Blog

Keeping dreams alive through Community Circles

  Aspiration A hope or ambition of achieving something   Is there an age when our dreams diminish or disappear?  Or do we get to a time in our lives when we stop dreaming because that time has passed?  Do we get new dreams as we get […]

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Loneliness…how Community Circles is supporting people to stay connected

There’s a quote I hear around Christmas time; “It’s not what’s under the tree that matters, it’s who’s around it” As well as the quotes and Facebook posts about the importance of being with family and friends and the celebrations of spending time with loved ones, there […]

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‘No man is an Island’

‘No man is an Island’. Most people in the English speaking world are familiar with this famous quotation from the writings of John Donne. These five words written in the 16th century highlight the connectedness of people. They encapsulate the idea that no one is self-sufficient; that […]

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Christmas Connections

Community Circles is all about people; who we know in our local community, what gifts and assets people and communities have and developing reciprocal relationships.  For the people we support at EachStep Blackburn who live with dementia, keeping connected to their local community is really important.  Our […]

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Community Circles at EachStep Blackburn, making a difference for people living with dementia

At EachStep Blackburn, Community Integrated Care’s new specialist dementia care home, supporting people to live well with dementia is at the core of what we do. We are very proud to be the winners of the National Dementia Care Awards for the Best Dementia Care Home http://www.c-i-c.co.uk/dementia-care-awards-success-community-integrated-care […]

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Making a difference with Community Circles at EachStep Blackburn

      I’m based at EachStep Blackburn, Community Integrated Care’s specialist dementia care home.  My role is to develop a Community Circle for each person that lives here, enabling them to stay connected to family, friends and community, keep doing the things they have always done […]

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Community Circles featured in ‘Innovations In Dementia’

Community Circles have been featured in an e-book that showcases a range of innovative approaches to care and support for people living with dementia. This is a new resource developed by In Control in collaboration with Helen Sanderson Associates and sponsored by Alternative Futures Group. The e-book aims to help […]

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Recruiting 3 new Connectors in partnership with AgeUK Doncaster

  We are delighted to share that in partnership with Age UK Doncaster we have recruited three Community Circles Connectors.  We’re really excited to be growing our team and our partnerships and are looking forward to be developing more Community Circles with older people in Doncaster. Through […]

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Caring Hands Wellbeing Team

Helen Smith – Community Circles Connector One of our latest Community Circles partnerships is with a homecare provider; Caring Hands. Caring Hands see a different way of providing home care and wanted to work with Community Circles and Helen Sanderson Associates to achieve this. The starting point […]

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The Ripples from a Community Circle

The Ripples from a Community Circle

At EachStep, specialist dementia care home in Blackburn, we are developing a Community Circle with each person we support. When people have lived here for about 8 weeks, we have a settling in meeting to reflect on what’s working well and what’s not working from everyone’s perspective.  […]

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Why I’m so excited to be joining Community Circles

We are delighted to announce that Martin Routledge is joining Community Circles as Head of Development. Until this summer, Martin was the interim Head of Person Centred Care at NHS England. Prior to this he was Director of the Coalition for Collaborative Care, which launched in November 2014 […]

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5 ways Community Circles help local authorities comply with the Care Act

5 ways Community Circles help local authorities comply with the Care Act

The Care Act has been in place for a while now, but we know that people’s care experiences vary wildly. There are lots of reasons for this, including the widely-publicised strain on funding and resources. To make sure we’re improving care and support whilst simultaneously dealing with […]

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How can care homes deliver personalised support on a budget?

We all know times are tough in health and social care. Budgets are tight, the population is ageing, and resources are stretched. Despite this, legislation (like the Care Act) and policies such as the NHS 5 Year Forward View call for better, more individualised support. Professionals want to […]

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Community Circles and Community Integrated Care

Community Circles are aiming to develop circles of support at scale, for anyone who through illness, disability or at a particular time in their lives, needs some extra help. Since a small pilot project in Stockport in 2012 we have grown, both in numbers and the range […]

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Joining Community Circles

I’ve been part of Community Circles for exactly a month now, so it feels like a good time to write down some reflections on what this means to me, as much for myself as for anyone else to read.  Ever since I first came across Community Circles, […]

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Volunteering in care homes; what are we learning?

