CIRCLES – The Charity

Founded in 2002 Circles South East was one of the original pilot projects funded by the Ministry of Justice to deliver Circles of Support and Accountability. Born of a Canadian Mennonite initiative, the idea of Circles was brought to the UK by Quaker Peace and Social Witness, who lobbied the then Home Office to invest in the pilot scheme. Funding has also been secured from statutory partnership agencies, various charitable trusts, and with funds raised through our chargeable services.

A Circle is essentially a group of trained volunteers working with a high risk sexual offender (Core Member) in their community, reducing isolation and loneliness reducing the risk of reoffending. Volunteers are also equipped to monitor the behaviour of their Core Member, assisting Police, Probation and other partnership agencies in the management of that person’s risk. Our number one priority is safer communities.

Circles South East launched as a charity in 2008 and since then has grown and developed not only geographically, but also in the number and diversity of services we offer. Details of these developments are set out elsewhere in our website.

Numerous independent evaluation studies carried out on our work, other Circles projects’ work, and the Canadian programme have proved that Circles of Support and Accountability significantly reduce reconviction rates among this particular group of offenders. This success is largely due to the volunteers (The Magic Ingredient!) whose extraordinary efforts have been recognised by a number of awards, including the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2010.

Awarded for the outstanding contribution,
HTV Circles South East volunteers have made towards community safety.