The organisation started life in 1994, after the founder and her close allies began introducing and pioneering truly person centred approaches into the UK from learning gained through dear friends and colleagues in Canada and the United States. There was nothing to match these approaches in Britain at the time, where the focus person was truly listened to and given the support to create a life that represented their dreams and aspirations. Most systems in health, social care and education, the three main fields we work in, were based on an authoritarian basis, where people were categorised and separated according to their diagnosis and difference. Circles Network was born out of a desire to create radical, bespoke responses based on peoples’ expressed requirements; taking account of lifestyle preferences, personality, age, experience, background, relationships that mattered and, importantly, laced with a keen sense of social justice.
Being open minded, learning to start conversations with questions that started with phrases such as; What if….? How may you….? If you could dream…...? Why not…..? helped facilitators to think in different ways and explore and design new pathways with individuals and their closest kin.
The organisation has evolved for more than a quarter of a century, moving rapidly to stay ahead of the curve, continuously pioneering new tracks and always ambitiously creating opportunities that might inspire people who are searching to make positive changes in their lives. Working across the UK in both rural and urban settings countless projects have been set up, tried and tested and when successful, shared widely with other like-minded providers. In recent years, Circles Network has re-structured to encompass four main segments of activity, all threaded with the golden arch of Inclusion and the firmly held set of values that define and shape us.
These four segments represent a number of projects and services in the areas of; Advocacy, Community Support, The Academy for Inspiring Inclusion and Animal Assisted Learning in our Equine programmes.
Circles Network CEO Mandy Neville and Reef, founder member of our equine team.