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Circles of Support and Accountability

What are Circles of Support and Accountability?

Circles of Support and Accountability aim to rehabilitate people who have committed sexual offences, and help them to not offend again.

Each circle includes 4 to 6 trained volunteers from the local community who help to support one person who has sexually offended. The volunteers commit to meeting with the core member for 12 to 18 months. 

How do Circles work?

The circle provides practical skills and support to the Core Member according to their needs, which might include social skills, finding work or hobbies, or looking for suitable accommodation. They will also receive disclosure about the Core Members offending behaviour, and support them to recognise unhelpful thoughts, feelings and patterns of behaviour which might link to their risk of offending, and encourage them to develop more healthy strategies.  

The Core Member will be subject to probation oversight within the criminal justice system. Volunteers are supported by a professional Circle Coordinator, who liaises with other key professionals working with the Core Member, including police and probation.  

Find out more on the Circles UK website

Do Circles work?

Successfully rehabilitating and reintegrating people with sexually harmful behaviour is key to reducing reoffending, because social isolation and emotional loneliness are key factors that increase the risk of reoffending.  

For many people who have sexually offended, trying to re-settle into the community (particularly following a period of time in prison), can be daunting. Circles have proven to be an extremely effective way of reducing risk of reoffending.

Circles use the principles of restorative justice, in particular a belief in the importance of healthy relationships and an individual’s accountability for what they do and its effect upon others.  

Circles at Lucy Faithfull Foundation

Our Circles project covers the West Midlands, including:

For details of providers outside of this region, look at the Circles UK website.

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who are committed to preventing sexual abuse to form circles in the West Midlands area.  Circles reflect the communities they work in and we welcome volunteers from all kinds of backgrounds.  

Volunteers are then matched to a Core Member 

Volunteer, and you won’t just do something amazing to prevent sexual abuse, but you will also develop your skills.  Our volunteers are also eligible for volunteer discounts, covering everything from fashion, holidays, meals out and gym membership.  Out of pocket expenses are also reimbursed.      

Please read our information for potential volunteers and complete the volunteer application form. If you prefer to receive an application pack in the post, please email  

Volunteer testimonial

“I started volunteering with Circles as I was interested in gaining experience working with people who had committed offences and preventing re-offending; what I gained as a volunteer was so much more!

"The experience of being trusted to be part of a reliable support system, getting to know somebody who might struggle with trust and is fearful of rejection, and then watching that person grow and change was brilliant. It was also great to work together with other volunteers and professionals who were compassionate and from all walks of life. Overall, it was the inspiration for me to train to be a psychologist.

"The best part was watching the Core Member make meaningful changes to his life. We know from research into sexual offending that social isolation and lack of healthy relationships can increase risk. We got to watch our Core Member improve his social skills and gain confidence in problem solving things like managing triggers and employment and accommodation difficulties.

"To anyone wondering about getting involved, you won’t regret it and you get lots of training and support! I feel privileged to have been allowed to do it twice.”

Antonia, West Midlands Circle volunteer

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2 Birch House
Harris Business Park
Hanbury Road
Stoke Prior
B60 4DJ

Tel: 01527 591922
Fax: 01527 575 939

For help with a child sexual abuse issue, call our
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Lucy Faithfull Foundation

Lucy Faithfull Foundation is a Registered Charity No. 1013025, and is a company limited by guarantee, Registered in England No. 2729957.

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