Blog

Community Circles

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

Read more

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 […]

Read more

“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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

Circles of support and the economic benefit

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

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

Volunteer Buddies and Community Circles facilitators: how are the two roles different?

How can people with a learning disability be supported to build meaningful connections with others in their community, in order to reduce their isolation and build their confidence, independence, skills, activity levels and social networks? This is a question I’ve been asking myself and a challenge I’ve […]

Read more

A personal reflection…

My Mum passed away a couple of weeks ago aged 82; she was beautiful, resilient, independent, a wonderful Mum, precious Granny and much loved friend to many. Grief is strange…there are tears, the ache of missing someone can feel overwhelming but there are also smiles from sharing […]

Read more

Facilitating a Community Circle can help you Thrive!

“I dream of a day when […] volunteering is just a natural thing – not something exceptional or something that makes us feel particularly noble. Just something that we do. Something that connects us with one another. It is the only way we, as individuals, will ultimately […]

Read more

How can your organisation support Community Circles?

How can your organisation support Community Circles?

A Community Circle is a way to support someone through bringing together friends, family and neighbours with a facilitator.  A circle can start with two people or several people coming together.  Each circle has a clear purpose and usually meets once a month for an hour or […]

Read more

Community Circles for older people leaving hospital

Britain’s population of older people is increasing. Since 2008, the number of people aged over 85 has increased by nearly a fifth and, according to current estimates, the population of 65-84 year olds is likely to be 40% larger by the 2030s. This has invariably led to […]

Read more

10 Reasons why Social Work students benefit from being a Community Circles facilitator (number 10 is the big one!)

10 Reasons why Social Work students benefit from being a Community Circles facilitator (number 10 is the big one!)

Ask yourself why you embarked upon a social work degree and what your expectations are to succeed. 1 To understand the life of the focus person For me it was because I am deeply compassionate for others. I also have a desire to work with people who […]

Read more

Being part of Jane’s circle

Blog by Heather Cartledge – Community Circles Facilitator I am part of Jane’s circle of support and I love being part of it. Jane is a funny and warm person and spending time with her doesn’t feel like ‘volunteering’ – it feels like visiting a friend. However, […]

Read more

From being present to contributing: Miriam and the community choir

Blog by Helen Sanderson I am part of Miriam’s Community Circle, and the purpose of her circle is to get her singing again – See here for a previous blog about Miriam’s circle journey. Two weeks ago we did our first performance together, singing with the choir as […]

Read more

What assumptions are staff and managers making about Community Circles?

Blog by Cath Barton – Community Circles Connector As we continue to introduce Community Circles and promote the benefits, it’s made me think about how we do this well.  Community circles, to me, is exciting, can lead to positive change, builds relationships, supports contributions and is a […]

Read more

We all have a right to a sense of belonging

Helen Smith Community Connector with Community Circles There has been a lot of discussion on social media and in the news recently about loneliness. The damage that it does is significant and it has been calculated that the impact of loneliness on life expectancy is equivalent to […]

Read more

Why do young people volunteer?

Why do young people volunteer?

Blog by Ross Young Last week at a CharityWorks learning day in Bristol, our cohort had a very broad discussion about volunteering and we talked about the reasons why young people in particular decide to volunteer. Invariably, volunteering is very often regarded as an altruistic act by […]

Read more

A different kind of 5 a day

A different kind of 5 a day

Blog by Michelle Livesley This week I found myself having a conversation with someone about my role as a community circle facilitator. I started by describing the purpose of the circles, and the people who the circles are for, and then the different members of the circles […]

Read more

A sense of belonging…

A sense of belonging…

Lynda’s circle meeting, January 2015 It was lovely to get together at Lynda’s circle meeting, the first one of the New Year. Our opening round shared something good that had happened since the last time we met, there were lots of stories of Christmas, holidays and family […]

Read more

Helen’s long distance call

Helen lives in Bruce Lodge, a care home for people living with dementia. Her daughter lives in France and so Helen doesn’t see her daughter regularly. Andy is part of Helen’s circle at Bruce Lodge and when talking to Helen about what was important to her, he […]

Read more

My top 10 learning points of working with Churches – so far….

My top 10 learning points of working with Churches – so far….

Written by Helen Smith, Community Circles Coordinator It’s a new year again, and I always find this a good time to think about things I have learnt in the last year, and how I am going to build on them in the coming year. I was reflecting […]

Read more

Thinking about professional boundaries

Thinking about professional boundaries

  A blog by Cath Barton A conversation I had recently started me thinking about professional boundaries and reminded me of a blog written by Helen Sanderson some time agohttp://www.helensandersonassociates.co.uk/blogs/helen/2010/12/16/christmas-cheer-and-professional-boundaries.aspx I was having a conversation about the hospitality role within the circle and we were thinking whether […]

Read more

Looking back – Marge’s circle

Marge lives at Bruce Lodge, a residential care home for people living with Dementia. Marge has a community circle who meet every six weeks and one of the things we always talk about at the circle is how far we have progressed with our actions. Pauline is […]

Read more

Always look on the bright side of life – A circle journey

Always look on the bright side of life – A circle journey

A blog by Ruth Gorman I wanted to write about the work that Community Circles do from both my own personal perspective and from an organisational perspective.  I have personally been involved in circles for many years and we have provided training in the past for circle […]

Read more

Continuing to learn with Mary

Blog by Cath Barton Mary’s circle is exploring ways that she can reconnect with her faith community.  In my last blog http://communitycirclesblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/what-church-means-to-mary/ I wrote about the first time I had gone to church with Mary and what I had begun to learn about what good support looks […]

Read more

Jane’s Identity

A blog by Heather Cartledge Grayson Perry’s recent fascinating series ‘Who are you?’ explored the different identities that people assemble around themselves, like armour. Perry particularly noticed how we brandish our accomplishments, whether they be professional or personal, like swords raised against those whom we imagine judge […]

Read more

Community Circles – working with Faith

Blog by Helen Smith The faith community was one of the first communities that we identified as wanting to link in with Community Circles. We have come so far since then! Rev Simon Glynn, the Vicar at Christ Church, Parbold, first heard about Community Circles at Faithfest […]

Read more

Thinking about Contributions

Thinking about Contributions

Blog by Cath Barton Over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking about contributions; the contributions that Community Circles facilitators make to ‘holding’ the circle and encouraging purposeful conversations and the contributions that circle members make as part of making a difference to someone’s life. […]

Read more

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Marge lives at Bruce Lodge which is a residential care home for people who live with dementia. People who know her well describe her as a popular lady who always looks glamorous and has a constant, cheery smile. After attending a presentation about Community Circles with her […]

Read more

Working to improve the facilitator journey

Working to improve the facilitator journey

Working to improve the facilitator journey In order for us to develop and achieve Community Circles at scale, we need to build and develop processes that are as robust and dynamic as possible and ensure that we are constantly learning and improving. Part of this learning process […]

Read more

A circle of 3 – how Miriam helped Helen to sing

A circle of 3 – how Miriam helped Helen to sing

Singing with Miriam   My family laugh at the gusto with which I sing ‘In the bleak mid-winter’ at Christmas. Not at Church, in the kitchen. I used to sing in the school choir, although with less gusto, and over the last couple of years I have […]

Read more

‘My first facilitation of a circle’

‘My first facilitation of a circle’

My first circle of support with Winnie As I approached the series of flats where Winnie lives, I was feeling a mixture of nervous energy and trepidation. Having had no detailed knowledge of Winnie prior to our meeting, coupled with the fact that it was my first […]

Read more

A circle of 3 – Miriam’s story

A circle of 3 – Miriam’s story

Miriam Last week I met Miriam and Mandy for the second circle meeting at Bruce Lodge. Mandy had bought Miriam a new swimsuit, and she sat on the bed sewing a name badge on whilst we talked. I remember sewing name badges on school uniforms for my […]

Read more

Community Circles and Circles UK: Similar in name only?

Community Circles and Circles UK: Similar in name only?

Having just completed my fourth week as part of the Community Circles family, I have been learning at a rate of knots just how important circles of support can and hopefully will be, to a vast array of people. As a result of meeting some fantastic people […]

Read more

In between Circles

In between Circles

So far, I’ve talked quite a lot about what happens in Circle meetings.  Life, of course, has a habit of going on between Circle meetings and in this post I wanted to talk about life in between Circle meetings. If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know […]

Read more

Ever Increasing Circles – A (brief) history of circles in the US and UK

In Canada, in the mid 1970’s, a young and brilliant graduate York University lecturer and the founder of the Centre for Special Services for Handicapped Students was dying of apathetic bureaucracy. This woman, Judith Snow, had been placed in a geriatric ward of a residential care home, […]

Read more

What church means to Mary…

I had the pleasure of going to church with Mary today. It was lovely to see people who remembered Mary and came over to greet us, welcoming Mary back to church. The purpose of Mary’s circle is to reconnect her with her faith community.  At the moment […]

Read more

Mary’s Circle, the ‘Cream Cake Get Together’

How are we building on actions… Today’s Circle get together with Mary starting off by admiring her beautifully manicured nails and chatting about her recent holiday.  We then recapped on the actions from Mary’s person centred review.  The purpose of Mary’s circle is to reconnect her with […]

Read more

Being a good fit and why it matters

I read with interest Helen Sanderson blog about person centred recruitment and being a ‘good fit’ with an organisation. Helen says, “Usually ideas of a good fit are one way only – do you fit with us? How do you find people who are a great fit […]

Read more
Page 2 of 3123