What is a Circle Facilitator?

This is a volunteer who is trained by Equal Futures to facilitate a social network, called a Circle for someone with learning disabilities or autism. We match a Circle Facilitator to each person, looking for someone who has similar interests and a complementary personality. The role is to bring people together who will help to become a Circle for the person.

Who are the Circle members?

They can be family, friends or others in the neighbourhood. Circle members might be drawn from the places the person goes to such as groups or local amenities.

What does a Circle do?

The Circle Facilitator helps everyone have conversations which lead to actions. The Circle helps the Focus Person to achieve an identified goal such as:

  • Increasing social opportunities
  • support and guidance during a period of change or transition
  • achieve goals and aspirations.

Specific skill set

  • Ability to be organised and plan ahead, Follow up on actions and tasks
  • Able to manage groups of people supportively
  • Able to support group to set achievable goals
  • Encourage circle members to actively participate in carrying out tasks
  • Able to draw on own networks to find solutions if Circle members feel stuck

Skills and personal qualities

  • Able to form positive, supportive relationships with others
  • Ability to listen and communicate appropriately with the person, to be comfortable with silences in conversations
  • Resilience to manage setbacks; to support the person to try again
  • Flexibility to attend activities with the Focus Person
  • Willingness to ask people in communities whether activities will be inclusive
  • Treat others with compassion and respect
  • Awareness of the challenges and barriers for people with learning disabilities or autism to feel socially included
  • Comfortable working on own initiative and common sense; but able to recognise when to reach out for support
  • Ability to manage boundaries; to be approachable without becoming a friend
  • Able to manage simple administration tasks; such as keeping manager informed of progress, hours spent volunteering

Personal values

  • Belief that social inclusion matters for everyone
  • Ability to accept people for who they are
  • Commitment to spending positive quality time with person
  • Belief that people can help each other

How we support you

  • Full Induction and other training as required
  • A handbook with guidance and tips for your volunteering role
  • Ongoing support with regular supervision sessions
  • A record of your achievements
  • All expenses reimbursed

How to apply

You can download the Circle Facilitator application form in Word format here.

And our Equal Opportunities form can be downloaded here.

Please complete the form and email it to Alison Roy at alison@equalfutures.org.uk.

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Contact: Alison Roy alison@equalfutures.org.uk