Parent Groups – Review

We’ve talked about knowing your values as a group,  how you communicate with each other and your members, how to measure your success and how to deal with egos.  We’ve looked at good leadership, what role your members play, marketing your group, marketing tools, getting feedback and how to deal with disagreements.

As we finish this 10 part course, we are looking at how to review your group and why you should.


Parent Group ReviewDo you regularly review what your group is doing?  Often, when we get busy and new opportunities arise, we forget to go back and think about why we set the group up.  We take the opportunities and forget that they are not always the things our members want us to do.

It is great practice, every six months or so, to sit down as a group and look at your journey.  Go back to basics and look at your values.  Look at the issues you may have faced, how could they have been avoided or perhaps could you have dealt with them in a better way?  Has your membership increased?  Decreased?  Which social media works best for you?  Facebook page? Group?  Email?

Why every 6 months and not just once a year?

A lot can change in a year.  People move on, people’s priorities change.  If you leave the reviews to once a year, then you may lose members who feel you are not providing what they want anymore.  Maybe you used to but you took funding to provide an event which actually no one wanted but gave you some much needed financial support.

Have you faced issues, disagreements, a change in leadership or perhaps people leaving because they don’t like the leadership in the past six months?  How did you deal with the issues?  Could you have foreseen some of them?  Could they have been avoided?

How is your membership looking?  Did you suddenly get a huge jump or decrease in numbers?  Do you know why?  Again, could you have foreseen this happening?  Was there a particular incident that caused this?

How involved is your membership?  Do you spend weeks emailing, or posting on Facebook etc but getting no feedback?  Could you ask for feedback differently?  Are you perhaps asking for feedback but not acting on it?  Perhaps you intend to but haven’t yet – do your members know this?

It’s also a good time to review the strengths and weaknesses of those involved in running the group.  You may have lost some people or gained a few new ones.  What are the skills missing?  What skills do people have which are not being used?

A bi-annual review is also a good chance to recognise the successes.  If you fail to celebrate the successes, you will eventually get tired and to be honest, just fed up of it all.    Look at the feedback you have had.  What has been a success?

Look at what didn’t work, maybe the one thing you really expected to work?  Could you have done anything differently?  Was it almost what your members wanted but it just needs a few tweaks?

After you review, plan your next six months.  What are your goals?  What are the barriers to achieving those goals?  Can you overcome the barriers?  How?  How will you know you have reached the goals?  Do the goals excite you?  If not, they won’t work.

Review – Checklist

  • Look back at what worked well.
  • Look back at what didn’t work?
  • Look back at any issues your group has faced.
    • Could you have dealt with them differently?
    • Could they have been avoided?
  • What goals do you have for the next six months?

Over to you….

What tips do you have?  Often it depends on the type of group you run, providing support for families, providing activities, being strategic with local services, etc.

Email Debs ( and let her know your best tip.  Debs will be collating them and sharing them with you next month.





Do you regularly review what your group is doing? Do you sit back and look at what it is doing, what it was set up to do and is there anything you could do differently? Is there something you don’t do but you could? Is there anything you do which no one enjoys doing but you’ve always done it so you keep at it?

How often do you review your group and how often do you make changes?

Debs Aspland

Mum to three great kids, each with a different SEN. Transplanted from the NW to the SE. Co-founder and Director of Bringing Us Together

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