Inviting people to join is the first step in any peer support programme. Listen to these facilitators describing their experiences:
Inevitably some people will drop out, so approach more people than you expect to take part. We have found the ideal group size is around 8, and that twice this number need to be enlisted to allow for drop out.
Advertising peer support groups in the local community is one of the most effective ways to build up interest. Using local GP surgeries is particularly effective, though of course you will need permission to do this – see Working with health services for more information. You can also advertise groups in local venues such as shops, cafes, community centres and churches. You could write an article for the local newspaper, or contact your local radio station.
Another option is to advertise on the internet. Diabetes forums such as http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/ have thousands of users, some of whom will be in your area. There are also general internet services like http://www.gumtree.com/ where you can advertise local services. Local councils may publicise groups in the area.
We have produced a template you can use for an advert, which you can download here:[good idea? If so I can try to produce something].