Guidance on attending support groups

Covid-19 has had an impact on all of us and now more than ever the work of support groups to help with wellbeing is vital. If you are part of a formally organised support group you may fall into the list of exemptions which means you can continue to meet and get the help you need.

The law says when seeing friends and family you do not live with you should meet in groups of six or less and in England, this limit of six includes children of any age.

However the list of exemptions include support groups. The guidance says you can meet in support groups of up to 15 people – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, recovering addicts, new parents, people with long-term illnesses, those facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.

If you do attend a support group it is critical that everybody observes

· HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.

· FACE - Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

· SPACE - Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors).