Local Support Groups (LSGs) are run by FHT members, who would like to bring together therapists and student therapists in their area to network, hear from interesting speakers on a wide range of topics, and attend workshops. Below we have answered some of the typical questions people have asked before becoming a Coordinator.
Q Are there any prerequisites for becoming a Coordinator?
The only prerequisites are that you are a full member of the FHT and you are insured to practise. The posts are open to both men and women of any age and ability.
Q What is expected of me as a Coordinator?
If you decide to become a Coordinator, you are required to represent the FHT in a professional manner and to hold a minimum of 5 meetings each year in your area. You can offer more and you can add other events, such as summer trips, workshops and training courses if you wish. There will, of course, be some time spent in preparing your calendar of events twice a year and also preparing for the meeting on the day you hold it. You will also need to maintain attendance sheets and a balance sheet to track monies paid in and out.
Q What area will my group cover?
We recommend that you hold the meetings close to where you live. Working with HQ, you will define the postcode areas that surround where you are based, working inside the boundaries of neighbouring groups, and reaching out over a distance that is reasonable for members to travel. We normally look to ensure we have a minimum of 100 members living inside the area to ensure sufficient support of the group, although in more remote areas this figure is reduced to ensure we can offer support anywhere in the UK and Ireland.
Q Will I do it on my own?
We recommend that there are two Coordinators per group, though many do run with a single Coordinator. It’s much easier and more fun running the groups with a joint Coordinator, as you can share the work and enjoy being part of a team. Some groups start with a single Coordinator, and then once meetings are held, a joint Coordinator often presents themselves at the meetings. In other cases a couple of friends (both must be full FHT members) have come forward to start the group together.
Q What help do I get?
There’s a lot of help available from the moment you decide to become a Coordinator. We have a very comprehensive Coordinators’ handbook, which takes you step by step through a wide range of things. You also will receive master copies of all the printable information and documents, so you can copy them locally.
We are available to support you with a lot of the administrative tasks.
We also contact all the members in your area, to let them know you are holding your first meeting, along with frequent communications to keep them up to date and to supply a calendar of events, and reminders, a week or so prior to your meetings.
Q How is the group financed?
The groups are underwritten (if required) by FHT for the first couple of meetings, to a maximum of £100, in case they don’t raise enough money from the entrance fees to cover hall hire, speaker fees and refreshments. This is rarely the case, as so many therapists are excited to come along.
The groups charge an entrance fee, which is cheaper for members than non-members, and from this pay for the room hire, refreshments and speaker fees. The Coordinator should use group funds to pay for printing costs and any other charges incurred when running the group.
Q Is this a paid position?
The FHT does not pay its Coordinators; however, after they have been in the post for six months and their membership fee is due, the membership fee is waived as a thank you. Coordinators also don’t pay entrance fees for their meetings.
Q What do I do next?
To find out more about the position, please email email@example.com