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Self Help UK
Self Help UK, previously Self Help Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, is a unique organisation which helps create, support and promote self help groups.
We have more than 30 years of experience in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire with an enviable reputation for helping people to start and grow self help groups to improve their health and wellbeing. We also bridge the gap between these groups and health and social care professionals.
Building on the successful model we have developed during our 30 years in Nottinghamshire, we were asked by the Department of Health to use our knowledge and expertise to support other areas of the UK. While Nottingham and Nottinghamshire remains a beacon of best practice, Self Help UK now fulfils contracts in different locations in the UK.
Over the last few years, we have successfully supported Shropshire, Telford, Worcestershire and Stoke-On-Trent to systemise their approach to their local self help group sector. We are currently working with partner agencies in Leicestershire and London to help them achieve the same goal.
Our experts work with Clinical Commissioning Groups and the public and voluntary sector in each area to:
Create robust, high quality and sustainable information about self help groups.
Support people to access the help they need to support the creation of new groups and aid the development of established groups.
Promote the value of engaging with self help groups to the public and health and social care professionals.
As part of the Self Help UK package we also provide a number of publications - including a group starter pack to support group development and a media pack to help promote groups in each locality.
More about the support we can offer you in your area.
The Nottinghamshire model
In Nottinghamshire, we’re constantly innovating and looking at new ways to support and promote groups, and what we learn informs our national self help package. This enables us to:
We have created an environment where self help groups can thrive. We offer a comprehensive range of services to help new groups start up and enable existing groups to develop and grow, including free publicity materials and meeting rooms for groups in their first year of development.
We operate a telephone helpline for members of the public, practitioners and group members, while our website and printed directory lists all the self help groups and support agencies in Nottinghamshire . We produce a quarterly newsletter to keep groups up-to-date with the latest local and national self help news, and run a range of training courses including: a social media surgery; dealing with the media; presentation skills; applying for funding; assertiveness training and more. We also hold regular group networking days.
We offer support to start ups and developing groups including a promotional package which incorporates posters, newsletter features, flyers, and other materials. We also work on behalf of groups to promote the benefits of self help groups to health and social care professionals through communications and bespoke training.
How we work with groups
At Self Help Nottingham and
Nottinghamshire, we support self help groups to start up, develop and grow. We also provide a range of services including:
We run a range of training courses including: a social media surgery; dealing with the media; presentation skills; applying for funding; assertiveness training and more. We also hold regular group networking days.
We have a helpline which is available for members of the public, practitioners and group members. We also have a comprehensive website and print a directory of self help groups and support agencies.
We produce a quarterly newsletter to keep groups up-to-date with our latest news and that from other self help groups, about health, funding and training.
We offer support to start ups and developing groups including a promotional package - posters, newsletter feature, flyers etc. We can also offer the use of our meeting room free of charge for groups for the first year of development.
How we work with practitioners
We can provide a range of services and support for professionals wanting to work with self help groups including:
Signposting, information, advice and guidance
Our printed and online directory lists all the self help groups in the City and County. We can also provide an Intranet service compatible with most health provider’s Intranet to provide instant and easy access.
Practioner guide to supporting groups
An invaluable guide for practitioners about self help groups and how best to establish a working relationship with them.
Effective practitioner guidance from a recent research project funded by the lottery and carried out by researchers from Nottingham University and Anglia Ruskin, will be available from the ESTEEM page.
Find out more about our work with practitioners here.
Thirty years of self help support
The Self Help Groups Project was established in 1982 by Judy Wilson, who identified a need for self help group support. The first directory of self help groups was also published in this year, with a print run of 700 - produced on a duplicator and sold for 20p!
1984 - the Nottingham Self Help Groups Project expanded and moved to new premises, changing its name to The Self Help Team. The 4th edition of the Directory is produced with 95 groups listed and 1500 copies circulated.
1986 - In February, Judy Wilson’s book Self Help Groups – getting started, keeping going is published by Longman. From April, the funding for Self Help Team taken over by the Community Unit of Nottingham Health Authority. (June) 6th Edition of the Directory with 150 groups in the Nottingham area.
1991 - The General Dispensary establishes a dedicated fund for self help groups – 17 groups receive grants.
1992 - The Joseph Rowntree Foundation funds a two year research project on good practice between self help groups and professionals.
1994 - The team works as a facilitator between Health Commission and groups concerned with fertility (particularly termination of pregnancy) to influence changes in services.
The National ‘Action for Self Help’ Conference at the Moat House Hotel, Nottingham. The Nottingham Evening Post, 18 January says: "When it comes to self help, Nottingham is setting an example for the rest of the country, according to a report by an influential think-tank.”
1997 - Website set up with support from EMNET (East Midlands Network). (March) Launch of Self Help Nottingham as an independent organization (Popeye picture). (April)
2005 - First Intranet Directory of Self Help Groups for Nottingham City Primary Care Trust (PCT)
2008 - Toolkit Project starts - funded by Department of Health
2009 - Self Help Nottingham was represented at the Self Help Experts European meeting in Berlin.
2010 - Voice for Experience book published – including a chapter on Self Help Groups by Caroline Bell and Joan Cook. ESTEEM Project started between Anglia Ruskin University, University of Nottingham and Self Help Nottingham. This year sees 200 groups listed in the Self Help Groups Directory.
2011 - The Recovery Network started through funding from DAAT, covering Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
Self Help Nottingham won the Nottingham Social Enterprise of the year award.
2012 - Consortium between HLG, AWAAZ, Self Help Nottingham and IVE was formed – HELP Nottingham – to transition the Nottingham City LINk to a model for HealthWatch tailored to the needs and diversity of the area.
2013 - New national division - Self Help Connect UK - launched. New website developed reflecting the organisation's commitment to rolling out services nationally
2015 - Self Help UK became the organisation's new name, reflecting the national work and ambition that we have.
Partnerships to support people
Over the last 30 years we've built strong relationships with local public and private sector organisations and often work in partnership with our colleaugues in the voluntary and community sector.
Some of our partners include: NHS, Macmillan, University of Nottingham, Anglia Ruskin University, Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Leicestershire County Council, Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group, Institute of Mental Health.
We are involved in an infrastructure project, with other partners in the Voluntary and Community Sector in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County.
We are also involved with the Self help European experts forum, which meets every two years.