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



26th May 2022

A Road Less Travelled

When an online sexual offence relating to children has been committed or suspected of having been committed, where there are children living in the household, a referral is made to […]

28th April 2022

New staff vacancies page

Due to our increasing reach across the south west and our diversifying projects we find ourselves once again recruiting. This has become an often enough occurrence that we have decided […]

29th March 2022

Volunteer Vacancies – We’re Recruiting Now

Our Vision… No More Victims of sexual abuse Driven by an aspiration to prevent sexual abuse, Circles South West is a professional, forward-thinking independent charity, led by capable and committed […]

18th March 2022

Circles South West Marks National Child Exploitation Awareness Day on 18th March

Working with people who have committed acts of sexual harm is a controversial issue. It understandably triggers strong reactions in most people, and particularly for victims and survivors of sexual […]

10th March 2022

Circles South West has joined Facebook

Circles South West is now live on Facebook! The page will keep you up to date on all the important news from Circles and feature interesting and relevant links to […]

11th February 2022

Has someone close to you been involved in online sexual offending?

Ernesettle in Plymouth is piloting a ground breaking new approach to prevent child sexual abuse. ‘Together for Childhood’ brings together the local community and partner agencies to prevent harmful sexual […]

7th February 2022

Sexual Violence & Sexual Abuse Awareness Week: Plymouth StopItNow Campaign

In their 2021 threat assessment, the National Crime Agency estimated between 550,000 and 850,000 people in the UK pose a sexual risk to children, both online and offline, with evidence […]

25th January 2022

Guest Blog: Re-integrating people who have committed a sexual offence

  Improving society’s attitudes and involving communities in rehabilitation programmes is key to preventing repeat sexual offences, say UWE Bristol researchers. Professor of Criminology Kieran McCartan worked with statutory and […]

13th January 2022

‘Sex and the law’ workshops for young people

In May 2021, a South West School contacted Circles South West requesting delivery of a series of educational workshops in relation to sex and the law for all boys in […]

7th December 2021

Young People’s Service: A Year of Two Halves

Due to the escalation in Covid cases across the UK in January, most of the new Young People’s (YP) circles planned for the start of the year had to be […]

25th November 2021

The Challenge of Establishing a Through the Gate Prison Circle

In January 2019 Circles South West received funding to establish the first Prison/Through the Gate Circles of Support and Accountability, to lead the development and delivery of a new pilot […]

12th November 2021

It’s official! Her Majesty’s Inspector of Probation endorses the effectiveness of Circles of Support & Accountability

I am hoping that it will not have escaped your notice that Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) has been highlighted in the latest report from Her Majesty’s Inspector of […]

19th October 2021

The Life of a Circles Coordinator

Being a Circles coordinator is a multi-layered role that requires a specialist approach and a lot of experience in criminal justice. It is a careful balancing act between choosing the […]

15th October 2021

Vacancy: Devon Young People’s Coordinator

Have you worked with young people with harmful sexual behaviour? Are you social work, youth justice, probation or similarly qualified? Do you want to work for an innovative, award winning […]

8th October 2021

Is Circles South West a Restorative Justice project?

We are often asked about the connection between Circles of Support and Accountability and Restorative Justice. Circles do not practice a specifically restorative model. However, the reason that this is […]

17th September 2021

What a difference a circle makes

The core member had grown up in challenging circumstances – from a very young age, he had struggled with a disability, with emotional and learning difficulties. Cut off from any […]

1st September 2021

Circles South West is recruiting new staff

Circles South West is an award winning charity that prevents sexual abuse by reducing the risk of sexual re-offending. Circles enable volunteers to positively impact on the safe integration of […]

10th August 2021

Circles South West celebrate a successful summer programme

Over 50 delegates attended either the ‘Working with People Who Have Sexually Harmed’ training or ‘Living & Working In a Pornified World’ training. The courses were delivered by our experienced […]

27th July 2021

Final places available on upcoming Bournemouth training

Circles South West’ popular and successful summer training courses are coming to a close, with only one event left to run. ‘Working With People Who Have Sexually Harmed: A Theoretical […]

20th July 2021

Circles South West appoints trustees and staff

Our New Trustees: Our three new trustees bring a range of different experience and will be fantastic additions to our Board. Leonie Cole: Leonie is a lifelong resident of the […]

16th July 2021

Circles South West achieves 97.7% compliance with National Standards

The Compliance Review included submission of a substantial evidence file, 3 x 1 day site visits (separate sites) and interviews with 22 individuals including service users, staff, volunteers, trustees, and […]

5th July 2021

Circles South West’s Independent Evaluator Publishes Core Member Outcomes 2021

The RiP research highlights the statistically significant impact of Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) in reducing dynamic risk factors associated with sexual recidivism over the life of a CoSA, […]

17th June 2021

Has someone close to you been involved in online sexual offending?

