How can your organisation support Community Circles?
13th April 2015
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How can your organisation support

Community Circles?



A Community Circle is a way to support someone through bringing together friends, family and neighbours with a facilitator.  A circle can start with two people or several people coming together.  Each circle has a clear purpose and usually meets once a month for an hour or two, then agree what the circle can do that will make a difference.

Circles intentionally build community around a person, recognising their gifts and talents and helping to build relationships and connections with others.

The purpose of Mary’s circle is to reconnect her with her faith community.  Mary is now going to church each week and reconnecting with members of her parish and is enjoying having people from church visit her each month.

Yvonne’s circle meets each month to think about supporting Yvonne to find a job.  Yvonne is now volunteering at the local church’s luncheon club, developing her skills, making a contribution and meeting new people.

Eric is living with dementia.  His circle supports him to stay involved with sporting events and enables his wife to have a break in her role as his carer.

Each circle is matched with a facilitator, someone who can contribute a couple of hours each month to ‘hold’ the circle, supporting focussed conversations that lead to actions. 

There are a variety of ways that organisations can get involved and support Community Circles, either through time, resources or finances, making a contribution to their local community as part of their corporate social responsibility.

So what is corporate social responsibility?  The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication Making Good Business Sense by Lord Holme and Richard Watts, used the following definition;

“Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”

According to Zen Internet in Rochdale; “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) isn’t just about donating money to the right causes and getting involved in local initiatives; it’s a business philosophy, whereby organisations make the conscious decision to integrate social and environmental concerns into their daily business operations and every interaction with their stakeholders. For Zen, CSR doesn’t represent a shift in the way we do business. It’s always been at the heart of what we do and how we operate.  Indeed, Zen believes that CSR principles should be embedded, wherever appropriate, into policies and practices throughout our business. We are determined to be a good neighbour and work together with our employees, our customers, our suppliers and the community around us to ensure that any impact we make on the world is for the better. Whether that involves ensuring employees are rewarded for the work they do, providing customers with the highest level of service, building our relationships with suppliers or supporting charitable events or coming up with new ways to be ‘greener’.”

Within Rochdale, businesses are already supporting us in a variety of ways;

Deborah Bell from The Best of Rochdale offers support through a variety of networking events and online space to share information and blogs about Community Circles


Wayne Seddon, a graphic designer, has designed business cards for Cath, Rochdale’s Community Circles Connector


Rochdale Borough Housing, who as part of their CSR support their staff to have volunteering time within their paid hours.  Staff are using this time to facilitate Community Circles locally within Rochdale


Rochdale Hornets have provided a free venue to train facilitators


Could you make a contribution to Community Circles; support your staff to be part of someone’s circle, contribute to resources for facilitators or promote Community Circles within your own networks?  Join us in making a difference to your local community

Contact Cath 07824096056




Promote the work of Community Circles across your personal and business networks

  • Share our learning online via social media
  • Contribute to our community Groupsite
  • Share our marketing materials (fliers, posters and postcards) with individuals and organisations across your networks
  • Invite a member of staff from Community Circles to come and talk to your organisation about the benefits of circles and how to get involved


Provide us with a venue that we can use to deliver our facilitator training

  • We are always on the look out for venues to use to deliver our facilitator training, free of charge, during the week
  • If you have a spare room or area that we could use, we could invite some of your staff to attend the training and gain an insight into person-centred practices and how Community Circles work


Talk to people from within your organisation about getting involved with Community Circles

  • We are always on the look out for people to train as facilitators.   A facilitator is matched to one circle and is able to contribute two hours a month.  Could you support your staff to have paid volunteering time of two hours a month?
  • We are also keen to hear from people who could benefit from a circle, so if you know of any people who you think would benefit, then we would love to get in touch with them.


Provide a donation to cover the cost of training materials for Community Circles facilitators

  • At the end of every facilitator training session, each facilitator is provided with an information pack, that they then use throughout their time as a Community Circles facilitator

£9.95 per pack. Usually, we have around 10 people attend each training session, so the cost for one session would be £99.50

Provide a donation to support the development of marketing materials

  • Marketing materials are a very important aspect of the work that we do at Community Circles and are one of the key ways that we generate interest in circles
  • A donation would help us to develop and produce professional leaflets, postcards and posters that will enable us to raise the profile of Community Circles and ultimately support more people

100 postcards/leaflets cost £165

Develop a partnership with Community Circles and fund the role of a full time Connector

  • Connector’s are integral to ensure we can develop Community Circles at scale across the country
  • If you would like to fund the post of a connector to develop Community Circles across the area in which you work, we can provide ongoing support and problem solving to help make it a success

£35,000 p/a


About the Author

Cath B

Member since: 29th May 2014

Community Circles Coordinator for Rochdale, supporting people living with dementia to develop a circle of support.
A Community Circle is a way to support someone through bringing together friends, family...

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