What to expect from a group

Each cancer support group is different, but you can expect a warm welcome from someone who has been in the group for some time, be introduced to other members, and have the opportunity to talk about yourself and your experience of cancer.

You're not expected to talk about anything you don't want to, and it can take a few visits before feeling comfortable enough to talk about personal matters.

Some groups are made up of a few people who meet regularly in someone's front room; others are much larger and might have premises or a drop-in centre. 

Most groups provide training for the members or volunteers in listening skills so they can give you their undivided, non-judgmental, caring attention.

Meetings could include an activity, social event or a talk from a guest speaker. 

You may be able to access support services through the group, including complementary therapies, counselling or bereavement support.

Most groups are free, but some may charge for tea and biscuits or welcome donations for the complementary therapies or counselling they offer.

How do I find a support group?

You can use our local area search to see all the groups near you.

You can also speak to a cancer support specialist or to your GP or Macmillan nurse to find out about local support groups.

Every group is very different, so if there is more than one group in your area it may be helpful to contact a selection of them to see which one suits you best.

Who are support groups for?

Most groups cover all types of cancer, and can also help carers, family and friends of people with cancer come to terms with what is happening, how best to help and how to take care of themselves. Other groups are for people with a specific type of cancer, such as a breast care group or a laryngectomy club. 

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How to start your own group

Self help and support groups bring people together to offer mutual support. If you're thinking of starting your own support group, Macmillan can help with advice, training and start-up grants.

How we support your group

Macmillan supports groups with training, grants and resources, to help them develop.

Find groups near you

Macmillan supports more than 900 independent cancer support groups and organisations across the UK. If you need to talk about your cancer experience, you can find one near you.