A CoDA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions
Why is service part of recovery?
Those who have gone before us recognize that service is critical to recovery and is part of the Twelfth Step. Service work is a place to practice recovery skills and extend our recovery to new areas of our lives. At the group level, CoDA members carry the message in many ways, by sharing in meetings, speaking to newcomers (with a focus on providing information rather than giving advice) and trying to adhere to CoDA principles in meetings and elsewhere in their lives. Members can start practicing these types of service from early on in their recovery.
Updates made – November 2022 – by NSC & Sponsorship committees – indicated with asterix
Background The Disclosure and Barring Service and Scottish Government have confirmed that fellowship members do not require DBS or Disclosure Scotland check for 12th Stepping or Sponsorship, as they are members of self-regulating groups. As individuals, however, fellowship members should be aware of their duty of care to others and hence follow the law and best practice on safeguarding, when acting in the fellowship’s name.
This guidance has been updated following recent high-profile cases in the wider charity sector which have prompted the need to review and further strengthen safeguarding standards within the Fellowship.
The basic principle Everyone should recognise that all individuals, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation and identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm and abuse.
Who the guidance protects? This Guidance applies to the safeguarding of all fellowship members or those who fellowship members encounter when acting in the fellowship’s name, including those under the age of 18 (minor) or any vulnerable adults who may be members of the fellowship.
Disseminating best practice It is suggested that a copy of a version of this Guidance should be available at each meeting and copies can be obtained on request for every new (and existing) fellowship member. Also reference to the existence of a safeguarding policy could be mentioned in the script?
It is vital that all Group Secretaries understand and learn about safeguarding and protection issues within the context of the fellowship in order to ensure a safe environment for members and those who members encounter when acting in the fellowship’s name.
New members Meetings with new members to the fellowship:
should be conducted by two existing members and, whenever possible, by a man and a woman
should be held in a public place and the date, time and place of any meeting should be reported in advance to the Group Secretary
It is suggested that a Sponsor who has completed step 5 and is attending meetings regularly has regard for this guidance and their duty of care towards other fellowship members.
Sponsors do not ever give advice on medication in any circumstances, even if they are trained professionals. The only person who can give advice on medication is the sponsee’s own medical professional.*
Sponsors only use CoDA Approved Literature in sponsoring.*
Fellowship members are not legally required to obtain a DBS Certificate in order to act as a Sponsor.
However, Sponsors are encouraged to consider their legal and moral responsibility to themselves, prospective sponsees, and the fellowship when considering whether accepting a particular sponsee is in the best interest of those involved.
Reporting safeguarding concerns If any fellowship member believes they are being abused or knows/suspects that another fellowship member is being abused/abusing someone else, they should consider taking the following action(s), as appropriate:
Preserve any evidence Report all concerns to the: Group Secretary and/or any Group member; Local Authority Adult Social Care team (about a vulnerable adult); and/or Local Authority Children’s Services team (about a minor) In an emergency, if there is immediate risk of abuse call 999.
If there is any doubt about whether a situation amounts to abuse, members of the group should ask the advice of their Local Authority Safeguarding Lead.
Help wanted to assist with developing our meetings offering on the website
We’re looking for fellows to assist with developing the ‘How to Start a Meeting’ and ‘No Meeting in Your Area?’ sections of the website. You may have good editing or writing skills, or more technical skills, but an enthusiasm for carrying the message is all that’s required. We’re also looking for someone with WordPress skills who can help to develop a technical aspect of the meetings list.
As part of this development work, we’re collecting sample meeting scripts to share as part of a meeting start up pack. There are lots of different meeting formats in the UK fellowship, both online and in person, and we invite groups to send in your scripts for sharing as part of this process.
Please email them to email@example.com where a fellow is waiting to anonymise them and turn them into downloadable templates on the new meetings page.
Does the lease for your venue require your group to have public liability insurance?
If a meeting member had an accident at your venue and made a claim, who would the claim be made against? Who would be liable to pay?
