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Volunteer with Circles South West

Type: Information / advice

Location: All of Plymouth

At Circles South West we have a Vision… No more victims of sexual abuse

Driven by our aspiration to prevent sexual abuse, we are a professional, forward-thinking independent charity, led by capable and committed people. Central to our delivery are carefully selected and trained volunteers who support, and hold to account, people who have sexually harmed others, contributing to their safe integration into local communities.

As a volunteer with Circles South West you will be making an important contribution to preventing further sexual abuse by helping reduce the risk of sexual offending by known perpetrators. Circles give ‘core member’ a safe space to spend time with volunteers from their local community who have knowledge of their harmful behaviour and risk. Many core members suffer from social isolation, emotional loneliness and limited social skills. The Circle gives these individuals the opportunity to develop communication skills and to have any distorted thinking challenged.

We have volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life and welcome applications from anyone over the age of 18. Volunteer must have a mature outlook and good communication skills. They combine an empathic approach with the ability to maintain firm boundaries.

It is not necessary to have experience in this field, or to have volunteered previously. Our circles are made up of people from the community and not professionals. It is more important that you are committed, reliable and trustworthy.

To equip you for this role, we provide a two-day specialist training and assessment event with other prospective volunteers, ongoing professional support and reimbursed expenses. Your appointment requires satisfactory references and an Enhanced DBS Check.

You will need access to a computer or laptop to fulfil the admin part of this role. It would be helpful if you were proficient in Word and able to use e-mail.

In Devon we are recruiting for both our community project and our young people’s project.

Community circles are for adult core members who have been convicted of sexual offence(s) or engaged in harmful sexual behaviour and have been referred to us by police, probation or health services. Each circle is managed by a local coordinator who is an experienced criminal justice professional. They will work closely with you to ensure the safety and success of your circle.

The Young People’s Project is a ‘Community Circle Project’ providing Circles of Support and Accountability for young people aged 10-20 who have shown harmful sexual behaviour and/or who have been convicted of sexual offences. This project is suitable for people who have an interest in working with young people, who like activity-based volunteering and want to make a difference to a young person’s future.

Circle meetings take place weekly, on the same day in the same location for a period of approx. 12 months. We ask that you can commit to this time frame when applying. Circles meet in a central, risk-assessed location, such as a community venue, for between 1-2 hours. Meeting are usually held in the afternoons or evenings and your circle will be made up of 4-5 local volunteers.

Circles require volunteers to submit minutes of the meeting as well as other small admin tasks and so we ask that you be IT proficient and bear in mind this will be a small extra time consideration on top of your meeting time. Travel and other expenses are paid and you will require two references and an enhanced DBS check.

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