Starting a Support Network begins with a genuine desire to make a difference for people living with arthritis and rheumatic diseases in your community. Support Network Leaders are valuable national volunteers facilitating our local support groups across the United States. Our peer-led, local support groups bring people together for fun and informative events and activities. A Support Network offers a place of understanding and encouragement for adults living with arthritis and their loved ones and in 2018 we are piloting a program to provide support to JA Parents. Because our leaders are individuals living with arthritis or have children living with JA we recommend having 2 leaders per group.
Leaders complete a self-paced training program to provide new volunteers the skills to start and grow a support group in their community. Each ASN Leader is provided a toolkit to set them up for success.
Arthritis Support Network Leader (ASN Leader) and JA Parent Support Network Leader (JA Parent Leader)
A Support Network Leader is a volunteer representative of the Arthritis Foundation in their respective communities serving either adults living with arthritis (Arthritis Support Network Leader) or JA Parent/Guardians (JA Parent Support Network Leader). The main function of the Support Network Leader is to plan and coordinate group meetings for participants. The Leaders hosts at least 6 meetings or events in a 12 month period. Meetings or events are educational and/or social in nature. Coordinating a minimum of at least 3 wellness education focused meetings per year is required and many groups have wellness topics at almost all meetings.
Commitment: At least 2 years.
Time Commitment: 5 - 10 hours per month
- Plan, coordinate and facilitate engaging and fun group meetings and social activities and events
- Promote, market and maintain a group that is supportive and a safe place to share thoughts, feelings and experiences
- Add events to the event calendar on this website
- Maintain a group email list through our web based Constituent Relationship Management software
- Report on support group activities
- Communicate with the SN Leadership Team, AF staff, group participants, and prospective group participants
If you are interested in starting a Support Network in your community please complete the Arthritis Support Network Leader Application or JA Parent Support Network Leader Application. It is helpful to review the list of Arthritis Support Network locations to see if there is a group in your community already.
One of our Directors will follow up with you to discuss this volunteer opportunity and requirements in greater detail.