Ernesettle in Plymouth is piloting a ground breaking new approach to prevent child sexual abuse. ‘Together for Childhood’ brings together the local community and partner agencies to prevent harmful sexual […]

4th June 2021

Amazon Smile now available in the app

Amazon have announced that their charity giving programme, Amazon Smile, is finally available when you make purchases through their app. Previously you could only take advantage of the scheme if […]

1st June 2021

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2021

Today marks the beginning of the annual national Volunteers’ Week, celebrated across the country to highlight the wonderful and selfless work volunteers do and what they contribute to society. Circles […]

28th May 2021

Circles South West Training Events for Professionals, Summer 2021

These 1 day training courses are being held face to face across the region to be as accessible to as many delegates as possible – with two interesting and highly […]

26th May 2021

Introducing Circles: ReBoot

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) states, “what was already a recognised phenomenon has now cemented into a grave and widespread threat to our children”. The IWF processed a record number […]

13th May 2021

Circles South West To Expand Team

As 2021 gets underway properly we are so pleased to be in a position to add new staff members to our team. We are recruiting the following: Circles Coordinator, Dorset. […]

26th March 2021

Guest Blog on Sibling Sexual Abuse

Last month Peter Yates and I joined the CSA Centre team to host a virtual roundtable for policy makers and professionals, reflecting on our latest publication: Sibling Sexual Abuse: a […]

17th March 2021

Young person’s circle journey during lockdown

This is a testing time for Circles, when many of the things we and our core members want to do are not possible. My current Young Adult Circle had its […]

10th March 2021

Circles South West featured in the High Sheriff of Dorset’s booklet

George Streatfeild, the High Sheriff of Dorset said: At my High Sheriff Declaration on 27th March 2020, I summarised my ambition for the year as being to “seek out and […]

7th March 2021

CSW Looking to appoint new trustee

Our trustees play a vital role in making sure that Circles South West achieves its core purpose. They strategically oversee the management and administration of the charity, as well as […]

5th March 2021

Surviving as a small charity in the pandemic

A recent paper from the Lloyds Bank Foundation The Value of Small in a Big Crisis: the distinctive contribution, value and experiences of smaller charities in England and Wales during […]

5th March 2021

Sad loss of much loved volunteer

Tony was one of the first volunteers to be recruited into Circles in Devon back in 2008 when it was still a pilot project delivered by the NSPCC. However, prior […]

23rd February 2021

Circles Coordinator featured on Chaos TV for High Sheriff Briefing

Jamie Stephenson, our Devon & Cornwall coordinator, sat down with Kate to discuss the projects taking place in Cornwall and how Circles South West came into being in the county. […]

10th February 2021

ONS publishes statistical bulletin on children’s online behaviour

Findings from the bulletin uses data from the 10 to 15-year-old’s Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). Main points Almost 9 in 10 children (89%) aged 10 to 15 […]

26th January 2021

Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy

Last week [22nd January 2021] the Home Office released its new strategy to protect children from sexual abuse. The new strategy is a comprehensive look at the policies and practices […]

16th December 2020

What do we do about people who have committed serious offences?

Let me start by asking you a question. Just bring your gut reaction to mind. It’s about the behaviour of people who have committed serious sexual offences, and ended up […]

9th December 2020

BREAKING THE CYCLE: supporting non-offending partners

Breaking the Cycle is a group-work programme designed to inform, empower and offer support for the non-offending partner or ‘significant other’ of a man who has been accused or convicted […]

1st December 2020

To break the cycle of offending we must work with those who commit crime

Commissioning services for victims of crime in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is a big part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s job and often this is the […]

20th November 2020

NSPCC reports that Instagram most recorded platform used in child grooming crimes during lockdown

Freedom of Information responses from 38 police forces in England and Wales show that 1,220 offences of sexual communication with a child were recorded in the first 3 months of […]

19th November 2020

Circles South West features on Radio Devon

BBC Radio Devon covered the subject of sexual offending on 19th November on their breakfast show in response to a recent report showing that there are more people convicted of […]

6th November 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on Circles of Support and Accountability

Circles of Support and Accountability [CoSA] are groups of trained community volunteers who support people convicted of a sexual offence (usually contact offences against children) to integrate back into the […]

2nd November 2020

About Circles South West’s Board of Trustees, marking National Trustees’ Week 2020

Setting up a charity and obtaining funds is a good start but in order to actually deliver a service you need to make sure it is well run, sustainable organisation. […]

22nd October 2020

CSW trustee publishes book on sexual harm

Diane Wills, trustee of Circles South West, talks to us about what made her write her latest book on working with sex offenders. Published this month we asked her to […]

