Voluntary sector services

The voluntary or charity sector plays an important role in providing services in the community. These organisations each serve a specific client group and, although they may make a charge for their services, they are non-profit-making.

Local authorities have few remaining in-house support services. So after assessing your needs, a Health or Social Care professional is likely to refer or signpost you to a voluntary organisation for on-going support. You can also seek out organisations that you think may be able to help you. Use the links below to find more information.

Local organisations which provide services for carers

Age UK Bristol
Information and advice, advocacy service for people moving into care homes, telephone befriending, activities, computer learning.

Age UK South Glos
Information and advice, Day Services (inc. activity clubs for respite days), nail cutting, befriending, gardening and insurance services.

Bristol Law Centre
Gives free legal advice and advocacy for unwaged and low-paid people and for people experiencing unlawful discrimination.

Bristol Black Carers
Information and advice, training, carers support group, support to black carers.

Bristol Community Arts
Provides a range of educational opportunities to promote well-being by encouraging residents to participate in their local community.

Bristol Disability Equality Forum
An organisation of, and for, disabled people – whatever their impairment(s).

Bristol Refugee Rights
Bristol Refugee Rights (BRR) aims to uphold and champion the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees.

Bristol Somali Resource Centre
A community-based organisation which supports people who are socially and economically disadvantaged, in particular, but not limited to people of Somali origin and heritage living and/or working within Bristol.

The Care Forum
Promotes health and well-being, challenges inequalities and enables organisations and individuals to make choices in health and social care. They provide a range of services including an advocacy service which ranges from self–help and advice to full advocacy casework.

Chinese Community Wellbeing Society
Assistance, advice, representation and services to improve the quality of life of Chinese women. Also run a Freephone helpline called the Chinese Lantern Project, available to all members of the Chinese community in the South West region.

Citizens Advice
Provides free, impartial advice and information on a range of issues, including employment, housing and debt. Their national website provides comprehensive information on benefits and debt.

Bristol Multi Faith Forum
BMFF acts as an agency for inter-faith and intercultural community cohesion and social harmony.

Dhek Bhal (South Asian carers’ support)
Provides respite for carers of South Asian elders through a sitting service, a day centre service, an outreach support scheme, and a carer support group.

Driving and Mobility Centre, West of England
They can carry out assessments for both driver and passenger needs, and have a range of fully adapted cars including wheelchair accessible vehicles for you to try. Their occupational therapist can give you advice on choosing the right wheelchair or scooter.

The Hive
Works with people with a learning disability, their families and carers. Provides support and information on healthcare, education, housing, leisure and benefits.

Home Farm Trust
A national charity providing local support services for people with learning difficulties.

Next Link
Domestic abuse support services, women’s mental health support services and independent support for victims of rape and sexual abuse.

North Bristol Advice Centre
Provides free and independent advice and support in North Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Support can be given by telephone, email and at face-to-face appointments in Lockleaze, Patchway and Shirehampton.

Nothing Special
Nothing Special promotes fun, fitness and friendships for people with additional needs including groups and events.

One Front Door
Support available for employment, training or volunteering opportunities in Bristol

One Stop Shops South Gloucestershire
Information and advice clinics and surgeries operate regularly in Patchway, Yate and Kingswood.

Refugee Women of Bristol
Refugee Women of Bristol is a multi-ethnic, multi-faith organisation which specifically targets the needs of refugee women in Bristol.

Talking Money
Provides free, independent, specialist money advice to individuals and their families. This includes debt, energy debt, benefits and income maximisation.

Warmley Wheelers
Provide adapted bikes for people with disabilities, health conditions and supported needs.

We Care and Repair
Provides home improvement and repair services to support those aged over 60, as well as people of all ages who have a disability, are on a low income or coming out of hospital.

Database of health, wellbeing and community services in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset (managed by the Care Forum).

A user-led organisation supporting disabled people to live the life they choose. Services include advice and information, advocacy, help with social opportunities and employment.

Community Transport

Transport schemes for people who cannot easily use public transport. The following schemes operate locally:

Bristol Community Transport
Provides a fleet of accessible vehicles which can be hired by not-for-profit organisations in and around Bristol.

Kingswood Community Transport
For residents of South Gloucestershire. They provide accessible vehicles for people who cannot easily use public transport, including a doctors’ shuttle and regular shopping trips.

Green Community Travel
For South Gloucestershire residents: their volunteer drivers use their own vehicles to transport local people, taking them to doctor’s or dental appointments or to visit friends or relatives in hospital.

Four Towns and Vale Community Transport
Provide free essential travel in South Gloucestershire for Diamond Travel Card holders as well as social trips for leisure.

