Health (specific condition) related Support Groups

There are national and local health related charities and service providers who support locally based patient and/or carer support groups. Some are run directly by local people affected by some long-term conditions and some are run from a head office/call-centre who sign post callers to a locally based representative. Below are details of services offered in the Dorset area.

Cancer Support

About Face, The About Face Centre, 111 Longfleet Road, Poole, BH15 2HP, Tel: 01202 677340, Email:

A local independent registered charity set up to give help and support to patients experiencing head and neck cancer, and their families and carers. Group support and one to one support is available from volunteers who have already experienced cancer. Support is offered to people throughout Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and East Devon.


After Glow – post - radiotherapy support, Greenhouse Hotel, 4 Grove Road, Bournemouth, BH1 3AU.

A support group for patients, family and friends following radiotherapy treatment. Group members come from across Dorset, and the group provides friendship and support, information and advice, and a chance to socialize. The group meets every 2nd Monday of the month between 2pm – 4pm. For further information contact Mandy on 01202 448790.


Dorset Myeloma Support Group

An established support group for people affected by Myeloma and their carers. The groups meet at The Barrington Centre, opposite Tesco in Ferndown, on the last Friday of the month at 2pm. Parking is available in Tesco’s carpark. For further information contact Jacqui Holmes on 01202 603605, or email: . Information is about Myeloma is also available at or by calling 0800 980 3332.


Lewis Manning Hospice Carers Group, Lewis Manning Hospice, 1 Crichel Mount Road, Poole, BH14 8LT, Tel: 01202 708470, Email within website:

The Lewis Manning Carers Group offers support to you and the person you care for at any stage of your cancer journey. The group is an opportunity for carers to meet regularly and share experiences with others who understand, a chance to share information and develop social networks.


SemiColons Bowel Cancer Support Group – a group set up to offer support, information and friendship to all patients, carers and friends who have experience of Bowel Cancer throughout the Dorset Cancer Network. The group is run by people who have been through the experience of bowel cancer themselves and are fully supported by the lead Specialist Nurses from the Royal Bournemouth, Poole and Dorchester Hospitals. For further details contact the Colorectal Nurse Specialists, Dorset County Hospital, Williams Avenue, Dorchester, DT1 1TS, Tel: 01305 253144, email: or  or contact Dick Foad on 01305 261165 or 07792637935, email: .


Weldmar Hospice Care – Family Care – qualified social workers and counsellors offer practical support, information and advice, bereavement and emotional support to families, carers and patients affected by cancer and other life limiting conditions. Specialists in how children process grief and how they talk to adults about their feelings. For further information go online at: .


Dementia Support

If you are caring for someone who has dementia or who you think may be developing a dementia related condition you should first speak to your/their GP or social worker/care manager about your concerns. They can then refer your cared for person to the Community Mental Health Team – Older People (CMHT-OP) who can assess the situation and then put in place further support and services to support the person you care for, helping you in your caring role. Contact: CMHT-OP –

Bridport – Bridport Community Hospital, Tel: 01308 421236.

Dorchester – Dorchester Community Offices, Tel: 01305 250861.

Purbeck – Wimborne Hospital, 15 Oakley Lane, Canford Magna, Wimborne, Tel: 01202 639560.

Shaftsbury – Westminster Hospital, Tel: 01747 851625.

Sherborne – Yeatman Hospital, Tel: 01935 815598.

Weymouth – Weymouth Community Hospital, Tel: 01305 762505.


Alzheimer’s Society – Dorset

Alzheimer’s Society run a variety of services throughout Dorset for people affected by dementia, their families and carers. Groups range from walking groups, memory cafés, groups for younger people affected by dementia, singing for the brain groups, to name but a few. Most groups are run by a facilitator and take place at local cafés, restaurants, or pre-arranged places to meet up. The groups are an ideal place to meet up with people who understand what it is like to be living with dementia, an opportunity to get information and advice, and a chance to socialize. The venues may change from time to time so to be sure of finding a group in your area contact Alzheimer’s Society – Dorset on 01202 764352, email: or go online: .

Further information about coping with dementia is available nationally from the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122.