Without public liability insurance, the person who signs the lease on behalf of the group is personally liable to meet all costs in the event of a claim.
Did you know that CoDA UK holds a group Public Liability Insurance Policy which is significantly cheaper than groups can get individually?
If you would like more information or would like your group to be included on this policy, please send an email to the treasurer: NSCtreasurer@codauk.org
Public Liability Insurance 2023-24 letter To find out more about the cover for in-person meetings, groups and retreats for this year and how to request it, please download the letter below in your preferred format to share the information with your group.
With many of our CoDA meetings moved to internet-based video rooms & phone lines, by now you’ve probably heard of the “bombers” that like to interrupt meetings with their inappropriate behaviours.
Following requests from meetings affected by such interruptions the CoDA Board of Trustees have collated some suggestions to help keep your group’s meetings safe, and we share these for our UK fellows below.
These are not 100% inclusive; it is best to research the help file of the provider or vendor that your meeting chooses.
1. Do not use your personal meeting ID – instead generate a new meeting ID for your meeting. Meeting app accounts allow the creation of many meetings with a unique ID which can be used recurring. The limitation applied is with the concurrent use of different meeting IDs.
2. Consider using a meeting password – even if this is published on a publicly accessible meetings list this can still act as a preventative measure.
3. Consider using a “waiting room” feature – this allows the meeting host(s) to vet each person before granting them access to the meeting. Should someone join the meeting for disruptive purposes they can be removed to the waiting room by the host. This also allows members to provide a new service role.
4. Mute audio as members enter the meeting or once the meeting starts – ask members to unmute when it is their time to share. Once the meeting is running only those providing service by reading the script, reading literature, or sharing need to have their mic open. This can also form a part of meeting etiquette to prevent audio echo and feedback.
5. Turn off screen sharing for everyone but the meeting host(s) – many disruptive joiners share material to interrupt the screen. Having a service position of host allows any sharing of readings or other meeting materials to be performed as part of the service role.
6. Be prepared to remove anyone that is disruptive with inappropriate behaviour – the only requirement to attend a CoDA meeting is a desire for healthy and loving relationships. By joining to disrupt intentionally signals that this is not the reason for joining the meeting.
We hope these suggestions will help you to keep CoDA meetings healthy, safe, and secure!
If your group would like assistance with setting up any of these measures, the UK Web service would be happy to share instructions – please email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
This podcast is the property of CoDependents Anonymous.
Reproduction without written permission from CoDependents Anonymous is not permitted.
CoDA Fellowship Forums purpose is to share information with any & all CoDA members, especially that which may effect CoDA as a whole.
CoDA Fellowship Forum send out regular emails with CoDA events, announcements, issues & CoDA business of interest to both specific regions & to the entire CoDA fellowship.
Per the 2nd tradition, For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority, a loving higher power as expressed to our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. Developing a group conscience requires an informed fellowship, & to be effective trusted servants those you’ve elected must know the group conscience of the fellowship.
Shared with thanks to Arizona CoDA Events Committee
Founders of the CoDA Programme, Ken and Mary introduce session on living the third step through these unusual times.
Two and half hour session of experience, strength and hope, with exercises prepared by the founders and team.
Copy of exercises included below video.
CoDA Third Step Prayer – Exercise
God, I give to You all that I am and all that I will be for Your healing and direction.
What does it mean to you to “give to your Higher Power all that you are for your Higher Power’s healing and direction”?
What does it mean to you to “give to your Higher Power all that you will be your Higher Power’s healing and direction?”
Make new this day as I release all my worries and fears, knowing that You are by my side.
How does knowing that your Higher Power is by your side help you in releasing all your worries and fears?
How does knowing that your Higher Power is by your side help you during this time of pendemic?
Please help me to open myself to Your love,
What is your process to opening yourself up to your Higher Power’s Love?
To allow Your love to heal my wounds,
How do you experience your Higher Powerr’s Love healing your wounds?
