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Our office will be closed from 23rd December to 1st January inclusive.






Who we are...

Self Help UK is a unique organisation which helps create, support and promote self help groups. We have more than 35 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.

The model of support practiced in Nottinghamshire is the benchmark for a thriving self help community. Here, we aim to innovate and look at new ways to create, support and promote groups to enhance our national offer. This enables us to:


We have created an environment where self help groups can thrive. Our extensive range of services help new groups start up and enable existing groups to develop and grow. These services include free publicity materials and meeting rooms for groups in their first year.


We operate a comprehensive and professional information service, with telephone, email, website and printed directory listing all the groups and support agencies in Nottinghamshire. Our quarterly newsletter keeps groups up-to-date with the latest self help news, and we run a range of training courses including: a social media surgery; dealing with the media; applying for funding; presentation skills; assertiveness training and more. We also hold regular group networking days.


We offer support to new and developing groups including a promotional package which incorporates posters, newsletter features, flyers, and other materials. We also promote the benefits of self help groups to health and social care professionals through bespoke training and regular communications.

Helping people to help themselves

People often find it useful to talk to others who face the same issues or share the same experiences that they do. Whether that’s dealing with a long-term medical condition or facing a life-changing experience like bereavement, self help groups are people who come together to offer and receive support.

They usually centre round a community of interest (for example diabetes or bereavement) and can cover a variety of issues including:

  • long-term medical conditions

  • recovery from substance misuse

  • difficult life situations

  • mental health issues

  • disabilities

People go to self help support groups for many different reasons. Some simply want information and will then move on, while others may want to make sense of what is happening to them by sharing their experiences with those who have been through something similar.

The most important thing, however, is that the support is there for people when they need it, whatever form it may take. And that is what self help groups provide.

Counting the benefits

There are a multitude of benefits from engaging with self help groups, and how you can benefit depends on your relationship with a group.

So whether you're a member, a practitioner working with a group or someone involved in commissioning a self help group’s services, make sure you check out the positives you can get from being involved.

Participants can see a number of benefits from being involved, including:

  • Meeting, sharing and talking with others who have a similar condition or shared experience

  • An end to isolation, leading to improved mood, health and well-being

  • Access to  relevant information and advice

  • The chance to explore new ideas and coping strategies

  • Feeling empowered and better able to manage their condition

  • Getting a boost to their self esteem and confidence so they feel less isolated and anxious

  • The opportunity to develop new skills.

Why not watch the video at the top of this page to hear people talk about the impact their self help group has had on their lives.


You can benefit by:

  • Helping communicate key health and well-being messages to group members and the wider communities

  • Supporting the health and well-being of patients and potential patients in a specific locality

  • Helping to clarify information about health care, political changes, new developments and support

  • Supporting their own professional development

    Providing access to people, often from hard-to-reach groups, who can get involved in service design and delivery.


You can get a number of benefits from engaging with self help groups and supporting their development. These include:

  • Supporting their self-care objectives

  • Gaining access to people, often from hard-to-reach groups, who can get involved in service design and delivery, so fulfilling patient involvement targets

  • Improving the health and well-being of people within a specific locality, and potentially reducing the burden on the NHS

Our publications

Self Help UK produces a range of publications tailored specifically for self help groups, the professionals working with them, or researchers. For more details about our available publications.

Contact us on: 0115 911 1662 (Monday-Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm) if you would like to order any of our publications.  Regrettably, we can’t currently accept debit/credit card payments or online payments.

If you would like to place an order from outside the UK, please contact us first so that we can adjust the postage and packing costs.

Discounts are available for multiple copies - please contact us for more details. We aim to despatch orders within 48 hours.

The ESTEEM (Effective Support for Self Help/ Mutual aid groups) study

The three-year ESTEEM (Effective Support for Self Help/Mutual aid groups) research began in May 2010. Funded by the Big Lottery, the project is a partnership between Self Help Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Nottingham.

The aim of the study, which was carried out by researchers at Nottingham University and Anglia Ruskin University, was to look at ways practitioners can best support local self help groups.

Find out more about ESTEEM here

Benefits of Being in a Self Help Group

Benefits of Being in a Self Help Group
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