Tips on growing your Support Group
The following tips have been submitted by Lesley Errington of Kiama Support Group. This is the first of a series of tips from leaders of various Groups across the state.
Venue: Comfortable and neutral, with food and drink provided.
Informal format: Welcoming. We start with 30 minutes to buy your own coffee in the club coffee shop. During this time established members invite new folk to join them and small groups form for informal chatting.
Formal meeting: Move to a large quiet room for a proactive meeting. People enjoy the information (always about Parkinson’s issues), the exercise segment, and the sing-a- long – a often with old rock songs on YouTube. We always use a microphone so everyone can hear and have relevant information on PowerPoint so people can copy it down. We keep our meetings lively and fun. Invite folk to stay for lunch in the Bistro.
Advertising: We have a brochure to hand out, put in pharmacies, the local library, and doctors’ and physiotherapists’ rooms. We haven’t had much success with the local paper, but this is the best outreach when something is published.
Special Meeting: A morning with a Sydney neurologist once a year is a big attraction, advertised as above and it attracts new folk to join our group.
Newsletter: Emailed, hand delivered, and posted once a term.
Facebook: Our Facebook page has attracted some new members.
Most important: Be friendly, learn names and follow up new folk or those who have missed a few meetings with an email or phone call.