21st October 2020

Circles South West Commended in Howard League Community Award

Successful schemes that reduce crime and transform lives for the better received national recognition on 20 October as the winners of the 2020 Howard League Community Awards were announced. The […]

1st October 2020

Centre of Expertise on child sexual abuse publishes annual report

Here at Circles South West we were keen to read the report published by The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse in July 2020: Key messages from research on […]

8th September 2020

Circles South West’s 10th Anniversary

10 years ago, we established the charity, extending Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) across the South West, building on the successful projects already running in Devon and Dorset. Since […]

1st September 2020

Circles South West’s Young People’s Service shortlisted for Howard League Community Award

Back in 2016 we adapted the traditional Circles model to meet the needs of young people 14 years plus, and last year secured funding to work with children from the […]

27th August 2020

The Power of Human to Human Relationships

It’s not systems, processes or procedures that change people. It is not even programmes or courses. In my view it is people that change people and this is done by […]

26th June 2020

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

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 […]

16th May 2020

Covid-19 Action Plan (Phase 3), from 16th May

In accordance with Government guidance, Circles South West’s initial 30-day action plan applied the principles of social distancing across all aspects of our work i.e. avoiding non-essential contact with other […]

14th May 2020

Guest webinar discusses CoSA in Australia

The presence of people who pose a risk to the community has, understandably, been a concern to communities across time, place, and culture. What can communities (and the concerned professionals […]

17th April 2020

Online pornography use during the COVID-19 pandemic: Should we worry? Part 1

Websites like Pornhub are part of a daily routine for more than 120 million people. What happens when our daily routines are gravely disrupted due to an unseen, frightening worldwide […]

16th April 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Action Plan, phase 2 – with effect from 16th April 2020

Action plan extension and interim changes to personnel Since our previous communication, restrictions have significantly tightened. We do not yet know how long the UK will remain in ‘lockdown’. Our […]

30th March 2020

Arts project highlights work from prisoners: Unlock the talent inside.

At Circles South West our circles work hard to support and hold to account core members, and one of the ways we do support is to help develop interests and […]

17th March 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19) 30 day Action Plan with effect from 17th March 2020

In drawing up our action plan, the health and well-being of our service users, volunteers and staff are paramount whilst we retain a practical commitment to alternative, creative service provision. […]

6th March 2020

Winter Lecture considers Circles of Support and Accountability, 25 years on

The lecture examined existing international research on Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) in order to theoretically define it and highlighted how CoSA fits into the prevention framework and how […]

26th February 2020

Circles South West talks to BBC Radio Wiltshire

Sara Radford, our coordinator for Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, spoke eloquently to host Graham Seaman about Circles South West; what we do and what we want to achieve, and in particular, […]

10th February 2020

Our Young People’s Service is growing…

As our YPS expands across the region, we are now accepting referrals for a younger cohort in some areas, from 10 years upwards. All Circles of Support and Accountability for […]

30th January 2020

Circles South West recruits new Devon & Cornwall Coordinator

Working alongside Jamie Stephenson, John joins us after a long and illustrious career in probation. A professionally qualified Probation Officer, John has extensive knowledge and experience in criminal justice, gained […]

17th January 2020

Support CSW while you shop

AmazonSmile offers 0.5% of the net purchase price to charities and Circles South West has signed up to be one of the recipients. To support us sign up with AmazonSmile […]

6th January 2020

Circles South West welcomes new Circles Coordinator for Dorset

Neil Claughton has joined us as the Circles Coordinator for Dorset and will manage our existing Circles in the County as well as leading on our newest initiative, Prison/Through The […]

2nd December 2019

Circles documentary journalist wins award for her work

Adele Robinson’s documentary ‘Special Report: Inside the Circle’ described how Circles of Support and Accountability uses community volunteers to help prevent sexual harm. The documentary questions many of the negative […]

12th November 2019

Cornwall’s Pirate FM interviews CSW about the newly published MAPPA statistics

This week our Circles Coordinator for Devon & Cornwall spoke to Cornwall’s Pirate FM about what the figures mean and more broadly about our work with people who have sexually […]

1st November 2019

Circles South West inspires local playwright

Maz spoke to us about what inspired her, the premise of the play and her plans for the play’s future. I have been a Circles South West Volunteer for just […]

18th October 2019

New Vacancies Announced

Circles South West is an independent charity that works to prevent sexual abuse by reducing the risk of sexual re-offending through its innovative community-based approach. We provide Circles of Support […]

1st October 2019

Circles South West welcome guest trainer Matthew Trerise on Autism

We were delighted to welcome Matthew Trerise, a specialist trainer with 15 years of experience in supporting people with Autism Spectrum Conditions. He currently works for a nationally recognised specialist […]

19th September 2019

We Are Recruiting

Circles South West is an independent charity that works to prevent sexual abuse by reducing the risk of sexual re-offending through its innovative community-based approach. As part of our sustainability […]