Memory Support and Advisory Service

A Dorset-wide Memory Support and Advisory Service designed to meet the needs of people affected by dementia, their families and carers. People can self-refer or be referred by their GP. The service is run by the Alzheimer’s Society across Bournemouth, Poole, and Dorset. Services include:

  • One-to-one support
  • Memory Cafés
  • Training for carers
  • Pop-up groups for people living with dementia and carers
  • Supporting the creation of dementia friendly communities

For further information contact 0300 123 1916 or email .


Diabetes Support

If you think you may be suffering from Diabetes you should visit your GP who will be able to make a diagnosis or refer you for the necessary tests. Many GP surgeries run clinics for diabetics to enable patients to monitor and receive information about their condition. Your GP may also refer you to the Diabetes Clinic at a local hospital where Diabetes Nurse Specialists are available to offer information, advice and training to people with diabetes and their carers. Below are details of the local contacts:

For Swanage, Wareham and East Dorset (dependent on your choice of hospital)

Diabetes Nurse Specialist, Diabetes Centre – Philip Arnold Unit, Poole Hospital, Longfleet Road, Poole, BH15 2JB, Tel: 01202 448060 – Reception, Tel: 01202 448063 - Nurse Specialist, .

For North and West Dorset – Diabetes Centre, Dorset County Hospital, 50 Bridport Road, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 2NQ, Reception/Appointments Tel: 01305 255130, Nurse Specialists Tel: 01305 255342, Diabetes Dietitian Tel: 01305 255211.


Diabetes UK

Specialist advice and information about living with diabetes. Details about local support groups and regional offices, option to join national on-line forum, up to date research and information about living with diabetes. For further details contact:

Diabetes UK Helpline on 0345 123 2399, Email:


Diabetes UK (South West), Victoria House, Taunton, TA1 3FA, Tel: 01823 448260

Email: .

Information and advice about diabetes, access to local support groups.


Parkinson’s UK – Weymouth & Dorchester Branch

The Weymouth & Dorchester branch of Parkinson’s UK offer information, support, and friendship to local people with Parkinson’s, their families and carers. Regular social activities and events are also available, offering the opportunity to meet other people affected by Parkinson’s in your area. Groups available include:

Bridport – meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month between 2.15pm – 4.15pm at St Swithun’s Church Hall, 55 North Allington, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 5DU.

Dorchester – meets on the fourth Friday of the month at 2.30pm, Magna Community Room, Lubbecke Way, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1QL.

Weymouth – meets on the second Monday of the month between 2.30pm – 4.15pm at Bincombe Court, Hamilton Close, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 6RG.

Other useful Parkinson’s contacts:

Parkinson’s Nurse advice specialist: Carole Walker on 07827 254382, email:

Local practical help and advice contact Lorraine Bilton on 0344 225 9828, email: 0344 225 9828.

Volunteering enquiries: Jane Henderson, Volunteer Co-ordinator on 0344 225 3694

Parkinson’s UK Helpline: 0808 800 0303


Stroke Support

Stroke Association, Stroke House, 240 City Road, London, EC1V 2PR

Helpline: 0303 3033 100, Email:

Information and support for people affected by Stroke, T.I.A/minor strokes. Details of current research, links to local services to help with recovery, and information for carers of Stroke survivors, details about local meet up groups.


Stroke Assoc Groups in Dorset include:

Bridport Stroke Club – meets on a Wednesday 10am – 12pm at Vernon’s Court, South Street, Bridport DT6 3QF, contact Barbara Powell on 01308 897 389, email:

Dorchester Social Stroke Club – meets on a Thursday 10.30am – 12.30pm at

Magna Community Room, contact Jackie Sherfield on 01305 257464, email:

Sherborne & District Stroke Club – meets on a Friday 10am – 12pm at Riverside Nursing Home, Westbury, Sherborne, DT9 3QS, contact Judith Maidment 0n 01935 817229.

Weymouth Stroke Club – meets fortnightly on a Tuesday 10.30am – 12.30pm at Weymouth Bay Methodist Church, 32 Melcombe Ave, Weymouth, DT4 7TH, contact Donna Barr on 07565 175 165, email: .


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