The first thing to consider is whether being an Alopecia UK support group lead is right for you. Here are some of the basic skills required to be a support group lead:
good organisational skills
ability to listen
a welcoming, confident, and empathetic personality
knowledge of how and when to signpost to other services (we can advise on this)
some knowledge and experience of alopecia
Leading an Alopecia UK support group can be an extremely rewarding experience. However it can also be very challenging. Before you take the step to set up or lead a support group carefully consider the following:
Are you physically well enough to give good quality help? Fit meaning physically (e.g. not exhausted or over-excited) and mentally (not distracted)
Do you have enough time to organise and lead a group?
Do you know of a venue where you can meet as a group?
Are you in a 'good place' with your own journey with alopecia?
If you think the role is right for you then please do read on.
Types of Support Group
Currently we run:
adult groups (you can choose whether this is for age 18 and over or age 14 and over)
children's groups (along with their parents)
Please note: we require that anyone under the age of eighteen attending a support group is accompanied by an adult age eighteen years or over.
What do Alopecia UK provide to help me with my support group?
We are continuously working to improve and develop the Support Group Network and provide better resource and support to group leads from the Charity. We hope that this will lead to successful and long standing support groups. Currently an Alopecia UK Group Lead will receive the following to help with their group:
A web page on the AUK website advertising your group meeting dates
Resources to advertise your group such as posters and contact cards
Resources to give attendees
Agreed rate of funding for venue hire*
Alopecia UK email address & inbox
x1 Free ticket to the annual Alopecia UK Big Weekend for you to attend
We are also working towards implementing the following for group leads**:
Attendance at annual training weekend with travel and accommodation part funded
Access to monthly support group web chats with Alopecia UK & other support group leads
Access to relevant training
*subject to conditions being met (see below) **subject to successful funding application
To qualify to be an Alopecia UK Support Group Leader you must adhere to the following terms and conditions:
Complete an AUK Disclosure and Barring Service check
Organise at least four meetings a year
Facilitate appropriate peer support group meetings
Send AUK your dates for the website
Collate and manage a distribution list and use email to communicate with group members
Complete an annual renewal form
Comply with the Data Protection Act 1998
Complete a very simple evaluation form after each support meeting
Ask attendees to complete a registration and monitoring form
Send all paperwork in to Alopecia UK when requested
note: We appreciate that some group meetings may take place in wig
salons but groups should not be used as a way of advertising and selling
products. The main aims of any support group should always be the
facilitation of sharing information, advice and support among peers and
no member should ever feel pressured in to buying any products.
the above terms and conditions are not met we may decide to
disassociate ourselves from your group and cease advertisement of your
How can I apply to be an Alopecia UK Support Group Lead and set up an Alopecia UK Support Group?
If there is no support group in your area, you think the role of
support group lead is right for you and you are happy with all of the above, then please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name and address for further information. Ensure you mention
that you are interested in setting up a new group and where you propose
that group to be.
We will then post a booklet out to you, 'leading
a support group: a toolkit for success'. This booklet goes in to
detail about running an Alopecia UK Support group and will help you
think about what is involved in running a group. There will then be an
application form to complete after which we can help you set up your
Alopecia UK Support Group.