Today I’ve been interested in the tweets relating to the 10th annual conference organised by the Journal of Dementia Care in association with Dementia Care Matters #DCM2016.  Many of the tweets have highlighted person centred approaches, the need for community, reciprocal relationship between staff members and people […]

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How Community Circles integrate a care home into their local community

How Community Circles integrate a care home into their local community

  We’ve recently started working at EachStep Blackburn, a state-of-the-art dementia care home, where Community Circles are built into the core of the person’s support. We’re really excited about the possibilities for circles in care homes, because there are benefits for the people who live there, staff […]

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Living well with dementia ….EachStep of the way

This is what we are hoping for each person living with dementia who move into or receive support from EachStep Blackburn, a cutting-edge care home supporting people living with dementia that opened in late May 2016…. brand new! It has been planned in partnership with Community Integrated […]

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How Community Circles and care homes can work together

It’s a really exciting time for Community Circles. In a week, EachStep Blackburn is opening – a a cutting-edge £5 million dementia care home that with Community Circles support built in to heart of their offer. This is the first time we have a Community Circles Connector […]

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Community Circles at Spiral Health

When we established Community Circles, we knew that circles could work for anyone; through our work we are learning how to make this a reality. I am currently working with Spiral Health CIC. They run an Intermediate Care Unit at Preston hospital which works with patients who […]

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If Carlsberg did jobs…

A few weeks ago Community Integrated Care and Helen Sanderson Associates announced their partnership at EachStep Blackburn, a new specialist dementia care service, where person centred approaches will be at the core of all support.  EachStep Blackburn is also the first dementia care home to include a […]

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The Jedi Council

We met today after a bit of a gap, ill health, busy schedules and the weather have all conspired to keep the circle apart.  Even today, at the last minute, illness kept one of the circle members away but we were able to get enough of us […]

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Developing Community Circles with a Care Home

As a Blackburn lass I’m delighted that Community Circles are being developed in my home town and that I’ll have a role in this.  Community Integrated Care a forging a pioneering partnership with Helen Sanderson Associates in the new specialist dementia care service, EachStep Blackburn. EachStep Blackburn is […]

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How Community Circles can empower people to be good neighbours to people with a learning disability

In my last blog, I talked about how Community Circles can complement support from health professionals, by helping to address practical, everyday problems that may be getting in the way.  We know that alongside this practical support, the experience of being part of a Circle can also […]

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How having a Community Circle can complement paid support from Healthcare professionals

I had a fascinating conversation with a new Community Circles facilitator recently. Anita had been a Speech and Language Therapist for 15 years and was re-training to be a Counsellor and Psychotherapist. One reason Anita wanted to be a facilitator was to develop her listening and responding […]

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How do we develop Community Circles for people who have nobody in their lives?

There is much in the news of the effects of isolation.  Research shows that there is a strong correlation between social isolation and poor health outcomes, with loneliness being likened to having the same effects as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.  A recent article in the Guardian […]

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Feeling isolated? How Community Circles can help

I recently read an article about how people with a learning disability can feel isolated and lonely because of attitudes towards them, you can read the article from Mencap on the BBC newsbeat page http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/35314142/im-21-have-a-learning-disability-and-going-out-scares-me The research suggests around a third of people with a learning disability […]

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Recruiting new connectors, a great start to 2016

My first working day of the New Year I was involved in recruiting a new Community Circles Connector.  We are delighted to have Carole working with us, who is our first Connector to be working in a primary school in Buckinghamshire.   We look forward to sharing our […]

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Relationships and living with dementia

I watched a video shared on facebook the other day, a plea from a man named Alan for his friends to stay in contact with him.  Alan is living with dementia.  The video is not easy to watch; Alan is very emotional and it tugs at your […]

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Community Circles and Technology

What are we learning? One of the first circle meetings I went to I was delighted to see circle members join via Skype.  Louise’s godparents lived in Iceland but that was no barrier to them joining the monthly circle meetings, Skype enabled them to join in and […]

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Tea and cake with friends

Margaret was very nervous about having a circle. What did it involve? Who should she invite? Would they want to come? Margaret really didn’t want to be the centre of attention. What she really wanted was to develop some more friendships in her life. She had many […]

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Community Circles in Maghull

It was a year ago since I trained a wonderful group of people to become circle facilitators; all of them were linked to the churches that I was working with to develop Community Circles. One of the people; Cerys, that went on to facilitate a circle has […]

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Circles of Support and Personalisation

Circles of Support and Personalisation by Max Neill and Helen Sanderson. Click on the image to view the paper.

