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Self-help Groups

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The Long-Term Conditions (LTC) Self-Help Group Development Project facilitates access to a range of support, information and resources and promotes good practice in setting up, running and sustaining long term health condition self-help groups.

List of Long Term Conditions Support Groups on the Isle of Wight 

Download from this link:LTC-Group list updated 23 March 2016

The Project Development Officer works with individuals, groups and professionals to help make the best use of local experience, ideas and skills in the field of self-help. 

To find out if you might benefit from a self-help group, watch our video:

The types of support to be offered to self-help groups through the project can be summarised as follows:

Supporting emerging self-help groups through:

  • Helping new groups to define their aims and objectives and decide how to operate
  • Supporting the development of a strategy for sustainability of the group

Supporting groups to work on issues such as:

  • Best practice in internal management, in areas such as committee and trustee recruitment, governance and management
  • Policy development, in areas such as child protection, vulnerable adults, equality, inclusion and risk assessment
  • Tackling such as access to office services and meeting venues

Helping groups to develop a marketing strategy and an online presence through advice about:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Working with the media
  • Developing presentation skills
  • Supporting set up of e mail accounts and developing websites and appropriate use of social networking opportunities

Helping organisations evidence their outcomes and impact by sharing best practice in:

  • Data collection, needs assessment and research
  • Monitoring and evaluation of group activities, projects and service delivery

Supporting groups to ensure adequate funding through:

  • Providing information to support sound financial management
  • Promoting awareness of funding opportunities
  • Advising on funding applications
  • Offering volunteer support to mentor funding applications

Supporting organisations to link with the commissioners and healthcare professionals:

  • Promoting local and national consultation and engagement opportunities
  • Facilitating links with commissioners and key health professionals
  • Identifying opportunities for collaborative working and partnership development between self-help organisations

Providing training and development opportunities for groups through:

  • Promoting access to a range of third sector training opportunities
  • Designing bespoke workshops relating to the LTC agenda (funded through this grant)
  • Delivering 1:1 work and mentoring with individual groups in response to their particular needs. 
  • Organising development days, briefing sessions and discussion forums on specific themes which provide an opportunity for people running self-help groups to meet other people in the same situation and share experiences

Macmillan Cancer Support produce a very useful manual with advice for running support groups. Although it was written to help cancer support groups, it has lots of relevant information for groups relating to other health conditions. See how to order a free copy here

We can also provide copies of “Getting Your Group Off to a Flying Start” another really useful guide for running self help groups from Self Help Connect UK. If you would like a copy of this guide, please contact who can post a copy to you.

Resources for Support Groups

A Pinterest Board has been set up for the LTC project. This acts as a virtual pinboard and contains links to a range of useful resources including information about the NHS Structure, government policy, care planning and some condition specific information

Click here for Pinterest LTC Site

Long-Term Conditions Project newsletter

The LTC project produces an bi-monthly newsletter for the information of Island based support groups. The latest edition can be accessed below:

January 2016

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Community Action Isle of Wight