Secretary’s Hands-up Guideline

The sole purpose of an SA group is to offer sobriety through the teachings and practice of the Twelve Steps.

1. You are not obliged to choose the first hand up.

2. If somebody is intoxicated or unsober do not select them.

3. Choose members with sobriety and experience of the SA programme to share, especially at the beginning and the end of the sharing period.

4. If someone does not have a sponsor, has not taken the Steps or is currently attending a treatment centre, you can still choose them, but avoid selecting them towards the beginning or the end of the sharing period.

5. You can choose an SA member whom you don’t know, but it is best to do this in the middle of the sharing period, after those sober members whom you do know have had a chance to share their experience of recovery.

6. If a person shares in a manner that you consider to be unhelpful to the newcomer, next select a group member with experience of the SA programme.

7. If a share is critical of the meeting or offensive to the group, next choose a group member with many years of sobriety and experience.

8. If no hands go up, remind the group of Tradition Five. If still no hands go up, invite an experienced group member to share. It does not matter if he/she has already shared. If all else fails then share yourself.

9. Encourage as many different people to share as possible. Avoid choosing the same select few each week. If none of the above applies, give priority to those who are sharing for the first time and those who don’t speak every week.

10. If all those with their hands up share regularly (and none of the above points apply), give priority to the first hand up.

11. Select a broad range of speakers. Newcomers need to hear that sobriety can be both ‘long lasting’ and available ‘relatively quickly’.