Volunteer

Volunteering with Circles South West

We operate in seven counties, see below for the towns in which most of our Circles take place. Don't see your area? Contact us to find out.

Volunteering with Circles South West

Volunteering with Circles South West

Volunteering with Circles South West is a challenging but rewarding role and people become involved for a number of reasons. Perhaps you are looking to make a valuable contribution to your community or you are interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice. Whatever the reason we have a number of projects running across the South West for you to become involved in.

Depending on your location we offer the opportunity to volunteer in:

Community Circles

Young People’s Circles

Circles for people with Intellectual Disabilities

Through the Gate/Prison Circles

All of these projects place the onus on support and accountability; allowing our Core Member to work towards an offence free life and reducing sexual harm in your community.

Use the tabs above to discover the different projects in more detail.

 

Available opportunities in:

Cornwall

Truro, Penzance

Devon

Plymouth, Exeter, Torbay

Somerset

Bridgwater, Taunton

Dorset

Bournemouth, Poole

Gloucestershire

Cheltenham, Gloucester

Wiltshire

Swindon

Avon

Bristol, Bath

Apply Now

Adult Community Circles

Adult Community Circles

Community Circles for Adults 21+

Our Community Circles are for adults who have offended sexually. They will most likely have received a custodial sentence and have been released from prison. Core Members will request a Circle to help their transition back into the community and to support them and hold them accountable in their life.

Community Circles take place weekly, on the same day in the same location for a period of approx. 12 months. Circles meet in a central, risk-assessed location, such as a community venue, for between 1-2 hours. Meeting are usually held in the afternoons or evenings and it’s helpful if you provide us with a choice of days to work with so we can find an time suitable to all volunteers.

Circles are made up of 4-5 volunteers who’s aim is to support the safe re-integration into the community of a person who has been convicted of sexual offending and hold them to account for their behaviour. Volunteers work with a professional coordinator, specialists in their field, and have full training and ongoing support.

Circles require volunteers to submit minutes of the meeting as well as other small admin tasks and so we ask that you be IT proficient and bear in mind this will be a small extra time consideration on top of your meeting time.

CIRCLES VOLUNTEER ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Support
• To provide a listening ear
• To reduce emotional loneliness and isolation through the provision of structured support networks
• To provide a source of help
• To show empathy but not sympathy
• To encourage independence and discourage dependence
• Maintain a respectful approach and model appropriate relationships and behaviour

Monitor
• To be able to recognise and manage manipulation and collusion and access appropriate support
• To ensure that the Core Member is engaged in appropriate activity

Maintain
• To have the ability to assist the Core Member in the development of appropriate support networks
• To keep the Core Member on track with their personal goals identified in treatment
• To be able to achieve a balance between support and accountability
• To be able to work individually and as part of a team
• To be able to maintain confidentiality where appropriate
• To be able to access support when necessary
• To be able to maintain appropriate personal boundaries
• To attend further training as required

Accountability
• To keep the Core Member accountable to treatment objectives and help support them in leading an offence free lifestyle
• To constructively challenge a Core Member when they display warning signs of entering into high risk behaviour
• To be part of the regular communication system between the Circle and  professional agencies who are charged with the risk management of the Core Member
• To keep timely minutes of all Circle meetings and forward to Circle Coordinator within 72 hours of the meeting

Community Circles are currently offered in Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset

 

Available opportunities in:

Cornwall

Truro, Penzance

Devon

Plymouth, Exeter, Torbay

Dorset

Bournemouth, Poole

Gloucestershire

Cheltenham, Gloucester

Wiltshire

Swindon

Apply Now

Circles for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Circles for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Circles for people with intellectual disabilities works with people with mild learning disabilities who have convictions for sexual offences or who have committed harmful sexual acts. ID Core Members have similar needs to all adults convicted of sexual offences; they may suffer from social isolation, emotional loneliness and experience difficulties accessing services. A Circle of Support and Accountability provides a valuable, additional tool for statutory services to support and hold to account an individual to prevent further sexual harm.

