Connecting to communities and volunteering

Swindon Circles community participation

Swindon Circles is focused on mobilising the capacity of local people to build networks and connections in order to reduce loneliness and isolation. The service is not designed to replace care services, but instead, add value through companionship, community participation and new networks. There are a number of projects within Swindon Circles which nurture community connection and participation.

Volunteering

At the centre of Swindon Circles are our wonderful volunteers. The team have many volunteering opportunities and offer a flexible and inclusive approach. We are committed to making sure our Volunteers feel part of the team, are clear on their role and are continuously supported through training and supervision. Volunteering is an excellent way to improve your wellbeing and Swindon Circles offers individually tailored opportunities that will allow the volunteer to grow, gain confidence, feel purposeful, connected and help others.

We welcome volunteers whatever skills and experience they bring. Volunteers are required to provide 2 references and undergo a DBS check before they can begin work. Our volunteering opportunities are restricted to those aged 16 or over.

Befriending

We offer three types of befriending aimed at supporting someone experiencing loneliness. We can offer face to face, telephone or pen pal befriending from a volunteer for ongoing companionship. The programme is based on volunteer availability so we can never guarantee a match but we will always do our best.

This programme is designed for those people who are:

  • resident in the Borough of Swindon or registered with a GP within the Swindon Locality
  • considered socially isolated or lonely (5 hours or less a week of social contact)
  • unable to leave their home because of physical mobility or emotional difficulty

Local heroes

Our Local Heroes programme is a flexible way of volunteering to meet the needs of people who experience loneliness and/or isolation and have no other means of support. Volunteers give small amounts of time to people who may need one off assistance due to poor health, on an ad-hoc basis to complete small practical tasks. This might be some shopping or changing a light bulb for example.

We cannot accept referrals for people that:

  • require long term practical support
  • have behaviour that is unpredictable or violent
  • have alternative sources of support available (family, friends and/or neighbours)

Supporting your connections

This is a programme of gentle connection and support for people who have lost the confidence to get out and about as a result of the Covid19 pandemic. Staff will facilitate travel training, guided shopping experiences, small scale coffee mornings, or peer support sessions.

Coffee and connections

Coffee and Connections is a programme of activity, designed to support people who lack confidence to access local community-based activity and develop healthy habits which improve individual wellbeing. The sessions run as a 6-week programme for one afternoon a week in January, May and September with occasional pop up one day events at other times in the year. The programme is designed for anyone 18 or over who would struggle to independently attend groups or activity in the community.

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