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A little meeting over a cup of coffee – a step towards group activities

Many people suffer from a fear of social situations, anxiety or nervousness. If there are restrictions in the person's social functional capacity, the threshold for participating in group activities is high even if the person would clearly benefit from the group activities.

The little meeting over a cup of coffee means that a small group of people gathers together before the group activities in a larger group. This lowers the threshold for participating in the actual group activities.

Implementation of the good practice 

In the beginning, the support person gets to know the new client alone or with a work partner and reviews the client's life situation. If the client is interested in taking part in participatory group activities, but lacks the courage for group activities, the support person organises a short meeting over a cup of coffee on a one-off basis. Two or three voluntary clients participate in this meeting in which it is possible to get to know other people in a safe environment without the group status and in the presence of the support person.

When the participants have learned to know each other in small groups, the threshold for joining the larger group is lower. Those who participate in the little meeting over a cup of coffee may together agree on participating in a certain group. The task of the support person is to maintain a conversation and to encourage and motivate participation in the group.


  • The client learned to know another group member
  • The group facility became familiar to the client
  • The support person learned to know the client better
  • New social relationships were formed.


Tuomas Koskela, North Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, tel. +358 295 038 506, tuomas.koskela(at)ely-keskus.fi

Further information on the project:

Structural Fund Information Service S20602
Priority axis 5. Social inclusion and combating poverty
Specific objective 10.1 Improving the ability of those outside employment to work and function