Ategi launches new volunteering project: Support Circles
About the project
Ategi has been awarded funding to start a 1-2 year project, called Support Circles. The idea behind the project is to provide a space where adults with additional needs provide peer-support to each other, to learn new skills and gain valuable experiences and confidence. Decisions on the goals each group will work towards, and the skills and experiences they will develop are chosen by each Support Circle. Each circle will be a group of 5-7 adults with additional needs within the local community. Each group will include a facilitator and 5-7 peer support volunteers who each have a support need, such as a physical or learning disability, autism, sensory impairment or mild mental health condition. The Circle will come together to provide peer support to one another, to work towards shared goals, developing skills and confidence and enhancing their wellbeing. Goals will vary but may include building friendships, doing more in the community, having fun, using public transport etc.
How the project came about
Ategi has been supporting individuals to live their best lives, their way for over nearly 30 years, alongside a number of local authorities. Following the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis, Ategi began thinking and researching ideas of what Ategi could offer in the local area to support adults with additional needs beyond the remit of their paid support.
During this research Ategi were inspired by the co-production work, “My Day My Way”, developed by Cwm Taf Peoples First and other partners, which helps people with learning disabilities articulate what they want – including volunteer opportunities, paid employment, support and confidence around transport and social activities.
In the last year Ategi has been on a co-production journey, implementing a co-production mindset to all elements of our work with the people we support. For this project, we at Ategi were keen to incorporate co-production at the centre, and to values the strengths and abilities of each person, working with other organisations to add value and collaborate in the design and decision making of this project.
After many discussions within the operations team of Ategi, a basic plan was put together for what we could do help give back to the local community which is where the ‘Support Circle Volunteer Project’ was created. The project will establish 5-7 support circles for adults with additional needs, in different localities across Rhondda Cynon Taf. Each Support Circle will have 5-6 volunteer peer mentors and 1x volunteer facilitator. The aim of the Support Circles is:
- To provide high quality volunteering placements that enable adults with additional needs (e.g. mild learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, autism, mild mental health conditions) to volunteer, develop their skills, develop friendships, and support one another to build on their strengths to achieve individual and shared goals.
- To create a replicable volunteering model and sustainable framework that can continue to support volunteering opportunities for adults with additional needs beyond the 2 year WCVA (Wales Council for Volunteering Action) volunteering grant.
After presenting the idea to VWMG (Volunteering Wales Main Grant) Ategi was awarded a fixed funding amount to launch this project.
Each group will be personalised to the individuals attending to establish their own group name, agreements, priorities and group goals, identify strengths, community assets/resources and develop a group strengths based plan
Are you interested in joining one of our Support Circles? Do you know someone that could benefit from this project?
Eligibility requirements: The project is aimed at adults with additional needs in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
To apply, please contact us on:
Email: Supportcircles@ategi.co.uk Mobile: 07887 418974 Head Office: 01443 484400
With thanks to WCVA and VWMG scheme for making Ategi’s vision come to life.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis, Ategi began thinking and researching ideas of what Ategi could offer in the local area to support adults with additional needs beyond the remit of their paid support...