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Martin Routledge blogs about why he sees circles as the key to bridging gaps

First published on Community Circles, Martin Routledge, In Control's head of operations, has written a blog 'Economic pen-pictures of circles' about why he believes circles are the key to bridging the gap between people, communities and the state.

Based on a talk Martin presented a few weeks ago in Stockport at a Community Circles event about Circles of Support and their short and long term benefits, Martin discusses in his blog how Circles of Support can support services and partner agencies to come together and bridge the gaps between people, communities and the state.

He explains how Circles of Support have the potential to provide an answer to many of the challenges now faced as services look at ways of providing more with less. Circles of Support can help enable services to come together in a 'circle' and work towards agreed goals for the benefit of the person at the centre of the Circle.

'The concept of Circles isn't in itself particularly ground breaking - people rallying around an individual offering support - and there are lots of fortunate people out there who will have this type of excellent support framework without the need to formalise it in anyway. But there are many who don't.' explains Martin.

He goes on to discuss in more detail how Circles of Support can work in practice, reducing isolation, building connectivity within communities, improving relationships within families, supporting access to better services and resources by sharing and drawing on the different knowledge, skills and gifts of individuals and providing people with confidence that support provided will be on-going.

The Community Circles event also explored why more people currently aren't utilising Circles of Support - something that Martin highlights, detailing the current research being undertaken on Circles of Support and their economic impact as part of a wider piece of research being undertaken by the PSSRU at London School of Economics (LSE).

The aim of this research is to look at a number of community projects and determine their ability to draw upon the resources that exist within communities, promote capacity, build connections and ultimately reduce the pressure on formal services by meeting or delaying the need for them and hopes to be able to develop 'economic pen-pictures' of different Circles, giving preliminary indications of where the economic benefits of Circles may lie.

While it is still in its infancy, Martin shares some of the initial findings prepared by Margaret Perkins, Researcher at LSE, which he also shared at the event.

'These are exciting times and it is my hope that this type of study will help us have conversations with more people and organisations about the benefits of Circles for all parties involved.'

To read the blog post via In Control's website visit: /blog/economic-pen-pictures-of-circles.aspx

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Last Updated : 11 December 2013. Page Author: marijke.hirst.