Community Circles create opportunities for people to come together and help each other have better and more connected lives, through a circle of support and connecting people through shared interests; relationships are at the heart of all we do. The way we work flexes and adapts around the person, focussing on what matters to them and there are core themes that make up the essence of what we do:
- The person is at the centre focussing on what matters to them, a space of love and listening where we can share ideas to make a positive change, doing things with the person rather than to them.
- Circles help people to have a purpose and a valued role, exploring where they can contribute their gifts and passions.
- Circles help people feel more connected. Relationships are at the heart of our wellbeing and we create opportunities where relationships can flourish.
- Circles create ripples, supporting the wellbeing of everyone involved
We’re delighted to share this video about Community Circles where Donna and Kath share their experiences and the positive difference that Circles have made.
Donna shares how a Circle supported her Dad, Arthur, keep involved with the things that mattered to him and Kath shares how the holistic approach of a Circle supported not only her husband to live well with dementia but also helped her to stay involved with her own hobbies.
Kath’s son Neil also shares his reflections about the success of a Circle and the important points to consider;
“People can need permission to offer and ask for support, even if the motivation is already there.” Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve wanted to help someone but didn’t know quite how to offer your support? Or wanted some help but couldn’t quite ask? There often feels a gap where help and support can be wished for but not easily spoken. Circles give the permission to invite people together, to create the space of love and listening, where issues can be raised and ideas shared.
At the first meeting with family and friends, Dave and his wife Kath shared their hopes and challenges. Kath said, “the practical solutions people came up with and committed to meant that Dave could continue to enjoy the hobbies, interests and connections he was involved in, giving me the space and opportunity to do likewise. Sharing our challenges and having this group of people backing us really felt like a weight being lifted.”
Neil reflects that the role of the Circles facilitator is crucial in creating a space to bring people together, where challenges can be raised, ideas offered and plans made.
A recent blog by our colleagues in Age UK Doncaster also shares the need for permission, even when willingness was very much present
“The security & confidence of knowing there are people who care about you, are on hand, and you can rely on is incalculable, as well as the practical support.” Circles help to bring people together and create opportunities where relationships can flourish. Knowing you have people in your corner who you can rely on for practical and emotional support is hugely beneficial. Kath shares, “though there are sources of ‘official’ help out there, nothing could compare with the experiences we enjoyed by having access to a Community Circle.”
“Circles support the wellbeing of everyone who is involved.” Give and Connect are two of the Five Ways to Wellbeing and being part of a Circle gives us opportunities to connect and support each other. Reverend Alan Poulton shares of his experience of a Circle, “being involved in a Circle is a very special kind of privilege because it involves being welcomed into the heart of a family, I get back far more than I give in return.” We all need to be needed and Community Circles can support us to have purpose and value, whether that’s as part of someone’s circle of support or through the Two Hour Club.
Kath notes that her experience of having a Circle not only supported her and her husband Dave but also created opportunities for reciprocity and mutual support for other Circle members.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Community Circles, do get in touch with Cath firstname.lastname@example.org