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


How to make a referral

Making a referral to Circles South West

We invite an initial telephone discussion with the relevant Coordinator. If suitable, a written referral will be completed and a meeting will be set for the coordinator to meet the individual, who we call the Core Member. Referrals can be made by police, probation, youth offending services, health professionals, social workers etc. Referrer involvement is central to the success of each Circle.

The local coordinator will undertake interviews with the Core Member to share information about the process, assess risk, need and motivation. Prospective Core Members must be committed to no further offending and be prepared to discuss themselves, previous history*, any relapse prevention plans and risk management within the Circles. Offender managers/referrers are required to participate in the initial meeting and quarterly reviews thereafter.

*Young People are not required to discuss their harmful sexual behaviour with the Circle unless agreed in advance with the referrer.

The central ethos of Circles is honesty and transparency. Core Members must consent for information about themselves to be shared confidentially between the referrers, coordinator and volunteers. Volunteers take minutes of each meeting and these are forwarded via the coordinator to the referrer/offender managers

The Core Member’s involvement must be voluntary and cannot be part of a hospital and/or court order or statutory condition of supervision.

All referrals meeting the stated criteria will be considered, with priority given to those assessed as high or very high risk of serious harm and/or reconviction, in consultation with the local MAPPA coordinator.

The list below indicates that there is current funding/capacity for specific types of Circle in specific areas and the point of contact for each. Referrals that commit some match-funding will be prioritised.

Current funding/capacity for:

Devon & Cornwall – Community Circles for Adults, Prison/Through The Gate Circles for Adults

Dorset – Community Circles for Adults

Wiltshire – Community Circles for Adults

Gloucestershire – Community Circles for Adults

Somerset – Prison/Through the Gate Circles for Adults

‘Avon’* –  Community Circles for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, Community Circles for Young People (14-17 years), Prison/Through The Gate Circles for Adults

*(Bath & NE Somerset, Bristol, N. Somerset, S. Glos )

Contacts for Referrals

We are willing and able to deliver Circles in addition to those stated above across South West England assuming the referrer has funds to spot-purchase a Circle. Recent examples include:

For each individual project’s criteria and eligibility please choose from the following:


Adult Core Members:

Adult Community & Prison Core Member Referral Criteria

Information for Referrers – Adult Core Member

Information About Circles For Adult Core Member


Core Members With Intellectual Disabilities:

Adult Intellectual Disabilities Core Member Referral Criteria

Information For Referrers – Core Member With Intellectual Disabilities

Information About Circles For Core Members With Intellectual Disabilities


Young People Core Members:

Young People Core Member Referral Criteria

Information For Referrers – Young Person Core Member

Information About Circles For Core Members Under 18

Information About Circles For Core Members Over 18

Information About Circles For Young People’s Parents/Carers

Our Funders

"I've volunteered in various roles for many years, the last 4 as a Circle #Volunteer. I've never before come across an org that works with people in such depth, providing such support - both for volunteers & core members - as @CirclesSW" says Volunteer
3 July 2020
@HMPTheVerne Brilliant news, well done. We look forward to re-establishing Covid-safe face-to-face work in the #Prison and providing Circles of Support & Accountability for Residents, supporting them through the gate to safely integrate into local #Dorset communities #NoMoreVictims
2 July 2020
We're looking forward to our #Volunteers' monthly meeting via Zoom this evening, with our #NPS guest speaker Alastair on 'A day in the life of a Probation Officer'. All @CirclesSW Volunteers welcome - email us for login details
2 July 2020