And to allow Your love to flow through me and from me and from me to those around me.
What is your experience emotionally, intellectually, physically and spirtitually when you allow your Higher Power’s Love to flow through you to others?
May Your will be done this day and always.
What do you generally think your Higher Power’s will is for you? Is it Loving? Demanding? Fearful? Affirming? Joyful?
Possible Solutions and Tools for living our 3rd Step while dealing with advertsity, including the pandemic.
These tools are meant for suggestions only. Some are meant, clearly, to be practised on a daily basis, while others can be practised every week or two.
Remember that Self-Care is always about action, which is also the process of CoDA recovery.
Natural tools to deal with depression and anxiety through loving self-care
Pray Daily… this is always #1, connect and talk with your loving Higher Power, always and in all ways.
Step Work (possibly: I am powerless over the pandemic and feel like my life is unmanageable… we altered this a bit 🙂
Breathe Deeply, Exhale Slowly… repeat and repeat
Connect with others: (Zoom CoDA Meetings, Face-Time with friends and family, Phone Calls, Email, Social Media)
Zoom CoDA Study Groups using the CoDA Blue Book, The CoDA Green Workbook and/or CoDA Pamphlets and Booklets.
Ask yourself: “What would my Higher Power say about…?” “How would my Higher Power comfort me?” etc.
Daily dialog with your Inner Child and Inner Teen.
Journal your thoughts and feelings
Releasing Emotional Energy from your body (see attachment)
Do a Fear List Exercise:
“Write out one liner’s of what you are afraid of, anxious over, worried about or fearful of.
Separate the fears into 3 categories:
Problem Solving Fears: these are fears that you can get into solution with like: I’m low on groceries and need to get to the market before they close.” We can intervene on these fears by taking action through problem solving… like, going to the market and getting groceries before they close.
Fears of Shame: fears where we are afraid of looking dumb, stupid, not enough etc. (our negative self-talk). We can intervene on these and affirm the loving truth about who we are and who our Loving Higher Power see us to be.
General Fears of Bad Things Possibly Happening: this includes self-doubt, what-if’s, Ya Buts. We can intervene on these to stop scarig ourselves about the future and instead look for solutions, especially coming back to our 3rd Step and being willing to turn our fears over to the care of God as we understand God.
Stick to a reasonable daily schedule
Bathe and brush your teeth
Participate in some form of hobby, recreation, and productivity
Play games with friends online
Play games with family
Find new creative ways to play and have fun
Healthy Diet (avoiding too many stimulants like sugar and caffeine). 21 If you are in a relationship at home, make sure that you create consistent time apart to avoid circumstantial enmeshment.
Is you have children at home, shared parenting is vital to everyone. If that is not possible, then asking for help from others is of great benefit in order to have some relief and balance in your responsibilities and for the children as well.
Get outside for sunshine and fresh air.
Watch the stars at night… notice the expensiveness of the Universe
If possible, drive to a new destination every 2-3 days
No matter what, know that you are not alone. We truly are all in this together. Practising loving self-care and loving self-acceptance of where you are right here, right now. It is enough!
Mary’s Closing reading
Our CoDA 3rd Step “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God” helps to remind us that loving self-care is an important part of being “willing to be willing”. If we are not taking care of ourselves emotionally, spiritually, physically, intellectually or sexually, we can be more susceptible to returning to a “conflict in gods” making ourselves, others, even our feelings more important than our Higher Power.
“Making a decision” includes intentional thought, intentional surrender and intentional willingness to allow our Higher Power to guide us, to teach us, to heal us, to LOVE us right here, right now.
The tools we have listed are helpful for self-care, self-love and loving surrender. This is a short list, for there are engless ways we can love ourselves. In taking action to love our Higher Power and ourselves, living the 3rd Step is much easier.
It is always important to remember that we are human beings, loveable and fallible. There is no perfection in recovery. No perfection in life. It is a process made from a beautiful loveing heart that we continue on this journey.
