Now, more than ever, people need people.
They need to feel nurtured and held.
They need to feel heard.
For nearly twenty years I have been working with people in difficult circumstances, navigating transitions in life. For the past ten years I have been supporting people in circles; holding space, enabling learning and watching relationships grow. I wrote ‘creating circles’ because I know that circle work makes a difference to people’s lives, it helps to build connection and commonality, it helps people feel like they belong and feel less alone when processing difficulties. ‘creating circles’ is for those who want to make a difference for those around them.
Do you feel a pull towards circle work?
Do you have an idea to start a circle of your own to improve health and wellbeing?
Would you like the flexibility to hold space online as well as face to face?
Do you want to hold space but worry about silences in groups or knowing what to say next?
Does the thought of holding your own circle give you butterflies of excitement but also make you feel a bit queasy?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then ‘creating circles’ is for you!
I wrote this course because circle work is magic, but to hold space well and to do it safely requires good facilitation skills which are something that can be practised and learned. I wrote this course because people need to share stories, they need conversation and they need a sense of community, a sense of belonging. ‘creating circles’ will enable you to feel confident to hold space and run circles of your own, circles that reflect your passion and is about providing you with the skills and confidence to hold space so that less people feel isolated and more people feel connected, with a shared commonality in these strange wonky times.
‘creating circles’ is ideal for those who want to lead circles or groups* of their own, it is relevant for those who have some experience of holding circles but would like to understand more about what to do and how to do this. It is just as important for those who have never held a circle before. The course uses a combination of self led, reflective study with interactive zoom group sessions and has the option of 1-1 mentoring (where I walk alongside you as you set up your own group). Over the course of our six weeks together you will be gently nurtured and guided through the skills needed to lead your own circles, whether online or face to face.
What often holds people back from running their own circles is confidence and time, ‘creating circles’ is a safe place to play, practice and explore. This course will leave you feeling excited and confident about establishing your own circle. It will give you the opportunity to think about your own groups; whether you have an idea about what these might be – or whether you would like to create something new. You will also leave the course with a community to support you, connections with others who are starting out and a group who have your back. The self led study element of the workbook means that it is ideal to fit in with busy lives, and the option of mentoring means that you benefit from my skills and experience of setting up and running my own groups. It can be nerve-wracking starting something new but by joining ‘creating circles’ you will not be alone.
I want you to…
- feel confident in holding space
- have the skills and confidence to create your own circle safely
- be inspired to run your own circle with your own unique content, to find your voice!
- come away with lots of ideas about content for your own group.
The ‘creating circles’ course costs £894 or £149/month for six months and includes;
- Beginnings; creating safe circles, exploring boundaries and setting intentions
- Connections; we will be exploring the skills needed to create connections, create communities, create compassion. ‘creating circles’ is about creating connections in a world that often appears disconnectedContent; how well thought through content can improve mental health and wellbeing.
- When things get tricky; working through different scenarios in order to explore responses and how to avoid common mistakes
- Letting go; coming alongside those you work with and letting the magic happen
- Guiding circles; how to hold and facilitate discussions
- Endings; closing circles and saying goodbye
- Failing; and why it’s important to learning
- Who is holding you? self care for those who hold space
- ‘creating circles’ is diverse and intersectional; ‘creating circles’ is about creating space that is responsive to the culture and needs of your communities
- Next steps… setting up your own circle or group; planning, GDPR, accessibility, insurance, pricing and marketing
- Facilitated online learning with feedback, and an open project at the end of the course leading to certification
- A study list of books and online resources to help broaden your knowledge
- A self led study workbook, journal and prompt cards and access to an online community for support
Winter (NOW CLOSED): 7.00pm – 9.00pm Wednesday 13, 20 and 27 January and February 3, 10 and 24
Spring 10.00 am – 1.00pm noon Wednesday 5, 12, 19 May and June 2, 9, 16
Autumn 7.00pm – 10.00pm Wednesday 8, 15, 22 September and October 6, 13, 20
How does creating circles work?
- click on the registration button above, after registering you will be sent a workbook, A4 journal, prompt cards and (of course) tea!
- prior to the course you will be sent a link to join an online community where you can share ideas to support each other.
- you will also be provided with a link to resources, videos, further reading to support your learning and sent a link for the zoom course.
