Delivering circles of support and accountability to protect communities from sexual harm and sexual reoffending


Circles South West’s Covid-19 Recovery Plan, June 2020

Circles South West’s initial 30 day action plan in March applied the principles of social distancing in relation to all our work, including avoiding non-essential contact with other people and avoiding unnecessary travel.

Subsequent action plans set out our response to the lockdown restrictions, including furloughing 7 of our 9 staff, alongside alternative, creative service provision. This ensured the best possible chance of the charity surviving the challenges whilst also being in relative good health when circumstances allow us to return to full capacity. We have drawn on the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to support this strategy.

Our plans have maintained the health and well-being of our service users, volunteers and staff which are paramount. We have retained a practical commitment for alternative virtual service provision wherever possible thereby providing an additional layer of risk management in the knowledge that current circumstances exacerbate feelings of social isolation and loneliness already experienced by core members.

Covid-19 Recovery Plan

Recent Government announcements about significant easing of lockdown restrictions in July mean that we are now in a position to implement our Covid Recovery Plan. From early July, staff will return to work on a phased, part-time basis and will gradually re-establish face-to-face work where Covid-secure conditions are met. These include venue/activity risk assessments and individual vulnerability assessments being undertaken.

CSW requires staff, volunteers and service users to adhere strictly to Government guidance on social distancing and other Covid secure precautions in all circumstances.

Alternative models of operation that adhere to Government guidance on social distancing and other Covid secure precautions will run alongside the current ‘Virtual Circles’ model which will continue where there are concerns about individual vulnerabilities.

Interim ‘Coordinator’ Contact Details

Until end-June: all communication that would ordinarily be directed to Circle Coordinators should be directed to

From 1st July: direct communication with local Coordinators can be resumed.

We are communicating individually with all funders and commissioners about the impact of our recovery plan on agreed outcomes and performance indicators.

Recovery Action Plan from July onwards

Face-to-face work will only resume when the activity has been assessed as Covid secure

Existing Circles of Support & Accountability:

New Circles of Support & Accountability: can begin from July on the terms outlined above.

Group-work and 1:1 intervention programmes: can begin from July on the terms outlined above

Internal volunteer training: will resume from July on the terms outlined above. We anticipate that the next Volunteer Core Training and Assessment event will be in August.

External training and consultancy: will resume from July on the terms outlined above.

Referrals for new Circles of Support & Accountability: are welcomed

Volunteer supervision and support, staying in touch: We continue to provide support and supervision to all ‘active’ volunteers via telephone, email and/or video-conferencing. All volunteers are welcome join our monthly Zoom meeting, an additional method of keeping them in touch and updated with organisational developments.

Governance: the Board of Trustees continues with frequent (virtual) meetings to review interim arrangements and oversee the charity’s response

Communications: our action plans are communicated regularly with all stakeholders, including volunteers, core members, other service users, purchasers, commissioners and funders, referrers and partners.

We thank you sincerely for your ongoing support for our work at this challenging time Staff and Trustees of Circles South West

Our Funders