The London & South East Region (LSER) became operational again at the last meeting on July 11th, and a committee has been formed consisting of Chair, Communications Secretary, Minutes Secretary and GSR (Regional Rep).
We’ll be holding regular meetings every 3 or 4 months (to be decided at the next meeting) and we’re hoping the LSER will be a forum for GSRs and members to come together in CoDA spiritual principles of service and unity to share what is working in their meetings, raise issues, and to discuss putting on events and other community building activities.
We currently have a vacancy for the post of Treasurer, other service positions will become available as we look to do various projects and work out what we need in the Region.
NEXT MEETING : October 3rd – 1pm on Zoom Login details and links will be sent out nearer the time. All CoDA members are warmly invited to attend
An informal London & South East Region (LSER) Zoom meeting took place on Saturday 23rd May to continue the dialogue from the initial meeting in February 2020.
During the meeting, general consensus was to reform the LSER committee and some of those present expressed an interest to serve. It was agreed to open all the Committee roles to the wider LSER community and anyone who is interested can read the service role descriptors (see below) to understand what would be required. This will then allow for nominations and a vote to take place during our next meeting on Saturday 11th July 1-3 pm, to which you and your group members are invited.
Chair – manages the business meetings and set the agenda.
Secretary – the role would include producing and distributing meeting minutes and other key information to attendees, officers, and the local Fellowship.
Minutes Taker – takes the minutes during the meeting.
Communications Secretary – creates and maintains a Region contact list, answers incoming email, and would handle most mass mailings.
GSR – attends and reports to the National Steering Committee (NSC) every 3 or 4 months.
Treasurer – responsible for accounting and documentation of all funds, maintaining accurate records and presenting written reports of the status of the LSER account at meetings and when requested to the Fellowship.
Literature Secretary – to liaise with UK CoDA publisher to ensure literature is available. Provides other information about literature (new publications etc).
Timekeeper – during the LSER meetings.
Please note the CoDA Fellowship Service Manual states: ‘Terms of office and/or rotation of officers is highly recommended and considered healthy in CoDA. A term office of two years is suggested unless otherwise specified by a Group conscience.’
Please inform your group members about these service vacancies to get more involved at intergroup level (LSER) which are also opportunities to further your recovery as well as meet other CoDA members. If you as a GSR or any of your group members are willing to serve at the regional level then please note it is recommended to be attending local fellowship for at least 1 year and have worked or are working the CoDA program. For those of you interested in the Treasurer role the guidelines are more than 3 years.
A term office of two years is suggested unless otherwise specified by a Group conscience.’
Also, in accordance with the CoDA FSM 2019, GSRs and Committee members have a right to vote however as there is no LSER Committee yet this means only GSRs can vote. Ideally, the formed LSER Committee would consist of GSRs and Service members who are not GSRs.
Finally, LSER committee meetings are open for all CoDA members to attend, to contribute ideas about what they would like to see happen in their region and to discuss any issues their groups are experiencing, currently they are taking place on Zoom. It is a good way to be informed of what is happening with CoDA groups across the London South East Region and to connect with other CoDA members too.
We hope to see you on Sat 11th July 2020 at 1pm, when all being well the LSER Committee will once again become operational,
In fellowship Acting LSER Communications Secretary
During October 2019 two weekend long speaker events were held, one in London and the other in Liverpool, during which Ken and Mary shared their experience, strength and hope with the fellowship. The sessions were recorded and following anonymisation work to remove names for all attendees are now available.
These recordings are made freely available for use by all CoDA groups and members and may be used and redistributed for free maintaining attribution to CoDA UK, Ken R and Mary R.
While we are developing this new website for CoDA we appreciate members’ input to ensure that the site works towards meeting Tradition Five “…..to carry its message to other codependents who still suffer”.
Should you identify any areas which you would like to provide feedback on, experience any technical issues, or have ideas on how the site can be improved, please provide your input through this form: