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, when I was working as London Director for Brandon Trust, I have believed passionately in the power of Circles to help people make changes in their lives.  I was working with people with learning disabilities at the time and was particularly keen to help people combat isolation and loneliness; so many of the people who we supported did not have people in their lives who weren’t paid to be there.  A Circle is an ideal way for people to expand their network and to receive dedicated support to get out and make friends with others who share their passions.

I’ve now joined Community Circles as a Development Worker and I have spent the last month getting to know much more about the work that we do and meeting the amazing people behind the organisation.  What has struck me more than anything else is the potential that Community Circles have for any of us.  I know that there may well be a time in my life where I will need some help and it feels reassuring to know that through Community Circles, I would have somewhere to turn, no matter how simple or complex my need may be.  It is very exciting in a development role, to be taking on something that has such endless possibility, there is almost no limit to where I could start to take my work. However, I do need to start somewhere and not everywhere!  Over the coming months, I will be looking at how Community Circles can partner with other volunteering organisations and share learning.  I am particularly excited at the thought of setting up Circles for women in pregnancy and also looking at the potential for supporting people with mental health needs.

In a time where we face much uncertainty about the future of the UK, I am reassured and calmed by the knowledge that the work Community Circles does is all about connecting people, relationships and bringing communities closer together to find shared solutions.  If you would like to get involved or have ideas you’d like to explore, please do get in touch with me!


Harriet Michael-Phillips