Where you can help

The Safer Living Foundation: Volunteering for Circles

We have an ongoing rolling programme for recruiting Circles volunteers with no formal closing date for applications.

Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) is a nationwide project that works with people who have committed sexual offences.

A Circle aims to provide a supportive social network as well as helping to hold the offender accountable for their ongoing risk management. The concept of a ‘Circle’ is to hold the Core Member accountable for their offending, helping them to recognise risky thoughts or behaviours and take responsibility for the on-going management of this risk in the community. The aim of this is to assist in reintegrating the offender back into society while acting as a support network and safety mechanism for the offender and the community at large.

Circles aim to (i) protect society from sexual crime (ii) prevent further victims of sexual abuse and (iii) rehabilitate individuals who have committed sexual crime.

How do they work?

A Circle is made up of a group of volunteers who meet on a regular basis as a group with the Core Member.

As a volunteer, your role would be to act as one of the 3-6 volunteers who make up a circle of support for a sexual offender.

Roles within a circle

Core member: The individual who has committed a sexual offence, who sits at the heart of a Circle
Coordinator: An SLF employee who supervises Circles, providing support and supervision for volunteers
Volunteer: Sits as part of a group (Circle) working with the Core Member to provide the supporting network

The Safer Living Foundation has three types of Circle Projects that Volunteers are needed for:

  1. Prison Circles of Support and Accountability

The prison model typically starts 3 months prior to an individual’s release from HMP Whatton and continues for approximately 18 months in the community after their release. Volunteers meet each week in the prison for approximately 2 hours. Once the individuals moves into the community the volunteers will meet weekly in the community.

  1. Community Circles of Support and Accountability

The community model typically starts once an individual is in the community. Volunteers will again meet weekly with the individual in the community for a couple of hours a week.

  1. Young People’s Circles of Support and Accountability

This involves delivering a Circle for a young person with problematic sexual behaviour. Volunteers will be expected to work creatively with these young people to build on their strengths, interests and hobbies. Each Circle will last between 12 to 18 months and the commitment is again about 2 hours per week.

Still interested? Click here for further information and an application form.