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 Community Circles Connector.  You can read the full press release here http://www.c-i-c.co.uk/eachstep-blackburn-forms-pioneering-partnership-helen-sanderson-associates

My delight is not just about being the Community Circles Connector with EachStep but also that this is happening within my home town of Blackburn.

Thinking back over twelve months ago, the new building was the cause of much gossip at my Mum’s church which is fairly close; what was it for, who would be living there, what would be the effect on the local community?

I’m delighted with the response from the local community.  Community Integrated Care have spent time getting to know local community groups and businesses, developing a partnership with One Voice and connecting with local people and businesses.  We are using Ivy St Community Centre for recruitment events, where we have also received offers from people keen to be involved with EachStep as volunteers.

We already have four Community Circles Facilitators, people from the local community who can contribute a couple of hours each month to facilitate a circle.

Our offer of support is that people live rich, meaningful lives in a way that makes sense to them.  As well as our culture of working in a person centred way, each person can also have a Community Circle.


A Community Circle provides a way for friends, family, neighbours or other people to come together around a person to support them to achieve something in their life.

The person decides what that is, and it can be anything they choose. We’ll help them think about what that might be and who they’d like to be involved. Some examples of things that people might want to do could be:

  • getting out and about
  • being able to stay in touch with friends or family
  • getting back into an activity that you enjoyed
  • meeting new people
  • reconnecting with your faith community
  • volunteering


The facilitator supports the circle, keeping the conversation on track and developing actions to support the person achieve their purpose.


May’s circle has supported her to start singing again.  May lives in a residential home and really wanted to get out and about and get involved in some activities. She told her Circle that she used to love singing, and now they support her to take part in her local Community Choir. She’s now an active member, and has even helped to organise a performance at her residential home.


Our learning from Community Circles shows that not only do they achieve great things for the person but also supports the wellbeing of the facilitator and the circle members, through giving and connecting with others, two of our Five Ways to Wellbeing.  So as well as making a difference to the lives of the people we support, we are also contributing and connecting with our local community, particularly exciting when it’s your home town.


When we work with people, it can’t not be personal, but this feels even more so; great team, great vision, aspiring to make a difference to the people we support, our partners and wider community and all in my home town….if Carlsberg did jobs…


Look forward to sharing our journey with you.


Cath Barton

Regional Community Circles Connector

EachStep Blackburn