Start a group
If two or more members feel inspired to start a new Al-Anon group, they will receive all the information, support and encouragement they need.
There are several reasons why members may feel it appropriate to start a new group. For example:
- A large group may divide itself into two to provide more meeting opportunities for the friends and family members of alcoholics.
- Groups within an Area or District may see the need for a new group and decide to support its formation.
Registering with the GSO and Index of Groups
All new groups must be registered with the General Service Office (GSO) and entered into the Index of Groups so that helpline enquirers can be made aware of their existence and the group can be kept informed of what is happening within the wider Al-Anon community.
You can request registration forms from the GSO. The GSO will then send the group some basic literature and a catalogue of Conference Approved Literature (CAL).
Publicising your new group
To attract new members through your doors, it is important to plan how you intend to publicisie your group carefully. The information in PI Guidelines, UK 14 will help with this.
Some ideas for attracting new members include:
- Displaying posters widely (after obtaining permission)
- Placing free notices in newspaper 'helpline' columns. The venue should give permission for this first.
- Contacting local organisations and providing them with CAL catalogues and non-member order forms.
- Asking local AA groups to list the group.
Welcoming new members
To help your group become a success, new members should be warmly welcomed. Make sure you include them in conversations and explain to them how the meeting is structured. Provide them with approved literature and advise that they attend at least six meetings.