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Community Circles

Community Circles a Report by Helen Sanderson, Sarah Carr and Max Neill. Click the image to read the report.

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Developing dementia friendly communities starting from the person

Part of my role as Community Circles Connector in Rochdale is working with people living with dementia to develop a circle of support.  Community Circles are a way for us to support each other in our local communities, a way of developing dementia friendly communities starting with […]

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“Come Dine With Me” Creating ripples through a Community Circle

The purpose of Dawn’s circle is to support her to find things to do and make new friendships. During the first few circle meetings we explored lots of ideas to support Dawn achieve her purpose. One of the things Dawn is now involved with is helping on […]

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9 reasons why I am excited about the potential of Community Circles to make a difference

Many people with dementia are lonely, bored and have little in their lives that feels purposeful. A Community Circle is an evidence-based approach, that has been shown to enable people living with dementia to do more of what matters to them and feel less isolated. Here are […]

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Giving, connecting, appreciating

Giving, connecting, appreciating

For the past twelve months I’ve shared Mary’s story and how her Community Circle has supported her to reconnect at church and be part of her parish community.  Over the months we’ve learned what good support for Mary looks like, spent time nurturing relationships and been intentional […]

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Contributions and more

Contributions and more

Alternative Futures Group are the first provider to invest in a full time Community Circles Connector in Rochdale. It’s fantastic for Community Circles to have a dedicated post where we can develop circles of support at scale and share learning.  We know that people are asking for […]

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Developing relationships through a Community Circle

Yvonne is warm and welcoming, loves to chat and is really good company.  Yvonne is supported by Alternative Futures Group and started her Community Circles four months ago.  The delight in being involved in her circle has not only come from achieving its purpose but also recognising […]

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Drive – purpose and motivation in volunteering

Drive – purpose and motivation in volunteering

As a Volunteering Manager and Community Circles Connector, I spend a fair bit of time thinking and planning how to motivate people to volunteer to do socially useful things. But what does a ‘good’ volunteer role look like? Putting aside the question of micro– and short-term-volunteering, how […]

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Community Circles and Making it Real

Community Circles and Making it Real

A blog post by Helen Sanderson The Making it Real statements are a set of statements to enable people check their progress towards personalised, community based support. Developed by Think Local Act Personal, the statements were coproduced and reflect what people who use services and carers want […]

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The role of support staff in a Community Circle

The role of support staff in a Community Circle

Mary’s Community Circle began nearly 12 months ago and is has been a delight being involved and seeing the relationships that have developed in Mary’s life and how her well-being has improved. The purpose of Mary’s circle is to reconnect her with her faith community and twelve […]

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Book launch at Bruce Lodge

Bruce Lodge is a residential care home in Stockport. The people that are supported by Bruce Lodge all live with dementia and recently, Helen Sanderson Associates worked with the staff and residents to implement truly person-centred Individual Service Funds – to remarkable success. So much so that […]

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Community Circles and Making it Real

The Making it Real statements are a set of statements to enable people check their progress towards personalised, community based support. Developed by Think Local Act Personal, the statements were coproduced and reflect what people who use services and carers want to see and experience. At Community […]

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The role of support staff in a Community Circle

Mary’s Community Circle began nearly 12 months ago and is has been a delight being involved and seeing the relationships that have developed in Mary’s life and how her well-being has improved. The purpose of Mary’s circle is to reconnect her with her faith community and twelve […]

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Keeping managers connected to people’s lives

Keeping managers connected to people’s lives

One of the leaders I admire is Richard Williams, CEO of Options for Supported Living. Almost a decade ago we collaborated on a paper that brought together what we had been learning about person-centred leadership. Richard talks about the importance of managers staying connected to someone who […]

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Circles of support and the economic benefit

To read more about the economic benefits of circles of support, select the image below:  

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Judith Snow – A Pioneer Woman

In memory of Judith Snow 29.10.1949 – 31.05.2015 Previously, we have blogged about the history of Community Circles and how it all started with Judith Snow. In light of the sad news of her recent death, we thought we would look back at some of Judith’s life […]

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Community Circles and difficult conversations

Blog by Helen Sanderson Joanne was a work colleague of mine. We shared an office for a year whilst she was on a short-term contract developing a new website. We had a mutual friend, Fiona. Joanne would describe herself as a huge foodie – she had worked […]

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