' Glen is a unique way for companies to support young employees to develop their business skills, encourage team building and make a vital difference for children and families at risk."

Above: Mike Welch (right) with fellow Dragon mentors and Dragons’ Glen participants

Mike, who was honoured with a doctorate for enterprise from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016, is now stepping back from Blackcircles to drive forward the growth of his latest venture – independent retail digital platform Atterley. He is also looking forward to giving more time to his charitable endeavours.

As well as sharing his digital expertise with Children 1st, Welch who was recently awarded an OBE by the Queen for services to business and charity, is chairman and founder of The Welch Trust. The trust provides grants to make life easier for families, whose children and young people need it most, with a particular interest in supporting adoption and fostering, critical and terminal illness and the advancement of business education.

Mike said: “I was adopted as a baby  without my adoptive family my life might have been very, very different. As a society we find it much harder to talk about or to tackle the complex and overwhelming issues that can prevent parents from giving their children the nurture and support they need to reach their potential, such as abuse, neglect and poverty. There is not enough support out there, so it is really important that those who can speak up about these issues and help fund the crucial work Children 1st does alongside families to help them turn their children’s lives around.”

Barbara Kidd, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Children 1st, said: “Blackcircles' generous donations of funds, skills and time have made an incredible difference to many children’s lives across Scotland over the past five years. It has been fantastic to work with them and we are very grateful for all their support.”

Visit our Dragons' Glen pages for more information about taking part.