What are Local Support Groups?
FHT Local Support Groups (LSGs) are a valuable hub for our members, students and even the public, where all those with a passion for therapies can meet and hear from speakers on various topics within the fields of complementary, beauty and sports therapy.
The LSGs are there to act as a focal meeting point for local practitioners from the FHT as well as other associations' members and students. The aims of the LSG network are:
- To support our local members
- To help promote our local members and the work they do
- To provide an opportunity for networking and meeting other practitioners
- To provide a local opportunity for gaining CPD points
- To offer local training opportunities for courses such as First Aid
- To raise the profile of the FHT and develop links with other professional bodies such as doctors, the NHS etc.
- To have FUN!
Why should you become a coordinator?
It's a deeply rewarding experience, a chance to learn something new at every meeting, and meet new friends and contacts. Here's what some of our current coordinators have to say about running a group:
"Being a Coordinator for the Hertfordshire Local Support Group means I am liaising with and meeting so many interesting people who are also passionate about holistic therapies and natural wellness. It is rewarding helping to source speakers for our meetings and I am looking forward to seeing many attendees at our planned evenings throughout the year."
- Rowenna Clifford, Joint Coordinator, Hertfordshire LSG
"I am a local Support Group Co-ordinator as I believe the Support Group Network provides invaluable support for therapists who often work in isolation. The Group meetings and contact gives all therapists local to me the opportunity to network, share concerns and successes, and attend interesting talks. My support group is a friendly and caring bunch of Therapists and I really enjoy sharing with the lovely therapists who attend my Group."
- Carole Roberts, Joint Coordinator, Wrexham LSG
"Running a FHT Local Support Group keeps me in touch with other local therapists as well as being able to help those looking for a bit of encouragement, especially but not just solely those just starting. It’s amazing the amount of varying information around that can all go into helping us grow as therapists and it’s great when people take different things on board."
- Liz Cox, Joint Coordinator, Hampshire Waterlooville LSG
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 firstname.lastname@example.org