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Support Group Spotlight - Manchester

7th March 2016

This month we asked our Manchester support group leader, Laura, to tell us about the group.

How long has the Manchester support group being going?

The group had its first meeting in October 2014.

How often do you meet?

We meet every other month, usually on the last Wednesday of the month. All the dates for 2016 have already been set and are listed on the website.

Why did you decide to become a support group leader?

I stepped into the position of support group leader because quite simply there wasn't a group in Manchester and I felt there needed to be. Once I had come to terms with my own condition, I wanted to facilitate a regular gathering to help others manage and come to terms with theirs. 

Do you always meet in the same venue?  

Yes, after starting out meeting in all sorts of venues, we now have a lovely quiet space at Cross Street Chapel in the City Centre (just along from the Arndale on Cross Street). The plan is to have the summer meeting at a wig salon or other location. 

What can people expect from a Manchester support group meeting? 

It's really a place where you can share, feel understood and be yourself! Sometimes our nearest and dearest don't understand how we are feeling about our hair loss and it is a relief to meet others who 'get it'! Our group is fairly intimate (5-10 per meet so far), which allows members to fully express themselves, get to know and support each other.  The group is open to anyone with any kind of alopecia and it's usually an informal chat over a cuppa. We do have occasional guests. Last Autumn we had reflexology and Indian head massage. I'm always open to suggestions as to the preferences and needs of the group.

What is the best thing about leading the Manchester support group?

Providing people with the space and time to focus on their condition - whether it's just because they want to tell their story, are struggling to accept it or would like advice on wigs, headwear, eyebrows and treatments from other members of the group. The best thing is helping people realise that they are most definitely not alone with their condition, and seeing their sense of relief when they meet others and get the support they need.  

What would you say to someone feeling nervous about attending a support group meeting for the first time?

If you're thinking about coming, just come! Email me today and Iíll include you in communications about meetings. Every single one of us felt nervous the first time (including me setting it up). There is no need to bring a friend as we already are your friends in waiting but if you are feeling particularly anxious, feel free to bring a friend or family member along with you.

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Alopecia UK is a registered charity number 1111304 and Scottish registered charity SCO44702
All content is © Alopecia UK 2018

Site by Jellymould Creative with C4 Multimedia