Fertility Support Group – helpful information to ensure a safe and confidential space

We would like to welcome you to the Fertility Support Group . The aim of the group is to create a safe and confidential space for people to hear from others on a similar journey and to share thoughts and feelings as they feel appropriate.

It is a Virtual Support Group facilitated by Jackie Stewart, an Independent Fertility Counsellor.  You don’t have to be a patient at Bourn Hall to join, and you can attend as many or as few of the meetings as you want.

Below is some helpful information about joining the meeting and also a few ground rules so that everyone feels confident to participate.

Joining the meeting

You will receive an individual Zoom link to join this event shared in your email confirmation.

Please see the ‘How to use Zoom’ instructions below. The online event runs approximately one and a half hours. Join early, you can log in at 6.20pm and will be held in the waiting room for admission to the meeting at 6.30pm. Simply press on the link and you will enter the waiting room.

Your name is visible in the Zoom meeting: Please make sure your Zoom name is your real name, as this will help the group process. You don’t need to use your full name. This can be done by clicking on the small dots at the top righthand corner of your picture and selecting rename. The name you type in as you enter the meeting will be visible to other attendees.

Privacy – Recording: We will not be recording this event.

Microphones: Keep muted during the presentation. Try to avoid talking at the same time as other participants.

Cameras: Please ensure your camera is enabled so we can see each other as a whole group.

Questions and comments: Pose these through the ‘Chat’ function on Zoom and we will answer questions at the end of the session or press the ‘Raise hand’ button. The ‘Chat’ function on Zoom will be open throughout. If you wish to submit a question before the event, please reply to this email [email protected]

Ground rules: Please read the guidance below which forms a supportive framework to help you receive the best experience from your participation in the Virtual Fertility Support Group meetings.

Thank you and we look forward to welcoming you to our online event!

‘How to use Zoom – Attendee Instructions’

  1. Just click on the Zoom link shared in your email confirmation to open Zoom.
  2. Click ‘Allow’ to the question ‘Do you want to allow this page to open “Zoom.us”? Zoom will launch you into the meeting.
  3. When prompted click ‘open with video / computer audio’
  4. You will be muted on entry to the waiting room. The Host will admit you to join the meeting.
  5. Avoid backlight from bright windows or you will be seen in silhouette.
  6. Adjust your camera to be at around eye level if possible.
  7. Try to avoid doing other tasks, checking emails, looking at your phone etc.

Ground Rules – creating a safe and confidential space

What is the group? This facilitated group is a mutual self-help group in which members provide emotional, social and moral support to each other. It is not a therapy group.

We respectfully request from group members the following:

  • Confidentiality is essential. There is an expectation that each member will respect and maintain the confidentiality of the group. What is said in the group is not repeated or discussed outside the meeting.
  • We are here to share our own feelings and experiences; we try not to give advice.
  • We each share the responsibility for making this group work.
  • We try to accept people, just as they are, and to avoid making judgements.
  • We try to give everyone an opportunity to share.
  • We have the right to speak and the right to remain silent – each member participates to the extent they feel comfortable.
  • We give supportive attention to the person who is speaking and avoid side conversations.
  • We avoid interrupting. If we do break in, we return the conversation to the person who was speaking.
  • We have the right to ask questions and the right to refuse to answer.
  • We try to be aware of our own feelings and talk about what is present for us now.
  • We do not discuss members who are not present.
  • The support group is not for complaints about the service of the clinic. (We encourage you to talk in confidence to our Bourn Hall staff member Sharon instead).
  • Meetings are 6.30pm to 8pm approx.
  • We very much hope your treatment is successful. Out of sensitivity to others members in treatment, we ask for your co-operation in refraining from announcing this good news directly to the group (unless the group agree); but instead to share it privately only as you feel appropriate.
  • Following a successful cycle of treatment, we welcome your attendance at one more fertility support group meeting, or up until the 7-week scan We will of course offer you information of another supportive group, upon request.

Thank you.

Jackie Stewart, Independent Fertility Counsellor and Facilitator
Sharon Harper, Senior Patient Support Co-ordinator

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