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. 


New Group Registration Form (46 KB)
UK22 Guidelines for Al-Anon and Alateen Groups (194 KB)
UKG16 How to Start an Al-Anon Group (1.22 MB)
UKG10 Guidelines for Group Telephone Contacts (18 KB)
Safeguarding Policy (196 KB)

Al-Anon Helpline

  • Talk to a member in confidence
  • 7 days a week
  • Free phone

0800 0086 811

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