About Equal Futures

Equal Futures was set up by a group of parents with a family member who has a learning disability/difficulty, Autism or Aspergers The objective of Equal Futures is to reduce loneliness and isolation for people with disabilities by building Circles of Friendship. The person with a learning disability/difficulty is known as the Focus Person, because they are at the centre of the Circle. The circle is to develop real relationships with a close network of people and to explore the Focus Person’s hopes and dreams and put positive actions into place to achieve their goals.

Purpose of job

To assist Equal Futures in the development of personal networks of support for the relatives (focus persons) of its lifetime members.

Specific Outcomes

The Community Connector will:

  • work with families and their communities to form core groups of people committed to being a part of an advocacy and monitoring network around an individual.
  • establish and maintain effective working relationships with families, focus persons, network members and staff of Equal Futures.

Key duties and responsibilities

1. Meet with families and focus persons to determine effective strategies for network building. This includes:

  • Inviting people to participate
  • Spending time with the focus person and their parents or other identified relatives
  • Identifying gifts, current needs and future wishes
  • Identifying and recruiting potential network members.

2. Oversee recruitment, development and activities of personal networks in the least obtrusive way possible. This includes:

  • Facilitating network meetings, communication and celebration
  • Providing follow up correspondence and telephone calls as necessary.

3. Act as a resource to establish personal networks. This includes:

  • Contacting the focus person and their families regularly and ensuring meetings are taking place and that the membership is stable
  • Identifying potential sources of support for group members e.g. training, resource people
  • Being available to discuss concerns of members.

4. Maintain and update records; attend Community Connector meetings and keep up to date on the principles and techniques of personal support.

5. Participate in research related activities as required.

Reporting Relationships

  • Community Connectors report to their Mentor
  • There is a requirement to participate in regular Supervision

Person Specification

  1. Strong interpersonal and group skills are essential: outgoing, energetic, a good sense of humour, patient and persevering, a good listener and able to communicate with people who may have communication difficulties.
  2. Connected in focus person’s community and able to connect and to help excluded people to make connections in the community, able to ask and to invite people in
  3. Creative and curious – aware of possibilities
  4. Ability to commit for at least one year on a part time basis to each network facilitated
  5. Knowledge of and experience in listening to and providing personal support, advocacy and monitoring for people with disabilities is desirable, but not a pre-requisite

In addition, Community Connectors will share the family’s and Equal Futures’ values. Matches to families will be made according to compatibility with the individual for whom the network is to be established.

Community Connectors range in age from their mid-twenties to their seventies. Some are parents or relatives of someone with a disability. Many have a background in community support. People usually have a degree of further education but formal education is not a pre-requisite. All have the knack of seeing the gifts of people with disabilities and the enthusiasm to inspire others to see these gifts.

How to apply

You can download the Circle Facilitator application form in Word format 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