The Reader is a national charity that runs shared reading groups in community settings all over the country. People get together to read aloud great stories and poems, and to discuss what they have read. For the next few months, we are changing the way we work, in order to bring literature to life in your home, wherever you are. The Reader at Home initiative will bring you wonderful reading materials, Shared Reading online and by phone and more.
Whether you’re a member of one of our groups, a volunteer or a partner organisation, we hope there is something for you. And if you’re new to The Reader, we hope we can inspire you to get involved in the community.
We provide a prompt service to enable you to talk to a skilled counsellor.
Every individual is alloacted a specific counsellor that best suits their personal circumstances.
Counselling can help you make changes in your life that offer greater freedom in thought and action.
If you would like help with Relationship Counselling, Individual Counselling or Young People Counselling please see details below on how to make contact with us
Our Stay Strong Stay Steady classes are community based classes aimed at improving strength and balance, reducing the risk or fear of falling and maintaining independent living.
We now have classes spread across the county and we are recognised as part of Somerset Falls Pathway as we follow the evidence based Falls Prevention intervention called the Otago programme.
Details of all of our classes can be found on our Website below
A new mentoring programme across Somerset for people affected by mental illness to give and receive support. Living with mental illness can make people feel alone and isolated – in many ways. Connecting with someone who understands because they too have been affected by mental illness can really help. With a mentor you can talk about what matters, and explore ways to do what you want to do.
We are also looking for volunteers interested in becoming mentors. You will use your lived experience of mental illness as a basis for support. Your role will involve attending pre-arranged mentoring sessions with the person you are connected with. There will be up to eight sessions which can be in person or by phone. You will need to attend a Peer Mentoring Course, over four half days.
For further information or to arrange an informal chat about Peer Mentoring opportunities please contact Tasha Marsh
The Filo Project is a not-for-profit organisation offering high quality care for small groups of older people. We support individuals across Devon and Somerset who are socially isolated, many experiencing symptoms associated with moderate dementia. Each day is provided by a host, and takes place in the intimate setting of a host’s own home. This warm and welcoming environment is key and no client is overwhelmed by a large group.
Apart from having a home-cooked lunch, what occurs in each group varies, and very much depends on who is in a group, and their capacities, preferences and personalities. It is a bespoke service, however, the focus of any day is to provide the opportunity for meaningful socialising
A day with The Filo Project is like a day out with friends, and, at a stage of life where many older people often find themselves excluded The Filo Project provides a time and space to feel at ease and be valued. A by-product of our service is that carers can enjoy regular and extended respite. Transport is provided.
We offer support after the death of a child of any age and from any cause.
TCF offers many different kinds of support for bereaved families. Whatever the cause of your loss, wherever you are in the UK, and whatever your circumstances – we are here to help
Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.
Whether you attend a face-to-face Information Session or watch the online video, Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action accounts.
Our students are people from Somerset interested to learn life skills in order to experience good mental health, people with life experience of mental health difficulties, their family and friends and the professionals who support them.
For more information please visit the website below
Are you unable to drive and need help getting to an appointment? Below is a list of care scheme’s that may be able to help you:
Porlock PALS – 01643 863150 covers:-
KHARS – 01278 741384 covers:-
WHEEKS – 07891 821861 covers:-
Brompton Parish Lifts – 01398 371145 covers:-
Brushford TA22 Voluntary Lifts – 07528 326880 covers:-
Bicklifts – 07790 959605 covers:-
Stogursey Parish Stagecoach – 07908 239609 covers:-
Withycombe Wheels – 01984 640983 covers:-
Crowcombe Cares – 01984 618263 covers:-
Minehead Community Car Scheme – 01643 709701 covers:-
Stogo – 01984 656145 covers:-
Do you have a great interest or hobby? Would like to run a group or help someone else by using our communal halls at our sheltered housing throughout all of West Somerset?
If so please look at our volunteer opportunities at https://do-it.org/organisations/magna-housing or contact below for further information.
Magna owns and manages around 1,400 sheltered homes. These properties are primarily for older people who want to live independently in the privacy of their own homes, but with the security of knowing that there are people on hand to help in an emergency.
Most is in the form of flats or bungalows, with one or two bedrooms. We also have a few studio flats and houses.
All of our sheltered properties have an emergency call system. Residents can contact our sheltered housing or careline staff 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Many schemes have a communal room, available for residents to use for socialising and activities. Some also have guest rooms, available for residents’ families to stay, for a small charge. Most schemes have gardens or other outside areas for residents to enjoy.
Some of our sheltered housing is situated close to town centres, within easy reach of shops, buses and local facilities. Other schemes are set in peaceful, rural locations in villages throughout Dorset and Somerset.
All of us at some time or other will lose someone special in our lives. Those who do, face enormous challenges and problems for which there is presently little understanding and help. AtaLoss.org is a charitable movement of people across the UK who are passionate about enabling the bereaved to receive the support that they need – in easing the pain together,
Reminder Finders is a maintenance cognitive stimulation therapy group for people living with a recent diagnosis of mild to moderate dementia.
The groups sessions are built around discussion and a variety of activities designed to help improve memory, mental abilities and concentration. Activities include physical exercise and more hands-on tasks that engage all the senses.
Additionally, the group encourages peer support and is a valuable space for members to discuss their views and feelings.
The sessions take a person-centred approach and are kept to small numbers to allow for more personal attention
Reminder Finders gives carers vital respite and space to themselves, improving their wellbeing in turn, and taking some of the strain off their relationship with the person they care for.
The NHS Health Check is a health check-up for adults in England aged 40-74. It’s designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing one of these conditions. An NHS health check helps find ways to lower this rick
Quitting makes a huge difference to you and your family. We are a FREE stop smoking service supporting Somerset residents to become smoke free.
The group exists for anybody who has been bereaved. We have all experienced a devastating loss and we offer friendship and understanding. We are not counsellors, we are just friendly faces, and we offer a chance to chat over a cup of coffee, or maybe fish and chips! we usually meet on Tuesdays every week.
On the first Tuesday of a month, our venue is The Hairy Dog at 11pm. On the second and forth Tuesdays, we meet at the Kildare Hotel at 10.30am. For the third Tuesday, we try something new, or meet for an early evening meal. We decide the destination democratically at a coffee morning.
Anyone who has suffered a bereavement is very welcome.
For further details please contact Elaine Bagnall on the phone numbers below.
Story-Well is a wellbeing service provided by Alexandra Simson. Working with healing sound, she runs individual and community group events promoting deep relaxation and meaningful connection. Through the sound of gongs and the ancient craft of storytelling, Alexandra aims to foster healing, community, personal development and transformation. For more information on wellbeing, retreats, gongbaths and storytelling events please visit the website below or if you have any questions you can contact Alex directly by email or via the mobile number below
We offer support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.
Active Spaces is a community-based activity project which offers local communities the chance to get out and get active in their local area.
Sedgemoor and West Somerset areas will benefit from high quality exercise sessions delivered by experienced, well qualified and insured instructors. This will be provided at low cost and gives communities opportunities to come together socially whilst utilising their local open spaces.
Sessions include: Family activities, fit for you life general fitness sessions, running groups and walking football.
For details on location of sessions, costs and instructors visit our Facebook page ‘ActivespacesSASP’ or go to the website listed below.
The Active Spaces project launched in August 2018 and supports the following areas:
The project is funded through EDF and the Hinkley Point CIM fund and will also be working with several local partners including Sedgemoor District Council.
The Beach Fitness Suite in Minehead, West Somerset, offers state of the art facilities and professional classes for all ages and abilities. We first opened in 2016 as a joint partnership between charities YMCA at The Beach Hotel, and Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP), with the aim of encouraging activity in adults of all ages across Minehead and West Somerset. Our goal is to be inclusive to our whole community – meaning that we can support you to help you reach your individual fitness and health goals.
Weekly GP Exercise Referral service for a gentle introduction to exercise for clients with specific medical requirements and for those living with Long Term Conditions such a Cardiac, Diabetes, Mobility Difficulties, Joint problems, Respiratory Issues, Healthy Weight Management or Mental Health Support through exercise.
A range of friendly fitness classes for members and non-members, including Chair-Based Exercise, Zumba, Kettlebells, Spinning, Pilates and Yoga (see current timetable)
Modern, clean gym open daily
Professional, highly qualified, staffed sessions, tasked to provide individual physical activity solutions to inactivity and specific health issues
Do you need help with mobility aids, getting a grant, getting some work done around the house?
Then look no further than at a new website aimed at helping to keep people independent in their own homes.
With 250,000 people living with dementia and sight loss in the UK, RNIB believes it is extremely important to promote good eye health and to highlight the benefits of regular sight tests.
If you are losing or have lost your sight, there is practical and financial support available to help you.
If you are finding it hard to pay your water bill, we can help.
Route 60+ events aim to help senior drivers drive safely for longer.
Driving is a life skill the provides independence and quality of life for many. Route 60+ is designed to help you keep your licence for as long a possible by addressing key issues such as how vehicles have changed over the years, how our driving skills and habits have changed, and how we can go about updating our skills.
Empowering people with persistent pain to develop their understanding, skills and confidence to live a full and meaningful life
The group provides a safe and confidential space for anyone to attend who has been bereaved by suicide and is available to anyone in Somerset.
To enable and empower disabled people and carers to have independence, choice and control in their lives
UK charity Action for M.E tackles ignorance and neglect for people both young and old whose lives have been stolen by M.E.
For more information phone or visit the web site
Stay strong, stay steady sessions are special classes which help to reduce falls and improve balance, strength and confidence.
These Sessions can help you to:-
The sessions are led by qualified instructors, take place at venues across the whole of Somerset and are a joint venture with Age UK Somerset and Somerset County Council.
