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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

Please read the disclaimer below and if you do not agree with any of the content, please do not take part in any physical activity/exercise sessions/content that is shared/provided by Dorset Mind.

If you have any concerns or think you may be at risk of injury as a result of taking part in this exercise programme, please consider voicing your concerns by email to physicalactivity@dorsetmind.uk and we will direct you to the best place to find the information you need. A discussion with the trainer ahead of the session may be possible.

Seeing your GP before undertaking exercise:

We strongly recommend that you consult with your GP before beginning any exercise programme. However, we recognise that seeing your GP at the moment may be difficult. Therefore, we urge you to carefully consider whether this exercise session is right for you. (Please note you may be able to chat with your GP online or via phone and it is 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 physical activity programme, session, class or other content that has been signposted, provided to or shared 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 and the trainers/instructors/coaches involved are not liable for any injuries or damage arising from taking part.

Please note that Dorset Mind and trainers/instructors/coaches working in partnership with 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. The trainers may be able to help you to reach a decision about whether to undertake this programme or to suggest an alternative programme that might be better suited to your requirements, by explaining the fitness regime in more detail together with the pros and cons.

If taking part in events that are connected to, but not organised by Dorset Mind, please remain aware of the guidance above regarding seeing your GP before undertaking exercise and staying safe and avoiding injury.

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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