Should I go to an Ataxia UK branch or support group?

After months of deliberating, I have decided that I will join a support group, to meet other people dealing with ataxia. So I looked on the Ataxia UK website for groups near me. There's a branch and a support group, and both are relatively close. I don't know which to choose, because I don't really know the difference. I know Ataxia UK is more involved in branches, but Ataxia UK's involvement is not what I'd be joining for (no offence!). Any help?

10 Replies

  • Why not go along to both for a trial meeting and pick which ever you prefer then? What have you got to lose?

    You are lucky to live somewhere that you have a choice. I have just made contact with someone who lives quite close by (about 30 miles away) who I am hoping to meet up with soon and my other contact is 30 miles in the other direction!

    Best of luck whatever you decide to do.

  • Hi wildone

    Branches of Ataxia UK have legal obligations. They have their own bank account and being a more formal entity attached to a National Charity can make it easier to fundraise as a group, access local support as a group etc . They have more formal business to conduct. The time spent on this varies between Branches.

    However there is no difference at all in the aim and importance of peer support between Branches and Support Groups, and meeting other people. I would absolutely agree with Tiggywinkles-if you can, try both and see which environment and which group of people you feel most comfortable with.

    Best Wishes


  • Hi Wildone. I run a support group and just being able to talk to other people with similar if not the same things is great I feel great when we meet x x

  • hi I have ataxia and would like to hear about others who have the same illness rita

  • Hi Rita

    Have you thought about going to a Branch or Support group?


  • Hi wildone i have no groupes near me [that I know of] but summond up the courage to go to a local ms groupe and I am glad I did I had a fear of seeing people who were worse than me "ghosts of on unknown future" as I think of it but do you know they had both heard of sca were verry welcoming and even had someone with the same condition atending anouther branch.

    so my advice is the same as tiggywinkles suck it and see both that is

  • Hi wildone.....I have been going to my support group for a few years now.

    It feels so good being around others with Ataxia......we mainly chat about anything....more of a social group really.

  • This month we have our very first get-to-gether at Newcaste/Gateshead.

    I see it as a social occasion but also where we can give each other

    unconditional support. It's only when you live with this condition 24/7

    that you can fully relate, and we all need someone who totally understands. xB

  • Thanks for all the responses. I delayed so long because I'm a bit of a wimp I suppose - it's completely out of my comfort zone. I would like to meet people that go through the same things I do, and I guess I was looking for what to expect. I think you're right: I'm going to contact both groups. Thanks again!

  • Whichever you decide, it's great to connect with others that have different degrees and types of ataxia. I live in the States, and although there's no support group close by for me to attend, I'm on Ataxia UK and the Living With Ataxia sites. I also communicate with others here in the States and overseas. I feel less alone with my ataxia, as all is wonderful for support and understanding! ;o)

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