Local support groups

If you need to talk about your cancer experience, there are more than 900 local support groups in the UK.

What are local support groups?

Local support groups are based in communities all over the UK. If you are living with cancer, they offer a safe and supportive environment for you to talk about what matters to you.

Each group is unique, but they all include people who have been affected by cancer. There are more than 900 groups across the country. You can find your nearest one by using the in your area search

Some groups meet regularly in an informal setting, like a member’s living room. Other groups are larger and meet in public venues like libraries or community centres.

Who are local support groups for?

Local groups are for anyone affected by cancer. You can share as little or as much as you like. You do not have to talk about anything you do not want do. Some people find it takes a few visits before they feel comfortable sharing.

Meetings sometimes include activities, a social event or a talk from a guest speaker. Most groups are free. Some may charge for tea and biscuits or welcome donations for the complementary therapies or counselling they offer.

What do the local support groups offer?

Some groups help members to access support services including:

  • complementary therapies
  • counselling
  • self-help activities
  • bereavement support.

Some groups 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.

Most groups cover all types of cancer. Other groups are for people with a specific type of cancer, such as a breast care group or a laryngectomy club.

Why join?

Many people living with cancer find that joining a group where they can meet people who have similar experiences to their own can make them feel less isolated. 

Talking about your experiences and sharing stories with people who have also been affected by cancer can help people to feel more connected and less alone.

Finding a local support group