Could you be a local group coordinator?
HemiHelp is a national charity but we are also a small one, so our local groups rely on a network of dedicated parent members to keep them going. We are always happy to hear from parents interested in coordinating a local group in their area, so please get in touch if this is something you’d like to do. It's a highly flexible and rewarding volunteer role, which shouldn’t take up too much of your time - and it's a great way to meet other families.
HemiHelp’s most recent group is the West Midlands local group, which was set up in September 2008. Tanya Jones kindly volunteered to be the local group coordinator and has done a fantastic job arranging get togethers and outings. So far the group has met up for afternoon tea, visited RAF Cosford, attended a concert and seen a Pantomime. Below, Tanya tells us about the group’s first meeting:
“Our new HemiHelp group got off to a good start, with five families meeting for tea and cakes. With our hemi kids ranging from almost two to twenty years old, we had a broad range of experiences to draw on. The weather even stayed dry, so the younger children played in the garden, whilst we chatted, long and hard about ...... well....... everything! It was really interesting to share our experiences and to see how each family copes with their child's individual difficulties and we all agreed that getting the best for your child requires us all to fight the system. Our young-adult hemis were brilliant at answering questions and provided tips for everyday tasks that can be tricky one-handed. We discussed some ideas for future meetings and everyone thought it would be great to organise a day out.”
Coordinating a HemiHelp local group involves keeping in touch with group members, usually through email and the local group's online forum (which enables group members to chat and plan events confidentially) but also via telephone and post. You'll also need to organise a minimum of two events a year for group members – this could be a parents coffee morning at a local café, a family trip to a local attraction or a speaker meeting – its up to you! HemiHelp can help you get your group off the ground and publicise your activities. And of course, we are always here to provide support and information to local group coordinators.
Interested? Please get in touch with Sarah for more information on 0845 1203 713 or sarahBSW@hemihelp.org.uk