Wellbeing Teams and Community Circles – an exciting new partnership

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At Community Circles, we’re excited to be starting a new partnership with Wellbeing Teams.

Wellbeing Teams are a radical new model for supporting people to live well in their own homes, and Community Circles are an integral part of this model. In this post, Harriet talks about our first few weeks of working together.

Over the past few weeks we have been working with four new care providers to set up their Wellbeing Teams. We’ve been recruiting, training and supporting people in Torbay, Doncaster and Dumfries and it has been an exciting whirl of activity.

I’m part of the team of five Wellbeing Advisors who make up the Wellbeing Academy (who support the development and implementation of new Wellbeing Teams) and I’m particularly focussing on working with the Community Connectors. Each Wellbeing Team is made up of up to 12 people, including the Wellbeing Workers and a Community Connector. The Wellbeing Teams support people to live well in their local communities and offer an alternative to traditional home care.

Community Circles are delighted to have welcomed five new Connectors to the rapidly growing team and they will be introducing themselves through their own blogs over the coming weeks. We have Debbie and Margaret in Torbay, Amanda in Doncaster and Ali and Lesley in Dumfries. All of them have been through or are currently taking part in their Wellbeing Induction, which focuses on how the team will being self-managing.


Amongst their many skills and talents, we identified early on in the values-based recruitment process that each of these people is likely to work effectively and thrive as part of a self-managed team and we’re enjoying seeing this develop.

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I’ve been asked a number of times why each Wellbeing Team has a Community Connector, when they don’t actually provide direct support in the same way a Wellbeing Worker does, so I thought I’d explain it here! The easiest way to describe it is to refer to the Support Sequence that the Wellbeing Teams use. When someone asks for support from the team, a worker has an initial conversation with them and the people closest to them to explore their current relationships and networks and the best ways of building on these. It is important that we talk about friends, family, the local community, services and finally the paid support that will be provided by the Wellbeing Team.

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Each individual will tell us what they want to achieve with their support and will set person-centred outcomes. Outcomes cannot be achieved by the Wellbeing Team in isolation, and this is where the Community Connector comes in. Right at the start, each person supported is asked if they would like a Community Circle and the Community Connector will match the person with a suitable facilitator. The Circle will then work together, led by the person, to develop reciprocal relationships within their local area. It may be that a neighbour or friend locally might be able to support someone to achieve their wishes. I find it particularly inspiring when our Connectors tell stories of how older people are able to take up hobbies or interests that they have has to abandon due to poor health, or through not having friends who share their passion, because their Circle has made it happen. There have been lots of stories like this shared through the Community Circles blog in recent times! 

Having a Community Connector within the team means that people who feel lonely or isolated can quickly be helped to spend time with new people and do the things they enjoy doing. This also means that Wellbeing Workers are able to focus on providing high quality, person-centred care and support in the knowledge that the equally important aspects of a person life and wellbeing are supported.

If you have any questions about Community Circles and Wellbeing Teams, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: harriet@community-circles.co.uk

Harriet Michael-Phillips
Wellbeing Advisor and Community Circles Development Worker