‘New and Good’ with Circles® Wellington County-Megan Despard, Circles® Coach
Each week, in the fellowship hall at Arthur United Church, the participants of Circles® Wellington County end their meeting with an activity that Circles® groups throughout North America also complete, called ‘New and Good.’ Essentially each person has the opportunity to share something new and/or good that they experienced that week. There are a number of reasons for this activity:
- The process of repeatedly focusing on positive aspects of life teaches us to be in charge of where we put our attention
- The information shared through this activity levels differences across economic lines by introducing people on a personal level instead of by role or status, which helps to facilitate relationship building
- ‘New and Good’ creates a ritual and rituals can contribute to building a sense of community
In the short time that the program has been running, Leaders (individuals of low income working towards an employment or education related goal) and Allies (middle or upper income community members volunteering their time to provide support to Leaders to reach their goals) have shared much about themselves through our ‘New and Good’ ritual. We have learned about people’s short and long term goals, small and big pleasures in their daily lives and from Leaders, some of their successes in overcoming various barriers towards becoming financially self-sufficient. Celebrating the successes of Leaders and building a supportive community around Leaders on their journey out of poverty is what Circles® is all about. We are only a short way into 2016, and we have already seen a number of Leaders make important steps towards their goals, which include gaining full time employment, going to college, completing high school credits and establishing small businesses.
As a new and growing group we are blessed more and more everyday with support from the community. We have received more than 20 lovingly prepared meals from a wide range of individuals and groups in Arthur, Mount Forest, Guelph, Fergus and Drayton. We have also had more than 10 guests join us to share their expertise on a wide range of topics including: Handling stress through meditation, True Colours Personality Dimensions, emergency preparedness, Wellington County Library resources and services, mental health awareness, credit and debt management counselling as well as tips and tricks of couponing and price matching.
If you or someone you know is interested in supporting the Circles® Wellington County program by becoming an Ally, joining us as a guest speaker or providing a meal, please contact Circles® Coach Megan Despard at: 226 – 821 – 0099 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .