Diealog Groups: Starting A new Group

Diealog Groups: Starting A new Group

LISTEN SUPPORT and ENCOURAGE, being confident in and trusting the wisdom, empathy and intelligence of everybody both individually and collectively in the group – this is the essence of Diealog Groups, and why they work so well:

“Normalising” open and honest talk about all our thoughts and feelings,

Enabling us to talk about all the relevant topics, concerns and issues,

Assisting emergence of coping strategies for challenging situations,

Providing factual information to help each other with decision making,

Giving advice and signpost in a helpful and supportive way when asked for.

Most Diealog Groups start spontaneously as a result of a group of people (minimum x3) deciding they want to meet regularly to talk and for supporting each other. A Host (one or two people) organises the first meeting.
IMPORTANT: Diealog Groups do not work for people who, for whatever reason, aren’t able to discuss death and dying comfortably and openly. There are many projects better set up for this.


Our Code of Practice structure is there to keep Diealog Group activities safe. We ask you (the Host) to join the Diealog Free Affiliate Scheme before you start in order to prevent the use of any Diealog Group activity by those with an interest in leading people to conclusions, products or a specific course of action.

You are responsible for health and safety aspects of a Diealog Group. Posting your Diealog activities on our website involves accepting that all responsibility and liability regarding your activities rests with you. This is only precautionary however – Diealog activities tend to be very safe and positive events, if the Diealog Code of Practice guide and Ground-rules are adhered to.

The basic requirements:
• A venue booked for a regular time and date (usually 2 hours, monthly meeting), or meeting in somebody’s home.
• People who want to meet regularly to talk about death and dying (“There’s so much to talk about!”).

Here’s a rough checklist of what you (the Host) need to organise so that your Diealog Group is well supported:
• Decide on your venue and set the date and time for each monthly meeting (If you know each other well you may decide to meet in somebody’s kitchen or living room each time).
• Decide what you want regarding refreshments, and who is in charge of this and agree how any costs are going to be covered.
• Decide who to invite (x8 or x9 is generally the maximum recommended size):
– You may start small and agree to grow with newcomers over time.
– Or you may prefer to be a ‘closed’ group from the outset and not grow.
• Sign up to our Free Affiliate Scheme and Post the story of the start of your new Diealog Group on our website.
• Enjoy your regular Diealog Group (and at the end of each one always remember to set time and date for the next meeting)!
• Post updated news about the Diealog Group on our website from time to time. Let others know – obviously not breaching your group CONFIDENTIALITY Ground-rules – friends and family, neighbours and others in your networks may want to start a 2nd group!

You also need to decide if peer mentor is required to help your new Diealog Groupet going. If you are confident as Host that you can “normalise” open and honest talk, and that your new Diealog Group will be able to co-facilitate itself then you can start straight away.

Groups often take a few sessions for everybody to learn and live by the Ground-rules. Having a Peer Group Mentor at the start can facilitate the group to learn quickly so it works well. See below for questions to ask yourself as a Host. If you are reasonably confident with your answers, then your new Diealog Group probably does not need help starting.

However, you may feel you don’t have all the necessary skills in Peer Group Mentoring. See below for links to (low cost) OCN Level 2 courses in Peer Mentoring training.
You can also CONTACT us! The Diealog Community team is small, but we will do everything we can to help (plus read all the posts in the Diealog Groups category of this Blog).



What Peer Mentoring Is.
1. The purpose of peer mentoring:
What are the aims of a peer mentoring?
What are the potential benefits for participants in a peer mentoring group?
3. Codes of conduct for peer mentoring:
What is meant by boundaries and safety in peer mentoring?
How is confidentiality maintained in peer mentoring relationships?
What are our responsibilities in safeguarding as a peer mentor?

Peer Mentoring Skills.
1. Ability to establish a peer mentoring relationships:
How to establish a relationship of trust as a peer mentor?
How to agree the aims of peer group both individually and collectively as a group?
2. Ability to use communication skills in peer mentoring:
How to use open questions to assist individuals in talking about relevant topics, concerns and issues?
How to use appropriate responses to acknowledge an individual’s own understanding of what has been talked about?
How to deliver constructive feedback to an individual if asked for?
3. Understand how to enable individuals in a peer support group to self-review and reflect:
How to enable an individual to review their current position against their original situation and aims?
How to enable the group collectively to review shifting perspective and how it has changed?
How to enable discussion of ending the group if this is what participants want?
4. Understand how to develop our own peer mentoring skills:
How a peer mentor’s own values and beliefs can effect communications and understanding?
How to identify need for and find support as a peer mentor if necessary?
How to identify need for and find supervision feedback as a peer mentor, to reflect on peer mentoring skills and identify areas for development?

OCN London:


Award in peer mentoring:

OCN Northern Ireland:

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