Health conditions

Alive Activities
Support, advice, and activities for older people, those living with dementia and their carers. Offering Alive on Demand video-steaming service, Dementia Meeting Centres and Community Gardening across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Autism Central
A national, centralised support for parents and carers of autistic children and adults with local hubs. Each region also now has an Autism Central hub, and Bristol Autism Support is the Southwest regional hub. 

Dementia Connect
Dementia Connect is a directory of services for anyone affected by dementia. It lists local information, support and services in an online directory. It is run by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Bristol After Stroke
Social, emotional and practical support to stroke-affected individuals and their carers.

Bristol Mind
Information about mental health and local services. Has a confidential freephone helpline to support residents in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Bristol Parkinson’s Society
Offer information, friendship and support to local people with Parkinson’s, their families and carers.

Provides information, support and services to survivors of brain injury, their families and carers.

Marie Curie
Care and support at the end of life. Provides frontline nursing and hospice care, a free support line and a wealth of information and support on all aspects of dying, death and bereavement.

Use the search facility on their web to find local cancer information centres which offer benefits advice and counselling. If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just someone to talk to, call 0808 808 00 00 for free, 7 days a week 8am – 8pm. You can also live chat online.

Multiple Sclerosis People’s Help
Free support to people with MS in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset including carrying out general DIY in the garden and home.

Parkinson’s Face2Face
Confidential support and information to anyone living with Parkinson’s or Parkinsonisms, including family, friends, and carers.  Support can be given via Support Groups, drop-in sessions or at home.

Penny Brohn UK
Offers support and courses for both people with cancer and the people supporting them.

Sight Support West of England
Advice, guidance, training, events and social opportunities for visually impaired people and their families.

South Gloucestershire Drug and Alcohol Service
Free and confidential help for anyone in the area who is struggling with drugs or alcohol.

Wellbeing and mental health

Rethink Carers Service
Help for carers who provide support towards the mental well-being of a family member or friend. Includes one-to-one meetings and telephone support, educational seminars, signposting to other agencies, group support, hospital liaison service, events and information and clarification about your rights.

Parent carers

Bristol Parent Carers 
A non-profit organisation based in Bristol, consisting of volunteer parent carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Work with local SEND services to ensure that the support and services they offer suits the needs of families. This forum is supported by Carers Support Centre.

South Glos Parent Carers
A group of parents and carers in South Gloucestershire who care for children and young people with disabilities and special needs. They provide information and advice to parent carers, and work with service providers to improve support available to families.

National sources of information

Carers Trust
Carers Support Centre (Bristol and South Gloucestershire) is one of over 140 carers centres, which belong to this networking organisation. Their website provides comprehensive information on money and benefits and getting help e.g. respite care, employment, holidays, transport, bereavement. If you would like to chat to other carers online, Carers Trust has a list of forums.

Carers UK
Provides information and advice on caring, helps carers connect with each other, and campaigns with carers for lasting change. They also have a forum where you can chat to carers and get help and support.

Independent Age
Gives free and impartial advice to older people and their families, including issues such as care and support, money and benefits, health and mobility and loneliness.

NHS Social Care and Support Guide
The NHS website gives practical information for carers including financial help, getting a break from caring, going to work, home adaptations and much more.

Learning Disability Helpline: 0808 808 1111
This is an advice and information service for people with a learning disability, their families and carers. Community-based advisors can also give advice and information about community care, benefits, education, jobs, housing, holidays, family and personal relationships.

Relatives and Residents Association
Provides information, advice and support to empower older people and their families/friends. Includes a telephone advice line and online chat service.

Royal British Legion
Ongoing support for serving and ex-serving personnel and their families and carers.

If you need someone to talk to, you can call Samaritans on 116 123. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Scope’s helpline provides free, independent and impartial advice and support on issues that matter to disabled people and their families. Call 0808 800 3333.

Provides practical, financial and emotional support for service personnel, veterans and their families.

Provides practical help to people who are struggling financially, including benefits calculators and financial information, as well as a Helpline to give support and information to people who don’t have access to the internet or find it hard going online.

Health conditions

Alzheimers Society
Support services for people who care for someone living with dementia. Includes carers’ support groups, singing for the brain, dementia cafe, social drop-ins, befriending, advice and information.

NHS Health A to Z
Your complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help.

Huntington’s Disease Association
Provides advice, support, information and specialist services for people living with Huntington’s Disease and their families.

PSPA provides support and information to people living with PSP (Progressive supranuclear palsy) and CBD (Corticobasal degeneration) as well as their families and carers.

Parent carers

Family Action
Support for parents and carers

Page last updated 20.09.23