Circles of Support

What is it?

Circles of Support (sometimes called a Circle of Friends) take shape in many different ways; they can be big or small, a group of people that get together in person or chat on an online group, meet on a regularly basis or just every so often, enjoy formal meetings or prefer a get together in a local social space.

What is important is that the people that make up the Circle of Support get together because they have a genuine interest in the person who is the focus of the Circle of Support.

What would a Circle of Support mean for you?

  • Would this support help you to go out with friends and have more social time?
  • Put some time and thought into how you organise trips and holidays?
  • In many ways help to achieve greater independence and control?

Getting your Circle Started 

Firstly think about the people in your life and who you would like to have on a Circle of Support, think about the people who have been there for you in the past, the people who offered you unconditional help, the people who have  practical skills or knowledge to assist you, people who are well connected within your community and the people you enjoy spending time with.

Once you have thought about who you would like on your circle and why you would like them to be involved begin to think about how you would like to invite them;

  • Perhaps a phone call to talk through what your Circle of Support would mean and ask them if they would like to be part of it.
  • Send out an invite in the post to your first circle meeting.
  • Add it as a private event on Facebook and only invite the people you would like to have there.

And I am sure you will be able to think of some creative and fun ways to invite people, something that would be unique to you and would represent your personality.

You may also want to give your Circle of Support a unique name or title, like ‘Doing Things My Way’.  One circle we help to facilitate is called ‘Full Steam Ahead’ for a gentleman who loves and is very knowledgeable steam engines.

How we can help?

We offer a range of input to help you get started with developing your Circle of Support;

We will come to meet with you to talk about Circles of Support and how you would like yours to be set up.

We will help you facilitate your first few get together with your circle of friends until you feel confident to take the lead. We are keen for you to develop a circle that becomes self-managing although we are always on hand to give a bit of advice or to help when needed.

We also offer training courses to groups around setting up a Circle and facilitating a Circle of Support.

We have helped to set up and run a number of Circles of Support that have made a huge difference in peoples lives and we strongly believe in the difference that can be made when you bring together a group of people who are dedicated to listening to a person, engaging in conversations about what would make a difference and are able and prepared to take some action to help make things happen.