Community Circles are based upon the principles that if individuals are connected to communities and have respectful and supportive relationships then barriers to inclusion can be broken and everyone can benefit through gaining what is essential to us all: ‘Money, friends and meaning’. It is based on the premise that everyone has both gifts and needs.
Colin and Derek from Inclusive Solutions in Nottingham summarise the process:
‘A community circle is made up of participants and allies from the local community. The meeting starts with everyone sharing food and conversations. Next the group comes together in a circle so that everyone can see each other and shares what is good and new in their lives, everyone gets a turn to be listened to. ‘New and Good’ breaks the habit of thinking about and acting from what’s wrong, it is an exercise of giving and receiving attention with one another and it also provides a strong foundation of strengths from which we can think about and tackle difficulties. The group is then asked the question what do they want, need or have to offer.’ http://www.inclusive-solutions.com/communitycircles.asp
Community Circles provide a setting in which people can meet and connections can be discovered and developed, where people can share skills and resources, including their time.
We need to be able to imagine that our values and ways of behaving can become more inclusive. To do this we need to acknowledge and address power relationships and create policies that facilitate individualised support and funding