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.