As a volunteer in an ID Circle you can help the Core Member build and sustain relationships, develop a positive identity, increase self-worth and learn socially acceptable behaviour so they can integrate safely into their community. In addition you can assist with practical issues such as appointments, skills development and constructive use of time.

Circles may be more activity based, depending on your Core Member, and volunteers should have a patient manner but still be able to set firm boundaries.

This project is currently only available in Bristol and surrounds.

Available opportunities in:

Avon

Bristol, Bath

Apply Now

Prison / Through the Gate Circles

Prison / Through the Gate Circles

Our ‘Through the Gate’ initiative begins before the Core Member’s release, with the Circle meeting with him/her whilst in custody. This helps ease the challenges of returning to the community and helps the Core Member plan and manage life safely as they resettle.

Once released from prison the Circle mimics the Community Circle with volunteers meeting with the Core Member in the community. Through the Gate Circles bring their challenges with organisation, as we may not know where the Core Member is to be released initially and our coordinators work hard to marry up suitable volunteers and Core Members.

Through the Gate Circles typically run for 18 months, with the Core Member receiving meetings for approx. 6 months in prison followed by a period of 12 months in the community.

Volunteers will be subject to extra security checks imposed by the prison as well as the Enhanced DBS we require for every volunteer. There will be further training also required. For this project you must have your own transport and be willing to travel.

It is the most intense of our Circles but allows volunteers to really follow the journey of the Core Member and make a real impact on their lives and those of the community.

This project is currently offered in Somerset, Devon and Bristol.

Available opportunities in:

Devon

Plymouth, Exeter, Torbay

Somerset

Bridgwater, Taunton

Avon

Bristol, Bath

Apply Now

Young People’s Circles

Young People’s Circles

Circles for people under the age of 20

Circles for Young People focusses on working with those under the age of 20 that have engaged in sexual harmful behaviour and want to stop. Our project works closely with other bodies such as BeSafe or the Youth Offending Team. The young person will have accepted responsibility for their behaviour and be committed to leading a harm-free life.

Like our other Circle projects a Circle will be made up of 4-5 volunteers who will provide a supportive social network that enables reintegration into the community while helping to manage the risk of further harmful behaviour. You will  encourage young people to talk about their goals and any concerns, provide practical support with issues like jobs and housing, and help the individual build confidence and develop social skills.

The Circle meets for a couple of hours every week. Each Circle will be tailored to the individual needs and risks of the young person. Initial meetings may take place in a safe public place, such as a church or council office. Future meetings may then be at a local café or sports club. Formal reviews, to include professionals, will take place on a quarterly basis. Circles run for a minimum of 12 months but can continue for up to 18 months. The duration of the Circle will depend largely on how long the young person wants to carry on with it.

As a volunteer we ask that you commit to attend meetings regularly and maintain good communication with fellow volunteers and your Circle coordinator. Fundamental to the success of a Circle is the ability to build a trusting, non-judgmental relationship and, from this foundation, to challenge and support the Core Member to ensure no further offending. The face-to-face meetings between volunteers and their Core Member last for one hour with half an hour before to allow volunteers to prepare and half an hour afterwards to debrief without the Core Member being present.

Volunteers share responsibility for ensuring minutes from each meeting are returned to the Circle coordinator within 48 hours of each meeting. These minutes are then forwarded by the coordinator to the relevant statutory managers – for example, police, probation, youth offending or health services.

Young People’s Circles mainly take place in and around Bristol but on occasion we may have the opportunity to offer the project in other counties. Please get in touch to discuss this.

Available opportunities in:

Avon

Bristol, Bath

Apply Now

If you don’t see an opportunity near you, please contact us to see if we have availability in your area

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Our Funders

CirclesSW
CirclesSW
Specialist training this morning for our volunteers involved in young people's circles. Thank you for giving up your bank holiday weekend! #NoMoreVictims #CoSA
25 May 2019
CirclesSW
CirclesSW
A welcome endorsement from the Chair of National IRO Managers Partnership @NIROMP2. Thank you @SharonLMartin1 😀 https://t.co/IuliRtsLbn
25 May 2019
CirclesSW
CirclesSW
@Lisa_RiPfA @OJPreston We couldn't agree more. Your evaluation and research team rock
24 May 2019