Community Circles

| Helen Sharp

Community Circles help people be happier, healthier and more connected with the support of those around them. This is a concept that the Ideas Hub has championed through sharing many stories and case studies, such as Keyring and SolvaCare. Community Circles help to create a circle of support around someone for a particular purpose; it may be to meet new people, get practical support, feel stronger, connecting back to pastimes such as the love of music or poetry; no two circles are alike. The circle is supported by a facilitator who helps the focus person and their friends and family’s conversation move to action.

The facilitator is a volunteer from the local community who will often be matched to the focus person through shared interests and they help to identify who should be involved in the circle. The circle meets every month and can be held anywhere – someone’s home, in a church, temple or school, cafe or pub – wherever the person is comfortable and is a safe place to talk.

Time is the most valuable thing people can offer

Kevin Reeves, parent and Circle member

Meetings are often an intimate gathering of family and friends, where facilitators are invited into the heart of a family, where all contributions are valued, where positive changes can be made. Friendships based on history and shared interests share stories and laughter. This is an experience far removed from professional case reviews and care management meetings.

To help everyone plan the actions and to work together to support the person at the heart of the Circle, Community Circles have partnered with RallyRound, a free website and app designed to help people keep track of things that need doing.

Everyone in the circle gains by being part of something shared, focused and often life changing. The focus person receives the help and support that is just right for them and the people in the circle know that they have made a real difference to someone’s life.

There’s more information about how the Community Circle works on this video – take a look – it’s such a simple and brilliant idea.

Photo by Ethan Weil

Share this article:

Similar articles

by Mel Parks

Grenfell Memorial Community Mosaic: Collective Power Awards

Celebrating and learning more about CHWA Awards joint winner, The Grenfell Memorial Community Mosaic, which has brought almost 1,000 local people from North Kensington together to make large scale public artworks. Co-created with individuals and local community, resident, faith and school groups under the guidance of mosaic artists Emily Fuller and Tomomi Yoshida.

Read article
by Mel Parks

Union Chapel: Collective Power Award

Union Chapel share their experiences of their community leaders project which was shortlisted for the Collective Power Award with the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance’s (CHWA) annual awards which focus on collective power (partnership and co-production), practitioner support and climate.

Read article
by Mel Parks

Alliancing in Health and Social Care Symposium

Key takeaways from the first UK Alliancing in Health and Social Care Symposium we hosted in Birmingham earlier this month where we discussed how have conversations about how far alliancing has come in the past ten years, how to bring others to the table, and what we need to do next.

Read article