- you will then take part in 6 x 3 hour zoom sessions
- a certificate will be issued after the final piece and reflective discussion is submitted
I am a doula living in Yorkshire with my family. I ran my first course 20 years ago as a Probation Officer, and then had a career in report writing and managing prison licences. Ten years ago I trained to be an antenatal teacher with the National Childbirth Trust and since then I have spent thousands of hours experience of facilitating groups. I work alongside other birth workers as a mentor and deliver doula training for Red Tent Doulas. I have a wealth of experience of holding space face to face as well as online. My interest is in birth and death and supporting people with life’s transitions. I have seen the power of the circles I have sat in; to connect, heal and create communities. Not only does circle work help those who attend but it also ripples out to those they love, support and work alongside. The magic of circle work is that it reaches far beyond the group and that’s what I enjoy most of all. This year I started running courses for Ripens, delivering training to GPs, social prescribers and social workers and other’s involved in supporting vulnerable people. I also run Death Cafe, a discussion group around death, dying, loss and grief and Maternal Journal a journaling based group aimed to improve health and wellbeing, I am a member of the Maternal Journal Advisory Group. I couldn’t do any of this without having time to myself to decompress, in my spare time I love running in the mountains, camper van adventures and wild swimming.
For further information about the course or if you would like a copy of the question and answer session held in February 2021, please contact me direct on firstname.lastname@example.org
Things people have said about creating circles;
“I think we all have this sense of being on this epic journey together (I just had a vision of the fellowship of the ring!)”
“creating circles is changing my life”
“The manual is so beautifully written and set the tone of circles. I cried when I read it as the words resonated. I knew I was on the right course”.
“…after one session I’m saying ‘when I facilitate’ and not ‘if’ anymore! This is powerful stuff Sally!”
“Sally I appreciate your energy and enthusiasm! Your feedback is constructive and very welcome. It’s one thing to feel like we might be good at something and then have that reflected back by someone else is reassuring. So thank you!”
What has surprised you the most?
“I’m being pushed out of my comfort zone but in a way that makes me feel safe. The variety of ways facilitating online is being demonstrated. The holistic approach, and being able to use creativity as a tool for learning and reflection”.
“I think I already had the skills to hold circles and groups but I needed a place an opportunity to come to that realisation on my own. Creating circles is a safe and supportive space to do that!!”
What are you enjoying the most?
“The diversity in how we learn, how we’re paced, experiencing others’ visions for their circles, the resources being shared. Everything?”
“Learning how others are going to run their groups. How there are different techniques. Not to be scared to be yourself”.
Things that others have said about my workshops;
“Being in one of Sally’s groups os always magical. She has a gift for holding space like no one else. She has a way of making sure that everyone’s voice is heard, everyone feels valued and welcomed. Being in her group is like a moment of escapism, you leave the outside world behind you. She creates a warm. welcoming, funny and above all else, safe space to share”.
“Sally is an amazing facilitator. She creates the perfect balance in the group between allowing women to chat, share, reflect and be creative. I love going… I always leave feeling that I have learned something new about myself, but have also learned from sharing with other women. I found it incredibly empowering…
“I’m often nervous abut joining new groups, but I have felt welcomed at Sally’s circles since the very first time. She makes sure there is space held for everyone, whether that is space to be, share a story or to just drink tea and take a breath”.
“I found Sally on Instagram and had been envious of the sessions she ran as they were too far away for me to attend. The silver lining of the pandemic is the introduction of the zoom sessions. They are a little cloud of calm in the week and are time just for me. It’s such a gentle, safe, reassuring space and has provided me with inspiration for more expressive creativity in the last three weeks that I’ve found anywhere in the last three years! Thank you Sally x”
“Since joining Sally’s circles I have realised what it means to be part of something just for me. It’s not for my children, or work, or family. Sally has a gift for ensuring there is space in that collective experience for everyone who arrives and for whatever they have to offer”.
*’circles’ and ‘groups’ are used interchangeably here to mean a gathering of people, whether that is in traditional women’s circles, or those gathering for a shared purpose e.g. yoga, knitting, writing, companionship, death cafe. It is suitable for those who already run groups (e.g. antenatal education or hypnobirthing courses, yoga, moon circles), as well as for those who’s work is 1-1 and would like to move their work to groups.
Cancellation policy: Cancellations made 28 days or more in advance of the first zoom date will receive 100% refund (minus £150 administration). Cancellations made within 14 days will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations made within 48 hours will not receive a refund.