Starting a Circle of Support
You might have heard about Circle’s of Support and thought, “That sounds like a good idea, but it would be far too much work.”
Circles of Support don’t need to be complicated or formal and don’t need big commitments. In fact, they are often more enjoyable and rewarding when they are simple and light-hearted.
As a support coordinator, I’m currently working with one of our Bespoke Lifestyles participants to facilitate their Circle of Support meetings. This Circle was created at the beginning of the year through the participant and their family’s desire to nurture more opportunities for social connection following the impact of the pandemic and the associated restrictions.
The family and I created a list of friends, past workers, and family members to invite to join, and we asked them if they would commit for the next 12 months. After 12 months, we agreed that each member could decide whether they would continue for another 12 months, should the Circle continue to exist.
Since the start of the year, the Circle has provided a structure that has supported many opportunities for shared dinners, coffee catch ups, and a morning tea. We continue to meet as a whole group for one hour every 6 weeks on Zoom or in-person, with individual or small group catch ups scheduled between meetings. Having a semi-structured design has helped keep the support staff stay informed about catch ups and provide support for meetings.
If you would like more information about the concept and uses of Circles of Supports, there is a great resource available here from Family Advocacy who are an independent NSW advocacy organisation.
Why not start a conversation with your support coordinator to discuss how a Circle could benefit you or your family today!
Gerhard Tromp, Bespoke Lifestyles Support Coordinator.