Circles of Support

A Circle of Support is a group of people who have a specific and focused purpose of supporting an individual.

Circle of Support become a network of allies for people in varying circumstances; in complex situations, with limited verbal communication, living with learning and physical disabilities and people who would like a helping hand.

We support people to set up and facilitate Circles of Support, bringing fun and creative ideas to bring people together and to facilitate Circle meetings.

How do Circle of Support run?

Circles of Support (sometimes called a Circle of Friends) vary greatly, they can:

  • be big or small
  • consist of friends and family and may also include professionals, people with useful knowledge or who have shared skills and interests
  • be a group of people that get together in person or chat on an online group.
  • be a group who meet on a regular basis or just every so often
  • formal meetings or a get together in a local social and informal 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?

You would have access to a group of people who have clearly stated that they wish to support you in whichever way they can.

The support you need will be very specific to you and your circumstances.

We have found that in the past Circles of Support have helped people to:

  • find a way to move from their current accommodation into their own home
  • change the way they have been supported on a daily basis
  • increase the understanding around them of how they communicate
  • find ways to make a contribution to their local community
  • find ways to meet new people and make friends
  • find ways to be able to meet up with friends and have more social time
  • prepare for and organise trips and holidays

Members of your Circle of Support can be involved in the development of your Support Plan (should you need one).

In many ways, a Circle of Support can help you to achieve greater sense of purpose, connection and control.

How to Get Your Circle Started

Think about the people in your life and who you would like to have on your Circle of Support, for example, people who:

  • have been there for you in the past
  • have offered you help
  • have practical skills or knowledge to assist you
  • are well connected within your community
  • you enjoy spending time with

Once you have thought about who you would like in your Circle and why you would like them to be involved begin to think about how you would like to invite them.

We are 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 about steam engines.

Here is a video about how to develop your Circle of Support:

How Can We Help?

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

We will talk to you about your ideas for your Circle of Support, including how to get your Circle started.

We can also help you to facilitate your Circle meetings.

Some people like to aim towards running their own Circle meetings and therefore we can offer to help until you feel confident to take the lead, knowing we are always on hand to give a bit of advice or to help when needed.

We strongly believe a positive difference can be made when you bring people together who are dedicated to listening to you, engaging in conversations about what would make a difference and are able and prepared to take some action to help make things happen.

How Much Does Help Developing My Circle of Support Cost?

We would love to find out more about what you need support with and how we can help you. As part of our initial conversation with you, we may be able to explore if any funding options are available to you. Please get in touch with us using the details below.

Enquiries

Telephone: 07572 322200

Emailinfo@imagineer.org.uk

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