Mary’s circle, or I should say “the cream cake get together”

A Community Circle is a way to support someone through bringing together friends, family and neighbours with a facilitator. A circle can start with two people or several people coming together. Each circle has a clear purpose and usually meets once a month for an hour or two to talk together, then agree what the circle can do that will make a difference.

Today we’ll introduce you to Mary’s circle…

For some people circles develop quite naturally, for others we need to be intentional about inviting people in. Sometimes a circle can even begin with just the focus person and one other person making a commitment to work to build a circle of support around the person.

Let me introduce you to Mary, who is supported by Alternative Futures Group in Rochdale…

Mary takes a great pride in her appearance, loves having her nails done and being pampered and loves to receive compliments. She has a great giggle which can brighten everyone’s mood around her. Mary enjoys all things to do with holidays, from planning to reminiscing about them till the next one.

Mary enjoys going to church but recently hasn’t been able to go as regularly as she would have liked. The aim through Mary’s circle is to support her to reconnect with her faith community and further develop these networks and relationships.  At the moment the people that are in Mary’s life are those that are paid to be with her and we hope that through the circle we can develop relationships and connections with others.

At Mary’s first circle get together once we had established the purpose of Mary’s circle, we thought about our roles and ground rules. It soon became clear that cream cakes were a must for all the circle get togethers and an important role was one of ‘cream cake organiser.’

The closing round shared what a positive experience the first get together had been, with all circle members looking forward to the journey together and the difference that conversation and action can bring to Mary’s quality of life.

Our next ‘cream cake get together’ will be a person centred review, thinking about what’s important to Mary now and for the future, what does good support look like and reflecting on what’s working and not working to develop positive actions.

Learn more about person centred reviews

To find out more about Community Circles:

Follow us on Twitter @c_circles
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Join our Groupsite

For further details or if you have any questions please contact Cath, AFG Rochdale Community Circles Co-ordinator on 07824096056 or

Cream cakes

The sweetest circle