Starting a Meeting

There are many reasons to start a new meeting, including

  • No convenient local meeting times
  • No meeting within reasonable travel distance
  • To help other co-dependents find recovery
  • To gain recovery through service
  • To experience a different meeting format.

Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to other codependents who still suffer.

Tradition 5

CoDA provides all the necessary materials required to start a meeting through the Starter Materials mainly contained within the CoDA Meeting Handbook.

The Meeting Handbook document contains copies of the standard meeting materials:

Whilst it may be a daunting prospect to start a new meeting, a CoDA group is composed of any two or more individuals whose purpose in meeting is a desire for healthy relationships.

The above noted meeting materials are read at each meeting; elements may be modified to suit the individual meeting as a result of group conscience decision. Keeping readings and literature to those approved by CoDA and in keeping with the principles of the programme can bring a sense of unity as per the First Tradition:

Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon CoDA unity.

Tradition 1

Support and direction for those starting a meeting can be found through various channels including:

  • Existing meetings
  • CoDA members’ experience, strength and hope
  • Outreach or Public Information committees
  • CoDA Meeting Handbook

When contemplating starting a meeting there are questions that may provide help and guidance:

  • What is the need for the meeting in the area? Who else may want to be involved in the process of starting a meeting?
  • What are people are looking for in the area?
  • What type of meeting is needed? Review the Meeting Format section of the handbook for types of meeting
  • What literature should be used in the meeting? CoDA conference approved literature is suggested
  • Where can a meeting be held? Identifying a suitable and available meeting location may be challenging at times
  • Ask for help! Other members may have experienced or considered similar questions or problems and have experience, strength and hope to share

Particular areas that other members may be able to assist with include:

  • How to choose and modify a format to fit their needs
  • How to find sponsors
  • How to attract people to the meeting while honouring Tradition 11: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion. We need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television, and all other public forms of communication.
  • How to create and maintain healthy meetings (See Healthy Meeting Matters booklet)
  • How to choose which CoDA-approved literature is needed to start, and where to find downloadable publications such as the Fellowship Service Manual and the Meeting Handbook
  • Additional Suggestions on how to start a healthy meeting: What did it take to get your meeting established?

The following is experience, strength and hope from our members:

  1. Literature: Have enough literature and download and print free materials from and The Recovery Patterns tend to be very helpful for newcomers and all group members
  2. How to get the message of the new meeting out?
    1. Register the meeting with
    2. Make and distribute flyers or e-flyers
    3. Draw on regional support, intergroup, regional committees to let people know of the new meeting and request support
  3. Schedule a regular group conscience meeting to elect service positions and manage group business. The meeting handbook includes suggested meeting service positions.

Register your meeting on the CoDA UK website

Once you’ve decided on a meeting format, day and time, and a venue if it’s an in person meeting, you need to send details of the group to using the registration form on this page. There’s also more information there about giving consent to list contact details and Public Liability Insurance if your group is meeting in a venue rather than online. CoDA UK’s safeguarding policy can be found here.

This page is in development and will be added to. For further questions please email