What is the best venue for a support group? Venues should have easy access for the disabled and be comfortable, well-lit, and free of distractions, and child-friendly. Being warm in the winter is important and you need space for children if the group will include young parents.

In the following video one peer supporter talks about their experiences of finding a venue:

People in the group will usually have suggestions for where to meet.  In our diabetes project, groups met in garden centres, coffee shops, community centres and sometimes people’s homes. But if groups are to meet in people’s homes, the safety considerations are even more important – see the Boundaries page here.

For booking venues, we have provided a template you can use here: [link here]

Setting up the Room

Groups function best if everyone is sitting facing each other, so arrange the chairs in a circle or horseshoe shape. In the first layout diagram, the facilitator is positioned like a teacher who has power over the others, but the second set-up acknowledges everyone as an equal participant:

Chairs in a teacher arrangementChairs in an open arrangement


Providing refreshments will help people relax and engage socially. We suggest that you have these ready before the meeting, so the group can chat before beginning.