Project information

Circles of Support and Accountability

Circles build safer communities through local volunteers working with sex offenders to minimise alienation, support reintegration and so prevent sexual reoffending.

January 2015 - December 2017

Charity information: Safer Living Foundation

Safer Living Foundation logo
  • Need


    We live in a society where sexual abuse is sadly all too prevalent and its lasting harm is only now becoming increasingly recognised. Such abuse provokes powerful responses within communities. But the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of a sex offender requires consideration of their own needs, the victim's and those of the community.


    Circles promote offenders to take accountability for their ongoing risk management, enabling them to manage patterns of thought and behaviour that could result in their re-offending. They help offenders develop better social skills and to form appropriate adult relationships, allowing them to re-integrate into the community in a safe and fulfilling way.

    Ultimately, Circles work to significantly reduce sexual offending and sexual harm.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To prevent sexual crime and protect the public


    » Through running Circles of Support and Accountability; a rehabilitative initiative proven to reduce sexual reoffending by 83%.

    What success will look like

    Research and evaluation will investigate the impact of this project through a reconviction study to assess whether the project has achieved its aim of reducing reoffending.

    Aim 2

    To promote the rehabilitation of persons who have committed sexual offences


    » Circles allow offenders to reintegrate and lead offence free lives, building a life for themselves, through social activity and employment.

    What success will look like

    Research and evaluation will follow the journeys of the offenders participating in a Circle to assess the impact on their lives in the community.

  • Impact


    The offenders take accountability for their ongoing risk management. They develop better social skills and form appropriate adult relationships. They re-integrate into the community in a safe and fulfilling way. Sexual offending and harm is reduced.
    The charity has a strong research component and will evaluate this project from the outset using a long-term mixed methods approach (led by the Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University).


    1) Public disapproval: Clear explanations of the charities motives and aims and providing evidence for the success of this for the safety and well being of communities through research evidence.

    2) Difficulty accessing funds for this population: Demonstrate cost benefits for local schemes and government agencies (Police, Probation, Housing Association) who work with this group of offenders.


    Through annual/interim reports, research publication, presentation of findings and any other means necessary.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £313,130

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £117,113 Staff costs Project Co-ordinator salary to supervise Circles + expenses (travel, mobile etc.)
      £20,080 Vehicle costs Project Co-ordinator mileage
      £91,380 Volunteer expenses Recruitment, training, travel, subsistence, mobile phone, room hire
      £40,464 Offender expenses Social development activities, travel, subsistence
      £44,093 Office costs & one off costs Rent, logo & brand design, printing, stationary, staff recruitment, charity co-ordinator salary

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    NHS England £30,000 Guaranteed
    Allen Lane Foundation £15,000 Guaranteed
    Lottery Awards for All £10,000 Guaranteed
    Cooperative Bank £1,000 Guaranteed
    Nottingham Trent University £4,500 Guaranteed
    Eleanor Rathbone Charitable Trust £9,000 Guaranteed
    Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner £10,000 Guaranteed
    Fundraising Events £2,500 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Circles project will begin in HMP Whatton and continue in Nottinghamshire when an offender is released. This is the first time that a Circles project will commence inside prison.


    (1) Individuals who have convicted/are likely to commit sexual offences (male & female) (2) Families of offenders (who may or may not also have been victims) (3) Members of the general public and/or potential victims (4) The Criminal Justice System

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The SLF is the first charity set up as a collaborative effort between prisons, police, probation and a University. Registered in February 2014, we have already raised 76k of funding and we are keen to take on projects that help the community in reducing sexual crime. Although we are a young charity, our trustees have considerable experience of charitable work generally, and a substantive amount of expertise in working with sexual offenders.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.



    The volunteers are fundamental to the project, framing the Circle and its social support network that is crucial to its success.

    Project Co-Ordinator

    Professionally qualified co-ordinator oversees the selection, training and supervision of the volunteers and communicates with risk management.


    Professionals from police, probation, security, psychology, research and management will provide expertise to ensure the success of the project.

    Circles UK

    Circles UK support the development and effective operation of Circles of Support and Accountability (Circles) in the UK.