Your safety is important when you are planning group meetings. Here are a few things to remember and also a few tips.

 

Contact details

You'll need to be able to get in contact with members of the group, but everyone needs to be ok with how you do this.

  • Only to share the details that they are comfortable with, ask them if they are happy for them to be shared with other members of the group. 
  • Some people might find it useful to set up a new email account just to use for the group.
  • If one person takes responsibility for sending emails, remember to put email addresses in the BCC section. 
  • Remember that people will become more comfortable sharing their details as they get to know other people in the group, so it might be worth coming back to this at some point.

 

Personal safety

Personal safety is really important when you are planning your meetings. 

  • Choose a venue so that people won't have to walk down dark alleys, across unlit parks, especially if your meetings are in the evening, during the winter or in an area people don't know well.
  • Let someone know where you're going, how you're travelling to and from the meeting and what time you should be home.
  • It might also be useful to select a venue where there are other people in the building.

 

Local support

Sharing your story with the public is a big part of the work you do as a group. This can be incredibly rewarding but sometimes it might not be right for everyone or people might need support.

  • It can be tough to share your story with the public and it's OK if you feel upset or anxious, as many people who share personal experiences can feel like this at times. Make sure you don't share more than you're comfortable with.
  • But if you're really struggling and it's having an impact on your mental health, a Time to Change campaign group might not be for you right now.
  • You can always call the Samaritans on 116 123 and make sure you find out local contact details of who you could contact in a crisis.

 

Working together

  • When you take on any task it might not always be what you expected. Starting a group is no different, and at times due to the work of the group or things happening in your own life it may be overwhelming. Make sure everyone knows it's OK to take time out if they need it, and try to share the responsibilities so it's not just one person doing everything.
  • In your first meeting you can look through the Working Together Agreement and sign up to it as a group. It will let you know what to expect from each other. 

 

Health and Safety

To make sure the events you plan are safe, take a look at the event health and safety page.