Circles Network has provided person centred, individual and collective advocacy across the UK since our inception in 1994. We have developed dedicated advocacy services in a number of locations across Scotland where we specialise in providing independent, professional, issue based advocacy for thousands of people, mostly those who are over the age of 16 and affected by disability, chronic long term illness, mental ill health, learning, physical and sensory difficulties, brain injury, autism and personality disorder. In addition we provide collective advocacy in some communities and in the wards of certain clinics and hospitals. Circles of Support, a form of advocacy we are perhaps best known for, is also practised throughout the whole organisation.
Funding for our advocacy services is essential and this is provided largely by amalgamated budgets from Health & Social Services departments in local authorities who have selected us. We also raise funding through grants, trusts and donorships wherever possible. This enhances our ability to serve a wider population and be innovative with that provision.
The Circles Advocacy Approach
Our approach is well established and well crafted. We aim always to promote independence, empowerment and inclusion, supporting people to gain the skills, confidence and belief to speak up for themselves wherever possible. Conversations that matter; that offer the thinking space needed to make change happen, are what it's all about. Information and knowledge are key to enabling people to make positive choices and although we would never want to direct people, we are always happy to provide information, to signpost individuals to the best service of skilled support and to research individualised content in the context of each person's needs. Sometimes people just need a sounding board, someone to listen carefully so that they can process their experiences and navigate the pathway through to positive solutions. There are a whole spectrum of situations, from the relatively straight forward to the most complex set of issues imaginable that may be discussed. Each person's issue is none the less important to us. Listening exquisitely is the most essential skill of a good advocate, listening without judgement and prejudice and responding in an authentic, calm manner;reflecting back the facts and searching out the available options towards positive solutions and human rights. This is the primary focus of a good advocate. We offer confidential, positive, realistic support that has the individual's wellbeing and fulfilment at heart.
Below are some examples of our advocacy provision - content is ever growing.
We are sometimes able to provide commissioned packages of advocacy support, so if you cant see what your looking for or would like to know more please contact us HERE
We operate in community settings, often from the base of a localised hub or shop front where people can phone or call in. We also have a small fleet of cars which enable advocates to travel to different parts of the locality, easing the strain of long journeys on people needing support. In two of our locations we have mobile advocacy vehicles that travels to hard to reach and rural areas on a regular basis, providing an alternative place to sit and talk.
We also work directly in a medium secure forensic clinic in Glasgow and in some prisons.
"No person is an island" and there are usually a wide number of stakeholders in each of our lives. Sometimes it is helpful to co-ordinate a response and a way of working together as directed by the person. We make it our business to interact closely with the widest range of local services and support agencies, creating and maintaining strong relationships for the benefit of all.
Volunteer with us.
We frequently look for volunteers to work with us in various roles. These include;
- Volunteer administration
- Volunteer advocates
- Volunteer drivers
- Volunteer fundraisers
We offer training and support to help you make the best of the role you have chosen to apply for and completely value all of the volunteers in our teams.
Student Placements and Internships.
We offer student placements in liaison with various colleges, schools and Universities. We also offer opportunities for internships, these opportunities are mutually beneficial and offer growth and enhancement all around.