Going to a support group for the first time on your own — Scope | Disability forum
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Going to a support group for the first time on your own

66Mustang
66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,030 Disability Gamechanger
edited July 2023 in Coffee lounge

A few years ago, before Covid restrictions, I was going to a support group about 50 miles away for people with similar issues to me, I found it quite helpful. It was based in a pub and used to have between 5-15 members each time, depending on who went.

I used to go with someone I met at a clinic so I didn’t have to walk in there on my own. We went in at the same time.

The group has since dissolved and I am looking for one closer to home. I have found a couple but of course this time I don’t have anyone to go with.

What I am most nervous about is walking into somewhere like a pub on my own and having to walk up to where the group is and introduce myself.

If anyone has any tips that would be much appreciated.

Something I thought was maybe to email one of the “leaders” and get to know them a bit then ask if I could accompany them the first time I go so I am not walking in there all on my own.

Any other tips or experiences from people who were in the same position would be kindly received.

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Comments

  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 43,585 Disability Gamechanger
    That sounds a good idea @66Mustang get to know the leader I'm sure they will help you. Or take a family member for the 1st few times 
  • WelshBlue
    WelshBlue Community member Posts: 703 Pioneering
    Fair play to you mate.

    I think your approach is bang on.  It's obviously something you want to do  Reach out, explain your worries and I'm sure they'll appreciate your concerns and help you make those first steps

    As someone who used to travel the UK by myself going to gigs and football matches, to now not being able to walk into a shop by myself, I totally get it.

    Think of the rewards from attending, what you'll get out of it and the hesitancy and stress you're feeling now will make it all worth while

    ... plus in the future somewhere to show off your banging sleeve  B)
  • durhamjaide2001
    durhamjaide2001 Scope Member Posts: 9,748 Disability Gamechanger
    Yeah I have started a few  new groups and my suggestions are don't go alone it doesn't have to be a family member. It could be a friend, PA or any other professional that has worked with you 
  • Steve_in_The_City
    Steve_in_The_City Scope Member Posts: 511 Pioneering
    Try to remember that everyone in the group was once a newbie to the group and had their doubts and concerns. I am very shy but some years ago I had to meet a group of people in a pub. I was dreading it. But once I said hello, everything was fine. Names were swapped, I was asked to sit down etc. Although it was difficult for me to make the initial approach, my fear soon vanished. Not everyone is gregarious and outgoing, so there will be other people in the group just as anxious as you.

    I had to travel for work and went in to a new venue every night, where I had to make my presence felt. But I had a job to do, so it was sort of easy. I think it helps to have some sort of a function within a group, especially if on the shy side, as having a role to fulfill means people have to talk to you and you can divert attention away from yourself and on to the work you are doing. 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,285 Disability Gamechanger
    I think any group worth going to will understand your issues and do their best to make you welcome.
    Good luck.
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,030 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you to everyone for the suggestions and kind comments. :)
  • bg844
    bg844 Community member Posts: 3,887 Disability Gamechanger
    All the best @66Mustang
    I'm considering doing some form of volunteering at some point too, a little different to yours but it'll be a challenge for the first few times. I just feel a little 'lost with life' at the moment.

    Good Luck :)
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,030 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry you feel like that @bg844, I know the feeling though thankfully don't feel that way at present. I hope the volunteering helps to give you back some of whatever you feel is missing. Good luck to you too!
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,180 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2023
    66Mustang said:

    Something I thought was maybe to email one of the “leaders” and get to know them a bit then ask if I could accompany them the first time I go so I am not walking in there all on my own.

    Back when I used to go out this is what I would do. Always arrange to meet someone to go in with. It's the transition over the 'threshold' (so to speak) that was hardest for me as you don't know what you're walking in to and the awkwardness of approaching a group alone.  I think it's a great idea to email them and I can't see them having issue with that at all! I hope you manage to find one and get there, it sounds like a great thing to do <3 
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hi @66Mustang and well done for reaching it out, it's great to hear that you're thinking of putting yourself out there and sharing your experience with others who've been through similar. 

    As others have mentioned, sending an email to 'put the feelers out' is a great idea. Oftentimes joining a group like this can feel quite nerve wracking, but reaching out in small steps like this will help with making it feel less overwhelming. 

    Equally as others have mentioned, even if they don't show it, others in the group will be feeling nervous, and certainly will have done when first joining. I wish you the best of luck for it and I hope it's a positive experience for you in the long-term :) 

    Keep us in the loop when you can!
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,030 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for the posts.

    I am putting off emailing them because I am a bit scared. But I think I will give it a try. The worst case scenario is I say sorry I can't come.
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,093 Disability Gamechanger
    Go for it @66Mustang :) Please keep us updated! 
    Hannah - She / Her

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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,030 Disability Gamechanger
    Just an update

    After doing some research and initial emails the support group I had in mind turned out to not be quite what I was looking for

    Going to start hunting around for another one
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,093 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh that's a shame, I do hope you find one that meets everything you want soon :) 
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,030 Disability Gamechanger
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,030 Disability Gamechanger
    Hmm crazy idea...maybe I could start one 🧐
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,093 Disability Gamechanger
    Go for it! @66Mustang :) 
    Hannah - She / Her

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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,030 Disability Gamechanger
    I'd love to but that was just a crazy passing thought ha ha.

    I don't do social media and am not a very outgoing person so would be pretty hard getting people to join me ha ha
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,093 Disability Gamechanger
    Social Media can be easier to manage now with schedulers. If you have a local church hall or community centre, it may be nice to enquire there and go by word of mouth to see if it is something you want :) 
    Hannah - She / Her

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  • C_J
    C_J Community member Posts: 715 Pioneering
    What ever you do @66Mustang I wish you the best I myself am not an outgoing person and I'm very self conscious but I was recommended a light exercise class not so long ago and I really struggle with the idea of going as it's just not like me but I made myself try it even though I struggled with the thought of trying it I'm so glad I did.

    Whatever you decide to do I wish you the best

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