Equal Futures
Our Organisation We are a family led organisation set up by a group of parents with a family member with a learning disability. We understand the challenges for families who want to plan for the future of their relative; including financial security and home. Many people have good Community Care Providers. However, there is often an unrecognised need to have more than only paid people in their relative’s life –to also have good friends.
What We Do Equal Futures builds an informal network of people who offer support and friendship around an individual who is isolated.  We call this a Circle. A Circle will ensure someone has more opportunities to be fully involved in their community and to develop lasting friendships.  We set out from the beginning to ensure that the Circle is there for the lifetime of the person; not just for the years families are around to be involved.
What the Circle is People volunteer to be members of the Circle, they are not paid to be there.  They come because they value the person as their friend, and want to ensure the individual lives a good life and they are prepared to be actively involved in helping to make this happen. Members are drawn from all aspects of someone’s life and can include family and friends, neighbours and others in the community.  Members are usually part of only one circle, which means a closer bond develops between all who are involved.
More than Volunteers There might be times in a person’s life when things are not going so well.  A Circle can work together to think of ideas to make things better and what they can do to address these challenges. There is real strength and resilience in this approach.  The commitment which is nurtured in the Circle means that people feel they are not simply volunteering, but that they have a supportive and meaningful role to play. They can see the person grow and flourish as they work together to bring about and sustain positive change.  It also happens that through being involved the volunteer can gain new skills and experiences to benefit them in other parts of their life.
How We Build a Circle Equal Futures employs a Community Connector who facilitates the person’s Circle.  The individual who has a Circle is known as the Focus Person.  We aim to match a Community Connector who has common interests and values with the person.  We also try to find someone who lives in the Focus Person’s local community, and who has strong links to the people and activities in that area. This promotes interaction and acceptance within the community, which in turn adds to the sense of belonging that the person with disabilities has.
Our Mission, Vision and Values
The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities has produced an easy read guide to Circles of Support.
Equal Futures, Hayweight House, 4th Floor, 23 Lauriston Street,Edinburgh, EH3 9 DQ Tel: 0131 281 7367 Scottish Charity Number: SC033799 Copyright Equal Futures 2017         Design by You Can Learn It Ltd
Our Staff Team
Gordon Clayton talks to Alison Roy and Clodagh First broadcast on 30th January 2016 Black Diamond FM 107.8- Community Works and on www.blackdiamondfm.com/listenlive