Mostly you just have to remember to RSVP if you’re coming, and cancel if you can’t. Oh, and avoid wearing perfume and other scented stuff as it can trigger nausea, headaches, and other symptoms in some people.
The other rules (notably around counselling and hosting) were added when specific situations arose.
Colours are to help with skimming.
Who Can Join
- To join, you must have an illness or disability that has a “substantial and long-term negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities”. This is how the Equality Act defines a disability. Members can bring a non-disabled plus one.
- The group is aimed at people roughly between the ages of 20 and 40. However, members can bring a plus one of any age over 18; regulars can keep coming; and if you can’t attend other groups or have been ill from a young age, feel free to get in touch.
Coming to Meetings (aka How To Help Your Host Keep Their Sanity)
There are two ways to hear about meetings: on our Facebook group and on our Meet Up page. When announced on Facebook, a link to the Meet Up page will always be provided to show that the meeting is legitimate.
- If you plan to come to a meeting, you must RSVP on Meet Up. If people don’t RSVP then we won’t know if anyone is coming, and the meet up might be cancelled.
- You must cancel if you realise you can’t come, even if it is half an hour after the meet up was supposed to have started. Otherwise your poor, chronically ill host might be sitting alone in a cafe for an hour waiting for you to turn up.
- You must solemnly swear that you will never wear perfume or aftershave to the meet ups. Avoid smelly hand cream or scented hand sanitisers if you can. A lot of chronically ill people have conditions that react badly to perfume and perfumed products, causing headaches and nausea.
- Because we need a space where people can let their guard down and open up about personal things if they want to, Chill isn’t the place to bring kids. When we have picnics and other events where bringing children would be appropriate, it will be indicated on the announcement. Otherwise assume it is for adults only.
- Members can bring an older/healthy/non-disabled plus one.
Therapists and Counsellors (aka A Few Things I’m Really Not Comfortable With)
This group is not about therapies or healing techniques. It is about friendship and socialising.
- If you are an alternative therapist fishing for clients, please fish elsewhere.
- Counsellors or therapists may not to advertise or offer their services on the group without permission.
- No member is permitted to offer counselling or other therapeutic services to the group without explicit permission. No member is allowed to indicate that members can contact them for counselling or therapy without prior permission, or hint that providing such services is their role within the group. Currently we have no therapists or counsellors working for the group and no member is permitted to present themselves as such. It is entirely inappropriate to do so. All support given within the group is to be given as friend-to-friend only. This is a boundary to be respected. We will not tolerate anyone looking for loopholes.
Cartoon by David Shrigley
Code of Conduct (aka Make Friends Not Frienemies)
- Assume that any personal, emotional, or sensitive stuff shared in the group is confidential and act accordingly.
- Try to be polite and respectful.
- Don’t bring muggle illnesses to the group. You could do long-term damage to someone’s health. (Muggle illness: a non-chronic illness like a cold or a ‘flu.)
- Avoid imposing your beliefs about healing, recovery, religion, or spirituality on other members. Discussion is allowed but preaching is discouraged.
- Anyone who repeatedly causes upset, stress, or conflict within the group will be removed from it.
Who Can Organise Meet Ups (aka The Problem With Letting Anyone Host Meetings, Is That Anyone Can Host Meetings…)
Feel free to meet privately with friends or other individuals from the group. Making real friends who enjoy hanging out together is what the group was created for. You might also arrange to meet someone in your area whom you met on our Facebook group or in one of our group Skype sessions. However, there are a couple of restrictions:
- If you are not an official organiser of Chill, you are not allowed to attempt to arrange meet ups for Chill (i.e. the group at large) without permission.
- You are not allowed to present yourself as a leader, host, organiser, co-manager, or as having other official roles within the group if you have not actually been assigned that role. This means you cannot use table top signs, make plans for the running of the group, take credit for things you haven’t done that are involved in the running of the group, or present or approve plans for the group in such a way to give the impression that you are involved in the running of the group or in making things happen when you are not. For example, you cannot say that you can make meetings in certain locations happen.
- You are not allowed to interfere with the running of the group or try to take control of it.
- If you are a host, keep the organiser of the group informed of your plans for any meetings that you might like to do, and ask permission before you do them. This is both a matter of manners and a matter of making sure the group is run well.
If you are ever in doubt about a general meeting, ask to see the Meet Up page for that event. If it isn’t on MeetUp.com, then the meet up is not legitimate. Group meet ups will always be announced on Meet Up. Only approved organisers will have access to means to submit group meetings here, so it is a good way to confirm the details.