Bring together friends, family, neighbours, community

At Alternative Futures Group we use a number of person centred tools in order to increase people’s independence and reduce their reliance on paid support.

One of the most innovative ways we build and sustain natural support is through Community Circles; a way to support someone through bringing together friends, family, neighbours and the community with a facilitator.

Community Circles began in 2012,  aiming to develop circles of support at scale, building on the learning from pioneers of circles who introduced them 20 years ago. We are the first provider to invest in a full time Community Circles Connector who is already making a difference by helping the people we support develop circles of support.

View the History of Community Circles graphic here.

How do Community Circles work?

Circles intentionally build community around a person and help to build relationships and connections with others. Each circle has clear purpose and usually meets once a month for an hour or two to talk together; to share their ideas, skills, talents and resources and agree what the circle can do to make a difference.

Download our Community Circles Factsheet to see the process.

Who can have a Community Circle?

Anyone who thinks that they will benefit from a Community Circle can have one. At present we are supporting people living with dementia in Rochdale and people with a learning disability supported by Alternative Futures Group.

What are the benefits of having a Circle?

Sometimes through illness or disability people may become isolated, Community Circles develops relationships and networks with others, supports decision making and builds connections within communities. Through focussing on the purpose of the circle and having support from the facilitator, conversations lead to positive actions.

Read about how Mary’s circle is supporting her to reconnect with her faith community.

Read about how Lynda’s circle is helping her live well with dementia in her community.

How can I get involved?

  • Get in touch if you would like a Community Circle
  • Help us spread the word about Community Circles
  • Contribute to someone’s circle
  • Become a Circles Facilitator – we train facilitators to support the circle to have conversations and lead to positive action through person centred practice.

Get in touch

Visit our website

Follow us on Twitter @c_circles

Like our Facebook page Community Circles

Follow our blog

Join our Groupsite

For further details or if you have any questions please get in touch with Cath Barton, Community Circles Co-ordinator on 07824096056 or email