The Vulnerable Humanitarian Book Circle

New Book Circle starting in February 2024 - Click here to book your place!

The issues I raise in my book The Vulnerable Humanitarian are hard and confronting, and you may recognise your own experiences or challenges within the book’s pages. Understanding and responding to burnout – whether your own or as part of the culture within your organisation – can feel like a lonely process. Particularly in environments where honest, vulnerable conversations about mental health and wellbeing are often not welcome.

That is why I have created The Vulnerable Humanitarian Book Circle,  a community of practice which gives you the opportunity to dive into the book’s content in a space of connection and shared commitment to self- and collective care.

With me, the author, and with others from the sector.


Why a Circle?

This is not just a book club. It is a listening and sharing space which I facilitate, applying methods and practices that have deepening connection, inclusivity and compassion at their heart. Truth-telling and vulnerability are welcome, and participants are invited to explore meaningful actions they can take for themselves and their work environment which are rooted in anti-oppression, care and collective wellbeing.

"As someone just starting a career within the Humanitarian sector, discussing and reflecting on positionality and wellbeing with such depth as during the book circle, has greatly contributed to my own safeguarding strategies. It also permitted an honest and safe reflection space to analyze past situations. I’d wholeheartedly recommend the circle and look forward to following Gemma’s continued work within this space."

Maurice, UN staff member

"Gemma is a humble, caring, and powerful facilitator who leads with grace. Her book reflects the long and rich journey she's taken to come to refine her understanding of and proposed solutions for this sector, which we should all take to heart."

Anonymous Peace on Purpose facilitator 

How to Join the Book Circle

This book circle is available for individuals from multiple organisations and contexts, and for leaders and teams.

The next book circle for individuals will start in February 2024. Whether you are a leader, staff member, volunteer or consultant – you are all welcome! Details for booking are here.

This book circle is offered with a sliding scale fee to accommodate different financial capacities.

Lower Income: £150

Middle Income: £200

Higher Income: £250

Please get in touch if you would like to join but cannot afford the investment, and we can consider options for you. I want everyone to feel welcome and able to join the circle. 

Our group will come together for 4 sessions over 8 weeks to explore the following themes from the book:

What’s your story? Understanding motivations and expectations in the humanitarian’s story

The silencing of our stories: what systems, structures and working practices contribute to burnout culture.

Whose wellbeing? Why culture, language and context matter in our understanding of wellbeing strategies.

Making wellbeing an anti-racist, decolonial endeavour: Practices and processes to create more inclusive, caring work environments.

There will also be a bonus practice session, where we explore pratices of self- and collective care from the book, and chosen by you.

Register Here for the next Book Circle. Or sign up to my newsletter to stay updated about future book circles!

What about a Book Circle for your Team?

I also run book circles for leaders and teams within organisations. These book circles are tailored to what your team needs, with the intention of bringing colleagues together to explore personal and collective challenges, and consider meaningful action they can take to end burnout culture in their organisation. If you would like me to facilitate a book circle for your work team, please get in touch to discuss how I can support you.