Neuroendocrine Cancer ‘Natter’ Support Groups
Our ‘Natter’ Support Groups are community based local, regional and/or national online meetings that offer an opportunity to meet others also affected by Neuroendocrine Cancer; you, your family, friends and supporters, to share experiences, make friends and create a supportive network.
In this section you can learn more about:
- Our face-to-face meetings
- Our online meetings
- View our support group calendar
- Becoming a Natter co-ordinator.
“Because there’s nothing more comforting than someone who actually gets it. Really gets it”.
What can I expect?
We know that joining a support group for the first time can be a bit nerve-wrecking. You may not know what to expect or be worried about being asked to share personal issues with people you don’t know.
Every Natter is different – they can be uplifting, funny or sometimes a bit challenging – some of the topics discussed may feel difficult to be part of, at times. However, every effort is made to ensure that all subjects are dealt with sensitively and appropriately – we aim for the groups to be safe spaces where anything and everything can be discussed considerately and amongst others who understand.
You may find it helpful at the start to simply listen – if you feel comfortable enough to share your own ideas and experiences please do.
You will not be asked to talk about anything you do not want to.
“This group is so friendly and so genuinely caring that people are prepared to talk openly about things they may not have said to anyone else, and I just think that’s a wonderful atmosphere that’s produced here in the group.”
Face to Face Meetings
Our groups are facilitated by a fellow patient or family member, Neuroendocrine Cancer UK staff or ambassador, Clinical Nurse Specialist and / or cancer support centre staff member (the latter dependent on venue).
In accordance with our guidance, each group agrees its own format and frequency and is run as informally or formally as group members agree.
- All face to face groups offer refreshments
- All groups are free to attend
- All group members have free access to NCUK resources and support services.
Please note: confidentiality and respect for each other’s privacy is an absolute requirement of attendance and continued participation.
Since 2020, our Local Natters have been hosted on an online video calling platform called Zoom.
For many, online meetings and catch-ups, have become the norm. Although the benefits of meeting in ‘real’ space cannot be overstated, there are still great benefits to be gained from meeting ‘virtually’.
From feedback, participants have told us how easy they have found joining, switching and /or changing Natter Groups online – being able to attend the ones that resonate more with their own unique experience.
Online groups have meant less travel, less worry about parking or transport, less concern about toilet facilities or other issues, alongside the real benefits of socialising from the comfort of your own home and/or still being able to take part if feeling less well or needing to self-isolate!
If you would like to take join one of our online Natters and would like support about how to join, then please continue download out ‘Online Natter Support Groups Guide’ – or contact Kate for further details.
One of the most striking things has been the laughter. Yes we’ve cried, talked about all manner of things, but yes laughter has been a big part. Some of my friends don’t get that… that we laugh at these groups.
The education side, the ongoing updating of good information. That’s really important it gives you a better understanding. My team is brilliant, but the clinic is so busy, you’re very aware of time. At the group you can ask questions, talk things through a bit more at your own pace.
It gives you the control back. That’s one thing you lose when you’re diagnosed. You try and get back the self confidence you lose, you think ‘I’m sick’ then you get into a group like this and you start to gain a bit of self-management back.
Become a Natter Group Co-ordinator
Support group co-ordinators create a caring, safe and supportive atmosphere that encourages group members to share their experiences. A support group co-ordinator will do more listening than talking and will be resilient and comfortable listening to the experiences and feelings of others.
We are always looking for Neuroendocrine Cancer Natter Co-ordinators to help run our support groups.
Some of the qualities that make a good support group co-ordinator are:
- Good listening and communication skills
- High level of empathy
- Non-judgemental approach
- Confident and able to hold your own in group situations
- Respectful of others’ beliefs and opinions
- Consistent and dependable
- Resilient around your own experiences
- Able to maintain confidentiality at all times.
If this sounds like you, please get in touch.
If you have joined a group and it doesn’t feel like a good fit for you, consider joining a different group or join us through one of our online groups.
If you don’t think a Natter is for you, but would like support in coping with your condition or situation, you can talk to your specialist team or contact us – through our Nurse Helpline and/or our dedicated Counselling Team. Our Resources and Events are also free to access.
We are here to help, in whatever way we can – to keep you and our shared community connected and supported.