How to set up a support group.
- Write down your aims and objectives.
- Publicity is key.
- Don’t forget you
Your aims and objectives will of course be personal to you, but think about what you want to achieve.
If people don’t know you exist then they can’t contact you. So put posters up in your local library, medical centres, shops (many supermarkets have Community Boards)
Write to your local paper, you could write to their letters page, explaining what you want to do and why. Make sure you fix a date and time.
Write to your MP, to raise awareness.
If you are trying to get a ‘group’ together then you need to think about where to hold those meetings, how often. Maybe your area has small halls, or maybe a local office could let you use a room. Sometimes local lawyers have unused space.
Running a group can incur costs, hire of room, tea, coffee ect, so think about how you are going to raise funds. It may be that you can ask members for small donations at meetings, or you apply for funding, supermarkets usually have some form of fund raising for local groups. such as Waitrose they have the green token system where 3 charities a month are helped, in their Community Matters scheme.
Fund raising might be holding a raffle, having a cake sale, there are numerous ways.
I hold meetings at home, but I know not everyone would feel comfortable with doing that.
Remember to get support yourself.
Ask members to give support if you are arranging events ect.
The last thing, is don’t give up.
It takes time and perseverance.
It is important to know that it doesn’t have to be a formal group, you can just link up with one or as many as you like to share coffee and a natter.
Whatever way you want to run a group is entirely up to you, but Bristol Grandparents Support Group will help you in any way we can.
All you need is the desire to help others in your situation, to prevent the isolation and loneliness that grandparents experience when they lose contact, and above all to be a good listener.
Below is a template letter that you can adapt and use when contacting papers ect.
Template letter to send to local papers:
Tea and Cake For The Grandchildren.
There are over one million grandparents in the UK who are denied contact with their grandchildren, due to family breakdown.
This can be as a result of separation/divorce, drug/alcohol issues, domestic violence, bereavement or family feud.
To be denied contact is like a ‘living bereavement’ and you are enveloped with feelings of isolation.
I am setting up a support group for grandparents who find themselves in this heartbreaking situation, so if you are one of those grandparents I would like to invite you to come for a cuppa and a piece of cake on ……………………… at………………………. Time:…………
I look forward to seeing you.