Group Development

Group Development

Once a Peer Support group is up and running, you might find it helpful to look at things such as fundraising, effective partnership work and social media (to mention a few). Below are a few helpful hints which some groups have found useful.

Effective Partnership Working

This is essential to Community Peer Support Groups but can be carried out on very different levels.  It can empowering, challenging, inspiring and sometimes frustrating – have a look at our ‘Partnership Working –  A Guide for Peer Supporters’ here: Partnership Working-A guide

Social Media

Think about what you would like to achieve from social media.

Closed groups – what can these be used for? Communicating with mums.

Pages – to help market the group, market the group to mums and families, an opportunity for a new mum to message the group direct, Questions about group times and locations.  Chance to put posts about what’s on at the group.

Relating to pages – Facebook technology (algorithms) are designed to only give visibility to posts that people want to see. The newsfeed only shows top stories, not every story.  This means that your posts will only appear in people’s newsfeeds if Facebook thinks that you will be interested in your post.

So how does Facebook decide what is a top story?

  • How old the story is
  • What type of post it is (images are more successful)
  • Individuals activity – if a person engages with your content they are more likely to see content. If they never engage they will never see your posts. You have 1 month after a person follows you before Facebook decides whether to keep you in the newsfeed for that person or not.
  • ‘Engaging’ means likes, shares and comments both ways.

Some groups have their own closed group for peer supporters to communicate; keeping group logistics separate is a good idea to keep a focus for mums.

What mums are posting –  Mums can look for support on Breastfeeding group pages and groups.  Think about the aims and the quality of support given at groups.  Keep it simple by mirroring this on social media.  Remember the boundaries and when to signpost.  Think about accepting the mothers feelings, being non judgemental, providing relevant information.  Feel free to signpost to the Breastfeeding helpline (0300 100 0212 9.30am – 9.30pm daily, or live web chat service, or encourage the mum to private message the page if you feel it is necessary.