We have found that meeting monthly works quite well, though some groups did start to meet every two months as time went on. Choosing a time to suit everyone in the group is a difficult task. It is likely that you will not be able to please everyone. Having a regular time can be useful e.g. the first Wednesday of the month so that people get used to when the group is going to run – this helps with people who might not attend regularly so that they do not have to keep track of when the next group will be. An alternative is to set a date and time at the end of the session for the next one, in relation to everyone’s schedule, and then relaying this to others who were not present. If you are tech savvy you might want to use Doodle which is great tool for co-coordinating everyone’s time. It is free and easy to use.
One key consideration is whether attendees are retired or working, because they will have different schedules. It may be useful to find out which category people fit into early on to give an idea for a good time of day to meet.
Facilitators have suggested that appointment cards with a time and location on would be useful to give out at the end of meetings. We have provided a template for such cards here: [design these cards if felt to be a good idea]
It is a good idea to keep the meetings to time, so they start and finish when you have said they will. This way people are clear on the commitment required and do not have to unfairly over commit. Keeping to time will also help meetings to run smoothly so that everyone is coordinated.