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Coronavirus and support groups

Rest assured, we are operating our support services according to Public Health England’s recommended guidelines. Until further notice, it’s business as normal for all our services.

However, if you fit within a high risk category as listed below, please stay at home and get advice by calling 111.

DO NOT attend our groups or befriending:

  • If you’ve recently been in contact or travelled to a high-risk area
  • If you have symptoms such as flu-like symptoms, fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing

As a registered charity, we are following guidelines given by Public Health England:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Do this often and for at least 20 seconds. It might help to count the seconds.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze – DO NOT use your hands
  • Dispose of all used tissues in a bin straight away – and wash your hands immediately
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Try to sit or stand at least 1 metre apart from others where possible.

If you use our Befriending service, we understand that you might be already feeling isolated. Your volunteer befriender or a member of our Befriending Coordinators could provide regular wellbeing checks via phone if this is preferable to meeting face-to-face. Please let us know if you’d us to arrange this.

Disclaimer for physical activity/exercise programmes

Seeing your GP before undertaking exercise:

In normal times, we strongly recommend that you consult with your GP before beginning any exercise programme. However, we are aware that these are not ‘normal’ times and we recognise that seeing your GP at the moment may be difficult. Therefore, we urge you to carefully consider whether this particular programme of exercise is right for you. (Please note you may be able to chat with your GP on-line or via phone and it’s worth contacting your GP surgery to see if this service is available to you).

Staying Safe and Avoiding Injury:

When taking part in sport, physical activity and exercise, please only do what feels safe and comfortable for you personally. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise programme, there is always the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in any exercise or exercise programme which has been signposted to you by Dorset Mind, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, and that Dorset Mind cannot take any responsibility for any injury to yourself, arising from taking part in the exercise programme.

Please note that Dorset Mind are not able to give advice about any medical conditions, injuries or treatment regimes, and these should be discussed with your GP when you are able to do so.

Group etiquette

Confidentiality – what is shared in the group stays in the group (with the exceptions listed in the Dorset Mind Confidentiality policy).  Never identify someone as a member of the group in another setting.  Also, judge if it is ok to speak to someone in another setting by the way they respond to your greeting.  We all need to respect each other’s need for privacy and boundaries.

Listening – please remember to allow someone to finish speaking before you begin.

Focus – please keep to the subject in hand when a particular topic has been agreed to be discussed. Check with the group about changing the subject.

Participation – everyone will be enabled to participate fully in a way which suits them and respects others.  Members can withdraw from any activity they are uncomfortable with.

Respect – please respect others’ difference and their views (even when they are different to your own).  This may involve exercising tolerance and listening without judgment.

Consensus – we make decisions jointly in the group – and agree to disagree at times!

Shared Responsibility – it is our group to develop positively as we wish and we are all involved.

Safe Space – the intention is to always provide a safe haven where we can develop trust in each other: be supportive and supported.  If the group facilitator believes that a member’s conduct is not contributing to a safe environment, then (s)he may decide to discuss the person’s behaviour with them individually.

Group Facilitator – our group facilitator will regularly consult with the group about the development of the group.  Our group facilitator will ensure that everyone is included and no-one monopolises the group.

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