Where to Look for Venues
Congratulations on deciding to facilitate a peer support group! Here are a few helpful tips on where to look for space and how to advertise your meeting. For spaces:Review the Peer Support Facilitation Manual to see the basic recommendations for choosing a meeting location
Start right in your neighbourhood and work outwards. Places of worship, community centres and non-profit organizations usually have a space to rent. Rates at some community centres start as low as $20 per hour and some places do not charge taxes and it’s just a flat rate
For the community centres, you don’t always have to go through the Toronto Parks & Recreation channel as centres sometimes set their own rates. Your best bet is to call them directly
Hosting your meeting in City Park (during good weather months) is always free providing that your group does not exceed 25 members including facilitators
Most places will have a rate for a support group affiliated with a non-profit (non-profit rate) and regular rate for everyone else. If you introduce yourself as a non-profit self-help group, you may have to apply for a permit through the community centre/church in order to use the space
Don’t forget to ask about the booking notice requirements as some places you can acquire in a week and others can take much more time
Where to Advertise
Build it and they will come. Well actually, now you have secured your venue and who will come? Here are a list of outlets which can be used to advertise free of cost.Rogers Televison(Community Billboard): accessible from the main page, scroll down and look left
Charity Village has section to the top right hand of the home page asking you to sign up. Signing up is free, and it is free to post events. Follow sign up instructions. Choose “event” when listing your meeting
CSInfo has a newsletter, The Bulletin, which is published twice a month and is free to receive. You can subscribe by calling them at 416 595-2882 or by emailing at email@example.com.
NOW Magazine will place an advertisement if you e-mail it at least two weeks in advance. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit Contact to view the event listing contact information
The Toronto Star allows free posting in the Community Listings section for Toronto. They invite you to start by e-mailing your meeting information to firstname.lastname@example.org
To advertise in the Mirror or Guardian (community newspapers across the GTA) please visit Inside Toronto‘s page for a free posting of your meeting
Remember to post no less than two weeks in advance of your meeting. Please contact the online sources by phone if you do not readily have access to Internet and want to place your advertisement in print. Also, think about the places that you regularly may visit as possibly being a place to advertise simply by asking permission to post a flyer for your meeting. Some grocery stores, subway stations, bus stops, community centres and places of worship, have physical bulletin boards. Last but not least, make reminder/confirmation phone calls/e-mails to group members.