Have a look on the website, phone or email for more information
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
Helpline :- 0800 9177 650
Learn to cook in small friendly groups led by experienced cookery tutor Debbie Jansen.
Each week pick from a choice of dishes, bring the ingredients to cook and take home to eat.
6 Sessions cover knife skills, food safety, healthy eating and shopping economically.
Courses for men aged 50+, no experience needed, special diets accommodated – just advise on booking.
Starting 2nd April 2019 on Tuesdays at Brushford Parish Hall 9.30am – 11.30 am
Call Joseph Blackburn for more details on 01398 323410
Empowering people with persistent pain to develop their understanding skills and confidence to live a full and meaningful life
Meets fourth Thursday of every month 2:30-3:30 at Exmoor Medical Centre, Oldberry House, Fishers Mead, Dulverton, Somerset, TA22 9EN
The meetings are available to anyone affected by central vision loss, for further details contact Marion on 01398 371450
We meet at the Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton from 11-1pm on the first Monday of each month (not January or August). Refreshments are available throughout meetings and there is a small charge to cover costs. Friends, family and carers are always welcomed. For more details find us on Facebook – Taunton Macular Support Group
Click on the link below to see the upcoming events planned for 2019
For more information contact Lesley on the contact details below.
Wessex Academic Health Science Network have developed a useful video around anticoagulation and Atrial Fibrilation.
Please click the link below to see this video.
Working to provide information, support and access to established, new or innovative treatments for Atrial Fibrillation (AF)
Providing Advice, support and information for sufferers and families.
Getting around Taunton encourage alternative methods of getting around Taunton. They also run many events and groups. See attached flyer for some ideas.
New Social Games club starts Monday 19th February at YMCA Liseux way Taunton 10.00am to 12.00 Noon
1. Try something new
2. Meet new people
3. Play board games
4. Have a cuppa and a chat
Only £3 per person
At Wellsprings Chapel we arrange and provide a wide variety of community events – weekly clubs and groups, regular monthly activities and special “one-off” events. Some are for all ages together and some are for particular age groups or groups of people. Below are some of the groups they run
See the community events page on the website for more information.
Health professionals can refer patients to a low cost physical activity programme designed for individuals with existing health conditions as well as those at risk of developing health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and depression who would benefit from specialist support to become and remain more active. The programme has been designed to help participants to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence, and improve their health and wellbeing. This is a 12 week programme incorporating one to one assessments, behaviour change techniques and individual tailoring of activity plans – all offered at a low cost to participants.
Wellsprings Leisure Centre, Blackbrook Leisure Centre and Wellington Sports Centre
If you would like to be referred for this scheme please contact your GP surgery.
The dental helpline is a service designed to offer dental advice and/or appointments for urgent dental treatment; as described below.
Patients who require “emergency” care are those requiring immediate attention in order to minimise the risk of serious medical complications or prevent long-term dental complications. This means they are most likely to present with:
Patients who require “urgent” care are those requiring attention for:
Huntington’s Disease Association branches and support groups are run by volunteers. Groups meet up and down the country for a mixture of social activities, information sessions, fundraising and awareness raising – and always a good chat.
The groups are informal and are run to meet the needs for the people who attend.
For more information about branches and support groups or to find out the contact details of your nearest group contact the Association on the contacts below.
We’re the only UK charity looking after the nation’s lungs. With your support, we’ll make sure that one day everyone breathes clean air with healthy lungs.
Having lung disease brings questions and anxiety about the future.
Our helpline, support groups, web community and easy-to-understand information offer vital hope and support.
The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society is ‘the voice’ of people affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) across the whole of the UK and in due course, we hope to be so for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). Founded in 2001, we are the only UK charity devoted specifically to RA, and we launched a service for families, children, young people and adults affected by Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in 2014.
Meetings are held at the Taunton Rugby Club, Hyde Lane, Bathpool, Taunton TA2 8BU. Please note that some meetings are held on a Saturday morning but most meetings are held on a Tuesday evening. Please see details below for specific dates and times:
Meeting dates and speakers for 2018
Saturday 20th January 11am – Guest speaker: Jenny Chamberlain, Physiotherapist will present: ‘Physiotherapy and Rheumatoid Arthritis’
Tuesday 13th March 7pm – Guest speaker: Dr Lucie Wilk, Consultant Rheumatologist will present: ‘Holistic approach to treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis’
Tuesday 8th May 7pm – Guest speaker: Dr Laversuch, Consultant Rheumatologist will present: ‘Early Inflammatory Arthritis’
Tuesday 10th July 7pm – Guest speaker to be announced
Tuesday 11th September 7pm – Guest speaker to be announced
Tuesday 13th November 7pm – Guest speaker to be announced
Memory Cafés provide a social activity, along with the provision of information, in order to support people diagnosed with dementia.
A place for people with dementia and their carer’s to meet others in a similar situation, in a relaxed social setting. You can spend time sharing information and experiences, or simply have a cup of tea and a chat. We play games, have quizzes, guest speakers, etc.
Men’s Sheds (or Sheds) are similar to garden sheds – a place to pursue practical interests at leisure, to practice skills and enjoy making and mending. The difference is that garden sheds and their activities are often solitary in nature while Men’s Sheds are the opposite. They’re about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge, and of course a lot of laughter.
Men typically find it more difficult to build social connections than women, and unlike women of a similar age, less older men have networks of friends and rarely share personal concerns about health and personal worries. It is not the case for all men, but for some, when retirement comes, it can feel like personal identity and purpose is lost. Men’s Sheds can change all of that.
Sheds are about meeting like-minded people and having someone to share your worries with. They are about having fun, sharing skills and knowledge with like-minded people and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging. As a by-product of all of that they reduce isolation and feelings of loneliness, they allow men to deal with mental health challenges more easily and remain independent, they rebuild communities and in many cases, they save men’s lives.
Men’s Sheds are vital.
Taunton’s men’s shed is now open, Come and join us
Tuesday or Thursday
11am to 4pm
Unit 14 Belvedere
Annual membership £15 and £2 per visit
We are entirely dependent on our team of volunteers for the delivery of our services to the community; without them there would be no WAP and no Wivey Link.
We have approximately 35 drivers and around 20 other volunteers including our Directors, all supporting the management and administration of the organisation.
We are forever indebted to these wonderful people who dedicate themselves to helping others in some cases less fortunate than themselves. There is however no doubt that all these people also derive a deep sense of satisfaction from being able to do this and they thoroughly enjoy both the activity itself and the social contact which volunteering brings.
Despite our numbers we are constantly looking for more people to volunteer so if you have an interest in becoming a driver or helping out in the Community Office, please do give us a ring; Deb Stodgell, our Office Manager, will be happy to chat with you. In case you are wondering, we do give our volunteers full training in all aspects of the job and drivers are mentored by a trained driver for their first few journeys.
Our iconic red vehicles can be seen all over West Somerset and beyond.
Wivey Link was originally set up to help combat rural isolation and whilst this is still its prime focus the service is open to all, whatever age, who for whatever reason, have no access to transport be it public or private and to those residents who are chronically sick or disabled.
The service is run entirely by volunteers with an employed part time coordinator. You can learn about our many volunteers by clicking the ‘volunteering’ button above and this will also give you details of how you may join this wonderful group of people who devote so much time to the service of others. In 2004, we were awarded the Nationwide award for volunteering.
The service operates Monday to Friday from approximately 8am to 6pm, Bank Holidays excepted and the only requirements are that you need to be registered and that you pre-book by 11am the day before.
Taunton Heritage Trust is a registered Social Landlord and a member of the Almshouse Association. We provide sheltered accommodation for independent living and have 66 flats on a number of sites in or close to the town centre.
Its main role is to provide sheltered accommodation for older people and it owns five properties in the town which, between them, offer 66 self-contained flats designed to meet the needs of older people.
The Deane Helpline team have been looking after people for over 30 years, monitoring Lifeline alarms connected within Taunton Deane area and contracts across the South West.
The Deane Helpline is a 24/7 emergency alarm service, responding to your call for help at a touch of a button, using a Lifeline alarm unit which is installed in your own home using an existing telephone socket.
Whether it is a major emergency or a minor worry, the Deane Helpline Control Centre will assess your call and establish if the emergency services should be called immediately, dispatch our Emergency Response Officer or contact your Doctor, relative or carer, if more appropriate.
For charges see the website
An Independent Advocacy
Service Supporting Vulnerable
People Across Somerset To:
Here at WHERE, we aim to assist individuals in the community who have physical or mental disabilities, long term chronic health conditions, or those who have become isolated due to health, bereavement or age.
To enable this to happen, the WHERE Active Living Centre is a social hub that provides a range of services including Transportation, Cafe with home cooked food, Educational Courses, Social Activities (as well as a place to have a hot meal / drink, sit and chat) and much more.
Drop in Cafe
Health information and presentations
Transport to and from the centre
Meeting place to sit and chat
Venues for hire – for birthdays and celebrations
Transport for hire – with full disabled access
Much much more – we adapt regularly to your needs.
WHERE Active Living, North Street,
Wellington, Somerset, TA21 8LY
Specialising in Dementia Care, Activity & Reminiscence
Training & Community Projects
Open to those who are or have worked within the grocery industry.
They offer help in many ways as well as the helpline.
The freephone GroceryAid Helpline is also available to everyone in the industry – those currently working who need a bit of extra help and also former grocery industry colleagues.
Subjects covered include:
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Join the campaign — for you, your mates and for all men.
Our helpline is for men in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support. We’re open 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year.
Webchat support is also available from 5pm to Midnight
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, is an Armed Forces charity dedicated to assisting serving and ex-Service men and women who have suffered life-changing limbloss or the use of a limb, an eye or sight. We support these men and women in their communities throughout the UK.
Community Transport Schemes can offer individual transport and group hire. Some also offer door-to-door services. Community Transport is provided by a number of independent charitable, non-profit-making groups, companies and organisations.
Who can use it?
Anyone who doesn’t have access to public transport and is without access to suitable alternative transport.
These services can be used for a variety of reasons, including health appointments, shopping, commuting to and from work, social events, evening classes and for making links with other public transport. Each service operates differently and, covers different areas, so please check when making your booking.
How do I use it?
You need to register by phoning the number of the service you wish to use. Once it is established that you are eligible, you can make your booking. Journeys are usually booked with at least 24 hours notice, and you agree your pick up and drop off points and times. Regular bookings can also be made with some providers.
How much does it cost?
Fares vary, so please contact the individual operator to find out more. Concessionary fares may be available to Somerset residents who are English National Concessionary Travel Scheme Pass holders. For more information please contact the individual operator.
Slinky is an accessible bus service for people who can’t use conventional transport.
The service is for things like getting to local health appointments, visiting friends and relatives, going shopping and as a link to other public transport.
You can use the Slinky bus if you:
Parents with young children, teenagers, students, the elderly, retired people and people with disabilities could all be eligible to use the Slinky service.
If you are eligible you will first need to register as a member of the scheme. You must fill in a registration form and return it to the booking office before you use the service for the first time.
We know that anyone can find themselves at crisis point for a number of different reasons.
In order to provide the most appropriate help for the circumstances of your situation we work with local agencies. If they feel you are struggling to put food on the table, they will issue you with a foodbank voucher. The local agency can also provide long term support if needed to help address some of the issues behind the reasons for your crisis.
Our foodbank works with a number of different agencies, such as Citizens Advice, children’s centres and health visitors.
When you visit a referral agency they will take some basic details from you to complete the voucher. This will help them to identify the cause of your crisis and offer practical guidance. It also means we are able to prepare suitable emergency food for the right number of people.
Once you have been issued with a voucher, you can exchange this for a minimum of three days of emergency food at your nearest foodbank centre.
Taunton Unit 4 Belvedere Trading Estate, Taunton TA1 1BH Tuesdays and Fridays 14.00-16.00
Wellington Wellington United Reformed Church Fore Street Wellington TA21 8AQ Mondays and Thursdays 15.00-1600
Living with MS isn’t always easy – whether you’re coping with a diagnosis or have lived with it for some time.
MS society provides online information and support for those living with MS
Music and other creative activities can make you feel healthier and more positive. There’s increasing evidence that singing regularly as part of a group is good for your general health and wellbeing. It seems to be especially good at improving your quality of life if you’re living with a lung condition.
The Housing Options Service offers a free and confidential service to homeless or potentially homeless people. Our specially trained team can help with all sorts of housing related problems. We will look at your situation and advise on the best way to help you tackle your current housing problem.
We can give simple advice on the telephone or invite you to an interview where we will carry out an assessment to find out how we can help you. Our team have lots of experience in this subject and a network of contacts.
If we can’t prevent you becoming homeless, we can refer you to our Homelessness Case Worker, who will assess your needs by carrying out a homeless assessment..
Our objectives are to promote good mental health, to encourage greater understanding of mental health issues, to provide high quality support and to enable genuine service user/survivor involvement and consultation in the development of all mental health services.
Set up in 1982, Mind in Taunton & West Somerset is a well-established and respected organisation that has close working links with a number of other local agencies.
Are you looking for emotional support for yourself or a loved one? Then please ring our Mindline Somerset Service Open Tues,Wed,Fri,Sat,Sun 8pm-11pm
The NHS Somerset interactive diabetes website to help support people who have diabetes and their family and friends.
You’ll find leaflets, videos, educational tools and games containing information about diabetes. You may soon also be able to use this website to view your own up-to-date diabetes clinic results, to help you manage your condition more effectively.
If you’re a kidney patient struggling to make ends meet we can help you. We provide personal grants to help pay for – Domestic costs, Household items, Travel expenses, Higher education / training / qualifications
Who is eligible
Our personal grants are available to -Dialysis patients and families on low income, Transplant patients and those receiving conservative care, if health and quality of life is being seriously affected by your renal condition.
What we can fund
Domestic costs: we can help with some domestic bills such as car insurance and tax, heating costs and rent. We may also help with the purchase of domestic goods like washing machines, beds and carpets.
Travel costs: we may be able to help with travel costs to your hospital if you have to travel a long way and have no support from your unit. We don’t help with travel costs for ongoing dialysis.
Further education and training: we may be able to cover the cost of university or college fees, IT equipment for education and give support for courses enabling return to work.
Before applying for a grant it’s a good idea to download and have a read through our Applying for a grant leaflet or if you’d prefer a hard copy, please contact us. If you’re a social worker or member of a kidney care team applying on behalf of a patient please read our Applying for financial aid guide
You’ll need to contact your kidney unit social worker or a member of the kidney care team, as all applications for financial aid should come to us on a grant form completed with their input. However, if there’s no member of staff able to help, our advocacy officers can be contacted by contacting Kidney Care UK.
If you have an NHS hearing aid supplied by Musgrove Park Hospital you can request a repair appointment by contacting the Audiology Department at Musgrove Hospital. Contact details below or text the word ‘audiology’ followed by your message to 07768-258508
Self help tips on pain and links to information on pain management.
Request the original toilet access card from the Bladder and Bowel Community today. We use the universally acknowledged W.C. signage, giving you the benefit of discrete and clear communication for those moments where you just can’t wait to use the toilet.
The Just Can’t Wait card is now completely free of charge when ordered online. Fill out a few details and we will post your high quality, durable Just Can’t Wait card to your home.
This is a community of people with diabetes, family members, friends, supporters and carers, offering their own support and first hand knowledge. Start with diabetes help and support if you are new to the site.
We make it quick and easy by being your first point of contact for whatever support you need. Many of our team are veterans themselves so they understand the issues that people face after leaving the Armed Forces. They work with people on a one-to-one basis, connecting them with the right support as soon as possible.
Somerset Sight is a long established charity supporting people with sight loss. Our visiting service provides fully trained and checked volunteers who visit sight impaired people on a regular basis to provide company and support.
The Volunteer Visiting Service has existed since the 1990’s, supporting people with day to day tasks, trips out and helping them to maintain an active lifestyle.
Volunteer Visitors are recruited and matched to an individual by Somerset Sight. The Co-ordinator for the service visits a person firstly to discuss the support with them. Once set up visits are on a regular basis, usually fortnightly. All our volunteers are fully trained and police checked.
Those who receive the service say what a difference it makes to their lives.
This is an online platform where you can find out about local cycling projects, track your cycling, set goals and find out about local rides.
Love to Ride has been designed with behavior change principles, techniques and tools at its core. This is to ensure that our approaches are as effective as possible at encouraging cycling. “We get more people cycling using our online platform, local promotion and good ol’ human interaction.”
We all need support after the death of someone close. Bereavement benefits provide extra money to ease the financial strain after the death of a spouse or civil partner. You can get support even if you’re not on a low income.
From April 2017, a new benefit Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) replaces three benefits:
BSP has been introduced for new claims relating to a death on or after 6 April 2017. If your spouse or civil partner died before 6 April 2017, you should make a claim under the old system.
What happens if I’m already receiving bereavement benefits?
If you’re already claiming bereavement benefits you will continue to receive them. You don’t need to do anything.
Bereavement Support Payment (BSP)
BSP is available to anyone under State Pension age whose husband, wife or civil partner has made enough National Insurance (NI) contributions. It provides a one-off lump sum followed by up to 18 monthly payments. BSP isn’t means-tested and all payments are tax free.
There are two rates of support:
You’ll receive a maximum of 18 payments if you claim within three months of the death. If you claim after that, the number of payments will be reduced.
Other bereavement benefits
These benefits apply if your spouse or partner died on or before 5 April 2017. Bereavement benefits under the old system can affect your other benefits, so check this before claiming.
Bereavement Payment is a one-off tax-free payment of £2000. You must claim it within a year of the death of your husband, wife or civil partner. You may be eligible if:
Bereavement Allowance is a weekly payment, made for up to a year after the death of your husband, wife or civil partner. You should claim within three months of their death. The exact rate you get depends on your age. You may be eligible if:
Widowed Parent’s Allowance
Widowed Parent’s Allowance is a weekly payment for those with dependent children. It’s made for up to a year after the death of your husband, wife or civil partner. You should claim within three months of their death. You may be eligible if:
You won’t be able to claim these benefits if you’re divorced or have a dissolved civil partnership, have remarried or registered another civil partnership, or live with another partner.
If you need help to pay for a funeral, you may be eligible for a loan from the Social Fund or a funeral payment.
Jointly is an app that makes caring for someone a little easier, less stressful and a lot more organised by making communication and coordination between those who share the care as easy as a text message. It can be accessed by laptop, smart phone or desktop computer.
The Nature and Wellbeing project in Somerset is funded by Public Health at Somerset County Council. The Nature and Wellbeing Project supports people to access quality natural spaces of outstanding beauty. The focus is on supporting mental wellbeing and physical activity, and working with groups and individuals who may benefit from such engagement. Project activities focus both on linking people to existing provision and setting up new activities and events.
It offers practical advice, interactive tools, videos and audio guides to help you feel mentally and emotionally better.
We aim to prevent the abuse of older people by raising awareness; encouraging education; promoting research and collecting and disseminating information. Please contact us
Mindline Trans+ is a confidential helpline for
people who identify as Trans, non-binary or
gender fluid that provides a safe place to talk
about feelings confidentially and receive
signposting to appropriate services and
support. Operating Mondays and Fridays 8pm – midnight.
Type 2 Diabetes and Me is an interactive online course to help people with Type 2 diabetes understand and manage their condition successfully. It was developed by Diabetes UK, in partnership with Bupa. See link below or you can go to the Diabetes UK website and search for Type 2 Diabetes and Me.
Diabetes UK has produced this e book that you can get by filling in the online application, The book is full of tips written by people living with diabetes, for people living with diabetes. Covering everything from going on holiday to eating out, working out and managing diabetes with work, relationships and more, it’s packed full of useful tips and handy hints for every part of life with diabetes. Go to the link below. They no longer send out paper copies.
Practical conservation groups carrying out seasonal outdoor tasks in the countryside. Suitable for those who are reasonably physically fit, no training required. See link for Somerset area programmes and contact details.
Do something amazing. Volunteer. Would you like to share your love of reading with someone who is housebound and deliver library books to people in their own homes? Royal Voluntary Service is a charity and will provide full training.
We train clever dogs to help deaf people. That’s what we do in a nutshell – we train dogs to alert deaf people to sounds they would otherwise miss – simple sounds that many people take for granted like the doorbell, alarm clock and even danger signals like the fire alarm. Being aware of these – thanks to a hearing dog – makes a real difference to deaf people’s lives.
A hearing dog and their deaf recipient need to be carefully matched to ensure the partnership will work well. So many little things need to be taken into consideration – for example, we wouldn’t match a bouncy, bubbly Labrador with a 70-year-old lady with mobility problems. But that Labrador would make a great companion for a fit 35-year-old who loves going out jogging every morning. We take these important lifestyle factors very seriously to ensure we make the right match. Matches can take up to three years. There is so much more to find out so please contact Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
‘Call in Time’ is a free public telephone befriending service run by Age UK. It matches volunteers with older members of the public. Not having someone to talk to regularly can be lonely and isolating, particularly if you’re used to sharing your home and time with others. A friendly, weekly, 30-minute chat on the phone can make all the difference.
The calls are friendship calls and are not for counselling or bereavement support.
While we’re waiting to find a suitable match for an older member of the public, we carry out regular, short Good Day Calls with them, to make sure they don’t feel ignored. There is a criteria for example people need to be over 60, live alone or be a full time carer and be able to hear clearly over the phone.
‘Call in Time’ is also looking for volunteers.
The Bereavement Office provides a service for the newly bereaved families of patients who die at Musgrove Park. To arrange an appointment with one of our Bereavement Support Officers please ring the number below.
If you or someone you know are worried about or affected by dementia, we are here for you. You can speak to friendly experts on our helpline. We have information to help you understand dementia and what to expect, and practical advice and support to help you to live as well as possible with the condition.
Somerset Partnership have put together self help guides on a number of topics including ‘Alcohol and You’. See link below.
Somerset Partnership have put together self help guides on a number of topics including bereavement. See link below.
Somerset Partnership have produced self help information leaflets on a number of topics. See link below to their website where you can find their leaflets on topics such as anxiety, anger, depression, low mood, eating disorders, OCD, panic, self harm, shyness and social anxiety and stress.
Somerset Partnership have self help guides on a number of topics. See the link below for self help information on sleep.
The Dementia Advocacy Service is run by Swan Advocacy in Somerset. For more information contact us on the numbers below, email or visit the website.
Did you know that if you have a diagnosed respiratory condition you may be eligible for Pulmonary Rehabilitation? Patients who are eligible are referred to the service by their GP or respiratory consultant and during the course are shown how to exercise safely and manage their breathlessness, within group classes under the supervision of BOC Healthcare’s respiratory specialists. Patients are encouraged and supported to continue to exercise at home after they complete the course. They also attend talks to learn about their respiratory condition so that they can better self-manage their health, reduce the risk of suffering exacerbations and maintain a good quality of life. The exercise and education programmes will be held at a number of venues across Somerset. Ask your healthcare professional for more information.
There are Somerset classes in Wanstrow, Norton Fitzwarren and Highbridge.
Somerset Advocacy is an independent, not for profit organisation based in Taunton, providing a countywide advocacy service for vulnerable people who require support to have a “voice” in their lives. Our staff team specialise in working with people who have communication difficulties. We also specialise in working with people who have autistic spectrum disorder, cognitive difficulties, victims of abuse, parents who have learning difficulties, people who have profound and multiple learning difficulties, and many more vulnerable individuals.
Age UK Somerset provides information and advice on a wide range of issues. We’ll provide you with the facts and you can make choices and decisions knowing you have reliable information. We can help you with: Welfare benefits and money matters. Housing rights. Health and social care. Leisure and social activities. Family and personal matters. Your rights to local services. And most other things that affect your quality of life.
Do you want to talk to someone about domestic abuse? Contact the Somerset Domestic Abuse Support helpline Telephone: 0800 69 49 999. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please always call the Police on 999.
A single point of contact for free and confidential advice. We provide a mixture of emergency accommodation across the county for men and women who want to flee domestic abuse. This includes a combination of refuge and safe-house properties and 24 hour emergency access to accommodation.
We work in partnership with Barnardo’s to work with children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse and offer parenting support programmes. Women will also be able to access group support.
Male perpetrators of domestic abuse will also be given the opportunity to change their attitudes and behaviour through a dedicated work programme.
If called from a landline in Somerset it goes directly to the Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service between the hours of 8am and 7pm. Outside of these hours the line is automatically redirected to the National 24hr Domestic Abuse helpline.
Somerset Partnership have put together self help guides on a number of topics including domestic violence.
Mankind Initiative is a charity supporting male victims of domestic abuse
Somerset’s main specialist service to provide support to men, women and children who are affected by domestic abuse. Services include outreach support, refuge (female) and safe-house (male and female) accommodation, along with support programmes available to both men and women, including those who want to change their abusive behaviour in intimate relationships. Opening hours are from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday/Sunday.
SARSAS is a specialist support service for people in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset, and South Gloucestershire, who have experienced any form of sexual violence, at any point in their lives.
SARSAS offer a confidential helpline, regular support sessions, counselling, email support to individuals and an advocacy service. They also support the family and friends of people affected by sexual violence and offer training and advice to professionals.
The SARSAS helpline currently runs 5 days a week and is available to men and women, boys and girls. SARSAS accept self-referrals through their helpline and from professions on behalf of people they are supporting. Please note referrals will only be accepted where the person being referred has consented to be referred to SARSAS.
Professionals need to make referrals via the downloadable referral form on the website.
For women and girls contact on Mondays & Fridays from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm and Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm.
For men and boys contact on Mondays from 11:00 am – 2: 00 pm and Tuesdays from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm.
Working across Somerset the Together Befriending Service provides a valuable social link for older people who may be lonely or isolated, particularly in rural areas. Our large team of together volunteers are available for one-to-one support, regular visits or telephone calls as well as for links into services, community groups and activities. Volunteers visit people, perhaps for an hour each week, in their own home to chat, reminisce maybe and enjoy a cup of tea in a relaxed environment. You may wish to note that this is an extremely popular service, and there may be waiting lists in some areas.
The Somerset Survivors website has information and advice for anyone affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence in Somerset.
We run many Ageing Well physical activity sessions suitable for older people across Somerset and North Somerset.
For the current details of what classes are available in your area see the website below for the timetable
Stalking is a pattern of repeated and persistent unwanted behaviour that is intrusive and engenders fear, it is when one person becomes fixated or obsessed with another and the attention is unwanted. Threats may not be made but victims may still feel scared. Importantly threats are not required for the criminal offence of stalking to be prosecuted.
Micro providers provide help at home in the Somerset and Mendip area. For the directory see website link below and please read front sheet carefully for description of what microproviders can do.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service offer a Free Home Fire Safety Visit – a visit involves a fire and rescue service employee visiting your home to give advice and guidance to help with fire safety needs eg fit a smoke detector if there isn’t one, provide advice about hazards around the home, talk through an escape plan and provide additional safety items such as vibrating alerts (subject to criteria). Also advice for people with hoarding issues.
For support on many issues affecting the elderly such as housing, benefits advice, hospital discharge, isolation, and care homes.
A new befriending organisation for widows. Groups that meet up, go on trips and give advice. To find your nearest group email or see their website.
You can borrow talking books free of charge, if you are registered with a visual impairment, are unable to hold or use printed material due to a physical disability or if you are dyslexic.
Later Life Training have produced some home exercise booklets for people to print out. See disclaimer at end of booklets.
Somerset Mobile libraries provide a service to rural parts of the county where there is no static library. Wheelchair access is available on all vehicles, WRVS volunteers deliver or the Good Neighbour Scheme can deliver. The mobile library driver will help you get on and off the vehicle. To use the Mobile Library service you just need to be a member of Somerset Libraries, membership is free. Call for the complete list of routes/stops and the dates/times of each of visit for the current year.
The British Legion’s Handy Van service helps ex-Service people who are over 75 and their spouses with small household repairs and minor adaptations. or email If we can help, we will. You will need your Service Number.
The Royal Voluntary Service have volunteers across Somerset who offer help and support so older people can stay independent at home. Volunteers will visit you at home and work with you to create a support package that suits you. This may include some company and a chat with regular visits from a Royal Voluntary Service volunteer, telephone befriending or delivering Books on Wheels and other items like DVDs to your home. The Royal Voluntary Service also run lunch clubs and social clubs for people to attend. Calls can be made Monday – Friday between 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.
The Silver Line is a confidential, free, national helpline for older people. Open every day and night of the year. They can offer information, friendship and advice. They can signpost callers to the many, varied groups and services that exist in their communities. The Silver Line has been given information on services in Mendip so that they can signpost effectively.
Somerset Direct – