Why I volunteer with Community Circles

The world is round

As a paid Connector, I have a delightful job developing circles, currently working in Wigan to develop circles across care homes.  For the last 12 months I’ve been based at a care home in Blackburn, seeing what was possible with circles and care homes, through which we’ve achieved some great things for people, find out more here Celebrating 12 months at EachStep

Arthur lives at the care home in Blackburn and I’ve continued to be involved with Arthur’s circle, volunteering my time and sharing ideas of how we can support Arthur to keep involved with gardening and DIY.  I’m also part of a book club which was an idea from Tom’s circle

Here’s my top ten reasons for volunteering;

  1. Getting to know Arthur and his family, we had developed a great relationship and I love staying connected. The circle meetings are full of good conversation and ideas
  2. Making a contribution supports my own wellbeing, it feels good to do something for someone else. Giving and connecting are two of the Five Ways to Wellbeing
  3. I have more connections in my life and my own circle is growing
  4. Because of Arthur’s knowledge about gardening and our trips to the garden centre, my own garden is looking better and I have a renewed interest in gardening
  5. As someone who recruits volunteers it’s important to me to make the same contribution and gives me valuable experience in my role
  6. We spend social time together with Arthur and our families, my kids have the experience of having someone living with dementia in their lives. We’re slowly developing a dementia friendly community
  7. We’re creative about where we have the circle meetings, next time BBQ at my house, to show the improved looking garden and then we’re going bowling. Not sure I would have made the effort to go bowling without the suggestion from the circle meeting and I’m really looking forward to it
  8. Being part of Tom’s book club has reignited my love of reading and I’m reading a wider genre of books that I ever did
  9. We have great conversations at the book club and it’s lovely to connect more personally with people who I work with
  10. I gain much more than I give, my wellbeing is supported massively through the small contributions I make

Cath Barton