Meet the Team

Helen Sanderson – CEO

HelenI am the lead at Helen Sanderson Associates, a social enterprise, and I am a founding member of Community Circles, which is funded through the HSA Foundation.

I live in Heaton Moor with Andy and my three daughters, Ellie, Laura and Kate, together with a dog, cats and hens. Although I am a black belt in karate, I now try to spend more time doing yoga, and am learning mindfulness.

Get in touch with Helen at

Take a look at Helen’s one-page profile.



Martin Routledge – Head of Development

Martin has been at the heart of the development and delivery of personalisation in the UK over the last 15 years. He currently provides development support to Community Circles and In Control, is a trustee at IAS and supports the Independent Living Strategy Group.

A social worker, Martin worked for 20 years in councils, higher education, research and the third sector before a series of roles with the English Department of Health, during which the initial phase of personalisation policy was shaped and delivered. He also worked in a number of roles to continue the development of personalisation practice for the NHS, the Coalition for Collaborative Care and Think Local Act Personal.

Get in touch with Martin at



Harriet Michael-Phillips – Development

I work to grow the possibilities and potential for Community Circles to support people in a way that matters to them. It’s really important to me to know that what I’m doing makes a difference. I’d love to hear from anyone who sees the potential for Circles to work in their area.

I live in a village in Buckinghamshire called Downley with my three daughters and my husband, Rob.

Get in touch with Harriet at

Take a look at Harriet’s one-page profile.



Cath Barton – Community Connector

CathI am passionate about person-centred approaches and strive to ensure everyone has quality in their lives, as valued members of their communities with support that makes sense to them. I was invited to be part of Community Circles leadership team in 2012 and became the first full time Community Circles Connector, funded by Alternative Futures Group in 2014.

I am married, with two children and two beagles, I love family get-togethers and pilates.

Get in touch with Cath at

 Take a  look at Cath’s one-page profile.

Helen Smith – Community Connector

Helen SmithI am a founder member of Community Circles and in my role as Community Circles Connector I am focussing in how circles of support can work in the Faith community. I am also part of the leadership team and we work towards making Community Circles work for everyone.

I also love spending time with my husband and our two boys.

Get in touch with Helen at

Take a look at Helen’s one-page profile.


David Rinaldi – Community Connector

Image of David Rinaldi in a picture frame

I have been Volunteering Manager at Brandon Trust since September 2013. Brandon now has a very successful Volunteer Buddy project, which provides much valued companionship and extra social support to people supported by Brandon Trust. Community Circles work naturally alongside our buddy project because many people wanted support with deepening or extending their relationship circles, getting into employment or with other life changes they wanted to make which Community Circles is ideally suited to bringing about.

Get in touch with David at

Take a look at David’s one-page profile

Hannah Short – Community Connector

I am one of the Community Circles Connectors for Age UK Doncaster.

I am passionate about the wellbeing of older people and I am particularly interested in tackling loneliness and social isolation. I am excited to be working on this new initiative and it is really important to me that everyone who wants a circle in Doncaster is able to have one.

I live in a small town in Nottinghamshire. I enjoy cooking and running. Having run 3 half marathons last year, my goal is to complete a marathon in the New Year.

Get in touch with Hannah at

Take a look at Hannah’s one-page profile.

Find out more about Circles in Doncaster by calling our partners at AgeUK on 01302 812345.



Mary Riches – Community Connector

I am one of three Community Circles Connectors working for Age UK Doncaster since December 2016. It is great to see the enthusiasm of partner organisations when they hear about Community Circles and what they can offer in combatting social isolation.

I live in a village in North Nottinghamshire and enjoy walking, birdwatching, Pilates and swimming.

Get in touch with Mary at

Take a look at Mary’s one-page profile.

Find out more about Circles in Doncaster by calling our partners at AgeUK on 01302 812345.



Lesley Bryce – Community Connector

I am one of two Community Circles Connectors working in Dumfries in South West Scotland. I am passionate about social inclusion and person centred care. I am excited to see the Wellbeing Teams Model develop in partnership with Community Circles, working together to address social isolation and to promote the wellbeing of older people.

I live in Dumfries with my two children and our cat. I love music and enjoy singing with a community choir. I also like walking and practice mindfulness.

Get in touch with Lesley at

Take a look at Lesley’s one-page profile.



Ali Gibson – Community Connector

ali_headshotI am one of the Community Circles Connectors for Dumfries. I am excited about working with Wellbeing Teams exploring new ways of supporting people to live happier and healthier lives in their own homes. I’m interested in using person-centred tools and approaches in creating new ways for families and friends to support their loved ones through Community Circles.

I live in Wigtownshire and enjoy being part of my community; walking, meditating and being in nature.

Get in touch with Ali at

Take a look at Ali’s one-page profile.



Sharon Fung – Community Connector

sharonfungI am a Community Circle Connector based in Doncaster. 

I work to support the growth of Circles through a GP practice and also with a home care provider based in the area. I’m very committed to equality, social justice and valuing people for who they are; so I’m very passionate about the power of Community Circles.

Get in touch with Sharon at

Take a look at Sharon’s one-page profile.



Barb Swartz-Biscaro – Community Connector, Canada

I am passionate about using person-centred approaches in all areas of life. I believe in the value of natural relationships to support myself and others which is why I think Community Circles are so amazing. I became the first Community Connector in Canada in 2016. I am also the lead for this work in Canada.

I am married with 3 children, 4 step children and 2 grandchildren. We live on a farm with our chickens and dog and enjoy outdoor activities as a family.

Get in touch with Barb at

Take a look at Barb’s one-page profile.



Max Neill – Community Circles co-founder


Max was a co-founder of Community Circles, and had the passion and ideas that were fundamental to the development of Community Circles. He was living with bowel cancer, and passed away in early 2016.

Max was committed to social justice, human rights, humanity and seeing underestimated and excluded people stepping into new worlds of possibility.

Max played a key role in the creation of Community Circles, and we are proud to continue his legacy.

He also devoted part of his life to developing ways that people could record their wishes around end-of-life. You can read more about it here or on Twitter via the hashtag #MaxEOLC.




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