14th September 2019

Circles South West 2019 AGM

Our AGM was held on 12th September in Taunton to hear about our achievement of the previous year and enjoy presentations from some of our esteemed guests. The day began […]

23rd August 2019

Voice: A core member’s story

Firstly, I had better tell you a little bit about me. I’ve been in prison twice for sexual offences and the second time was for an escalation in offences. However, […]

8th August 2019

Circles South West’s AGM 2019

This year’s meeting will take place in Taunton on Thursday 12th September and we would be delighted to welcome anyone interested in our work. In 2018-19 we coordinated 55 Circles […]

1st August 2019

Read all about it: 2018-19 headlines and highlights

We recommend that you read all about it here in our 2018-19 Annual Report CSW Annual Report 2018-19 Short on time? Take a whistle-stop tour of the main headlines and […]

25th June 2019

Our most vital asset: our volunteers

Volunteers are the life blood of Circles South West and we regularly ask them to review our practices through their experience. It allows us to see where any improvements can […]

7th June 2019

In Profile: CSW Volunteer Coordinator

So what is the Volunteer Coordinator’s role within Circles South West? The Volunteer Coordinator role is really the first face of Circles South West. I’m the first contact that potential […]

5th June 2019

Circles South West featured by BBC Spotlight

Anna interviewed one of our Dorset volunteers who has participated in three Circles and talked about the purpose of Circles and the importance of the service provided. She also spoke […]

5th June 2019

Bidding farewell to our Somerset Coordinator

After 6 years Kate is off to pastures new. She will be sorely missed by both staff and volunteers alike. After training in the early 80s Kate worked as a […]

27th May 2019

In depth: Working with a female core member

Determining the prevalence of female perpetrated sexual offending is difficult and has long been under-recognised and under-researched and remains the subject of much debate amongst academics. Historically, there has been […]

23rd May 2019

CoSA are “an important part of a community-led, strengths-based and restorative approach to reducing the risk of future sexual abuse” concludes independent evaluation

In 2016 CSW was awarded a 3 year grant by the National Lottery Community Fund to develop, establish and evaluate 3 new pilot projects, adapting the tried and tested Circles […]

30th April 2019

Circles South West Volunteers: Who Volunteers For Us?

It may come as no surprise to you that more women volunteer with us than men, by a majority of 3:1. We have always had an easier time attracting women […]

17th April 2019

Exclusive documentary about Circles on Sky News today, 17th April 2019

We are proud that a Circles South West Circle features prominently and are enormously grateful to the volunteers and core member who enabled this. We are grateful too, to the […]

21st March 2019

As we say goodbye to Bob, we welcome Alastair: reflections on a volunteer training weekend

The delegates arrived early as, unusually, the motorway seemed clear and smooth running. Everyone immediately entered into the spirit of cooperation and camaraderie and this atmosphere continued throughout the weekend. […]

27th February 2019

Circles South West commended in national prisoner re-integration award

The innovative risk management approach compliments and supports the work of public protection agencies, helping to facilitate the safe integration of people into the community. Recycling Lives, a social business […]

15th February 2019

A 6 month snapshot of our work

In the 6 months between May and November 2018 we coordinated 31 Circles across the region. This first chart shows those Circles by area. The second shows the  those Circles […]

6th February 2019

Circles South West plan Dorset volunteer ‘get-together’

This has been very welcome news as Dorset was one of the original areas which fostered and promoted the work of Circles. Circles South West has always had a strong […]

30th January 2019

PCC funding saves Dorset Circles of Support & Accountability

It has been a turbulent year for our Dorset Project. When Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) match-funding for the half-time coordinator seconded by the National Probation Service (NPS) ceased in […]

15th January 2019

Congratulations to Circles South West: “a wonderful review result”

“A wonderful review result… Well done on an excellent achievement! Riana Taylor, CEO, Circles UK, December 2018 The Review Report concluded that: “It is clear that CSW pride themselves on […]

9th January 2019

Wondering what Circles South West has been up to in the last 6 months?

In our December 2018 newsletter you can find out about: our multi-faceted and very successful Volunteer Conference the ‘shape’ of our work in 2018 our 2018 Dorset journey with new […]

13th December 2018

Circles South West launch their new website

This year we have been working with the company The Group of Seven to update our printed information, with them creating a unique template that we now are taking forward […]

Our Funders

"Invisible harms and hierarchies of shame: the distinct challenges faced by children with a parent in prison for #SexualOffences" - an important read by Ross Hextall @ChildrenHandS #NoMoreVictims
28 May 2022
CHECK: we are very grateful to @anonywrites for sharing her family's experience following 'The Knock' in this month's guest blog👇
26 May 2022
Please help us to prevent sexual abuse in South West England #NoMoreVictims
26 May 2022