WHAT IS A CIRCLE?
A Circle is a small group of 4 or 5 volunteers from the community who give their time freely to provide a structured community intervention for sex offenders and sexual harm causers. Our volunteers are diverse people from all ages and backgrounds. What they do have in common is a wish to help others - in this case, often a despised and marginal group - but also a desire to reduce the possibility of further sexual abuse and ensure that the Core Member (as the person is known in the Circle) is helped to manage his or her behaviour and, in extreme cases, where behaviour becomes problematic, that the probation service and the police are involved.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A CIRCLE?
Our Volunteers are well trained and assist the Core Member in a variety of ways, which are determined by the individual needs of the Core Member. This varies from day to day living issues to intellectual disabilities and sexually distorted attitudes. As a general rule a Circles Volunteer meets with a Core Member weekly for 10 to 18 months as part of a group of 4-5 Volunteers who have been trained and are supervised by the Circle Coordinator. A structured programme of work is delivered through this Circle to the Core Member and is closely monitored by the Coordinator. The risk of the person is also continuously monitored through the Circle and is immediately acted upon if required. As part of the support offered by the Circle, Volunteers will also talk through any issues the Core Member may be facing, whether this is fear, isolation or in many cases they offer assistance with how to readjust to life outside of prison and help with practical tasks such as interview preparation and finding permanent accommodation.
In summary, volunteers:
- encourage the person to take responsibility for their behaviour. They assist the person to develop awareness of their behaviour and personal triggers which may lead them to commit sexually harmful behaviour.
- provide practical support to develop confidence and life skills to help the person integrate into society for a more positive and less isolated future and
- work with other professionals to ensure there is ongoing risk management and access to appropriate services.
why do circles work?
Here is what some of our volunteers and Core Members have said:
What's in it for you?
We currently have over 600 active volunteers working all over the country. Without them we cannot do the valuable work we do.
We are a passionate network of Providers who work with absolute dedication and commitment as we believe in what we do. It is not an easy job as we often meet with controversy and resistance. Because of that we carefully screen and select our volunteers and give very in-depth training. You will also have to be DBS checked. Once you have completed your training, you will work in a team with a Coordinator who will regularly supervise you and give you the support you need. We ensure ongoing development through national volunteer forums, where you will meet other volunteers and share ideas. We welcome volunteers from all walks of life and currently have a shortage of older people and men.