Self-help groups are prevalent in modern society. They are formed by
people who share a common problem and join together to alleviate or
solve this. They are effective in empowering people in a variety of
ways. This study investigates the role of information in this process.
Both the history and current status of self-help are discussed. The
research which forms the core of this study was carried out amongst
groups in Nottingham. The Nottingham Self Help Team is a prominant selfhelp
'clearinghouse'. Its resources and initiatives have helped to
create a healthy community of self-help groups in the locality.
The area under investigation was the information needs of groups,
their methods of fulfilling them and the level of resultant success.
The researcher visited several diverse groups. She gathered data by
observation, interview and a questionnaire that was distributed to
individual group members. The data is presented in the form of case
A high degree of competence was displayed by the groups. There was
general satisfaction with the quality of information collected, however
the exploitation of information sources was largely unadventurous.
National organisations played a positive role.
A Master's Dissertation, submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Arts degree of Loughborough University.