Hanifa's Outing with Her Circle of Support

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I have a circle of support in the workplace. It was set up when I started here nearly ten years ago because it helped me get to know colleagues in other teams. We are part of the Mental Health Foundation so we have people who work in the fundraising team, finance, marketing, research and customer services. To find out more about my circle this link will tell you all about it.

My colleagues from FPLD are not always in the office because they run projects out of the office so they wanted to make sure there were other people I could speak to if they weren’t around. I have about 12 members in my circle and we meet for lunch every other month to chat about social and work issues.  We have just written a new guide about running a circle in work which I hope people will find useful. Once a year we plan a circle outing – this includes doing internet research to get ideas of what to do and then we have a vote to find out the most popular one. Then the big thing is finding a date. Past outings having included going bowling, a boat trip on the Thames and a lunch time picnic in London. Some of us have also been to see Nutcracker ballet which was good as I like to watch dancing.

For my last outing I went out with Molly, Kate and Stella. We ate first in Strada and I had garlic bread, Margarita pizza with extra mushrooms and pomegranate juice. After that we went to the IMAX cinema near Waterloo Station and saw ‘Guardian of the galaxy’. I really like going to the cinema so it was good to go out with my colleagues to see it.

I also try to keep in touch with my old circle members who don’t work with us anymore. I like to meet up with some them and have a pizza every now and then. Having a circle at work has meant I go out on social occasions quite a bit and I like that.