The Coeliac UK Local Voluntary Support Groups offer the chance to meet and learn from others, share experiences, have fun and eat lots of delicious gluten-free food. Whether you have coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis or are supporting somebody with the condition our Local Group are here to help you. It's great to know that you are not alone!
Role of the Local Groups
There are over 80 Local Groups across the UK, all run by volunteers. As you can imagine, each Local Group is unique in regards to the type of activities and events it runs. However, all Local Groups share the same aims, values and main tasks:
- to support and assist people (and their families) whether diagnosed, or actively seeking diagnosis of coeliac disease and DH in the local area
- to further the aims of Coeliac UK in the local community.
What Local Groups do
Local Groups do this in many ways from:
- organising cookery demonstrations or talks from gluten-free manufacturers
- hosting meals out, cofee mornings, quiz nights and other social events
- holding meetings with medical experts
- linking up with other charities
- raising awareness
- hosting food fairs.
But the first role a Local Group plays is supporting newly diagnosed people in the local area.
Find out what’s going on in your area
Members of the Charity are, where appropriate, automatically allocated a Local Group on joining and this will be highlighted in their Scrapbook. That said, while the postcode boundaries for each Local Group are clearly defined, Membership is more flexible. Anybody can join any Local Group or even join more than one Local Group. So see what is available near you and search their pages for more information on what’s happening in your area.
For more information on your Local Group visit our group pages.
Set up your own Local Group
No Group in your local area?
Running a Group does involve a fair amount of work, but it is rewarding and fun! Group members have commented that it offers:
- fantastic opportunities
- few experiences
- the chance to develop new skills
- a great network of support
- the chance to make a positive difference.
If there is no Local Group in your area then please contact the Volunteer Team at Coeliac UK.
The Volunteer Team at Coeliac UK’s High Wycombe office is here to help support the Local Groups and their work. To contact us please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01494 796118.
The Local Groups cannot give medical advice and should not be treated or regarded as offering a substitute for the medical advice of GPs, nurses or any other health professionals. For anybody concerned about health related matters they should consult their own nurse/doctor for professional medical advice.
However if you require dietary advice then you can call our Helpline which is manned by our dedicated team of dietitians, food and drink advisers and Membership Helpline advisers who have extensive knowledge of coeliac disease and the gluten-free diet. They provide information and support for every step of your journey; whether you're newly diagnosed or if you have been following the diet for some time. Please call the Helpline on 0333 332 2033.