Butterflies Derbyshire ADHD Support Network Frequently Asked Questions

What is Butterflies?

Butterflies is a web-based network intended to provide information and resources for the actual support groups who are out in the community trying to help those dealing with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It also is designed to act as a community website for people to share their experiences of ADHD and talk to each other.

Why has it been launched?

It can be a lot of work for group committee members to make sure that they have all the information they need to be able to run their groups effectively, and a lot of work is repeated by each group as they don’t have access to the knowledge that other groups may have researched. The committee behind Butterflies felt that if there was a central place to store that information or describe the processes that a group had gone through to obtain that information, then each of the other groups would benefit from that information without wasting valuable time finding it for themselves. We feel that support groups should work together as much as possible and the Butterflies concept should help with this.

As the concept matured it seemed that more and more people wanted a community website where they could post their information themselves and have broader discussions. That's what prompted a big redesign into the shape it's in today.

Who is involved?

Butterflies was created by members and committee of three ADHD support groups in Derbyshire along with members of the Derbyshire Mental Health medical community. Representatives of Belper’s Frantic Families group, Swadlincote’s Inclusion group and the Derby City ADHD/AS support group met up in November of 2008 and discussed if the Butterflies concept would be useful. The chairs of all those groups agreed that the idea was a good one and would make it easier to help their members whilst minimising the work needed. The biggest boost we had was that we had the support of two mental health professionals from day one!

Over time, most of the original people who founded Butterflies have moved on to other projects and now it is run by a single family based in Derby.

How can I or my group be involved?

We welcome anyone as a member, whether they be individuals, families, support groups or professionals. Just go to the contact form, fill it in and we’ll get back to you with the details you ask for. If you want to devote some time to helping Butterflies out then we would welcome any help in reaching more people in the community.

How do I advertise my support group on the Butterflies web site?

If you've started a group or you are part of a group that wants to get some publicity or raise awareness using the Butterflies web site, there are several ways to do it.

You can create a Group on the website, using your support group's name as the title of the group.

You can start a topic for your group in the forum.

You can post messages in the newsfeeds section.

You can do all of the above!

Is Butterflies a support group and can we come to your meetings?

We’re not a support group in the traditional sense. We don’t hold support meetings where parents, carers or those with the condition can come and talk to other people with the same problems. We are happy to talk to you and try and help you through our forum or the chat window or even over the telephone or in a one-to-one meeting, but our main purpose is to identify the closest and most appropriate support group to you so that they can provide the support in the long run.

Does that mean that Butterflies is in charge of the support groups?

No, definitely not. All the support groups are completely independent and autonomous. Butterflies and its committee has no say in how they are run and that has never been, nor will it ever be, our intent. As we said above, Butterflies will direct members to support groups depending on their location and availability.

So what’s the point of Butterflies then?

Our intent was to create a place where information and resources from each group in Derbyshire could be shared so that every support group would have access to it. We’re slowly building up a library of information from various sources and some valuable resources from the mental health and medical communities. We need much more, though. In the latest incarnation of the web site we've made the community aspect of the site more important and allowed people to share their own experiences live. We’ve found that many people who can’t access support groups and still need support will often talk to members or committee through the site too. That’s great, since that’s what it's here for, especially if people cannot get to any of the current support groups.

Another goal of ours is to promote and support people to start up their own support group in their area if there is not one to meet their needs already.

Does Butterflies have members?

Yes, we have members, but not in the same way as a support group has members. We class our members as people who have registered their details on the web site in order to access the community aspects of the site (such as posting messages, writing articles or using the forum). Anyone is welcome to contact us, though. We have a contact form on the website if you want to know more or just want a bit of advice.

How do you pay for all this?

Butterflies is a voluntary organisation, meaning that none of our staff are paid. We apply for donations or funding from local charitable organisations and charities. Butterflies is a non-profit organisation, and any money that comes in is piped straight back into the organisation. We have had a number of generous donations in our first year and it is these that have allowed us to develop the facilities we have.