Therapeutic activity groups enable people to meet up, make friends and enjoy social contact in a safe environment.

Our experience has shown that these groups can operate on many levels and although each level may have a different prime focus, the common denominator is enjoyment of being with others. Groups can work well in community, leisure, workplace, school and care home settings as well as in medical settings such as GP surgeries. Specialty groups within medical environments such as hospitals can be aimed at targeting specific issues.

Groups will focus on the wider concept of reducing stress and social isolation so enabling us to include anyone who wishes to take responsibility for, and improve, their wellbeing.

Specialty groups will focus on specific issues wherever there is a need. For example, specialist school-based groups may focus on problematic, desruptive behaviour and conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia, whilst specialty workplace groups may focus on those who need more help managing stress.

We understand that joining a group can be difficult, but our work has shown that the common activity makes it easier to join and makes the group work. The rhythmic activity of knitting provides a self-soothing tool with which to manage any anxiety that may arise from attending a group for the first time. It's also much easier to talk to 'strangers' when you have something in common. Being an activity-based group creates a relaxed environment where there is no pressure to contribute. It's somewhere where you can 'just be' yourself and 'just be' silently content in the presence of others. This type of social contact is restorative and nurturing.

Not only is there something special in the individual activity of knitting which is beneficial, it is a rich form of social contact involving people from a range of different backgrounds and cultures.

Groups and Group Leaders will be able to link up via our Stitchlinks Forum on Facebook to share ideas, inspiration and chat online.

To set up a group, click here for our Core Pack and all the information you need.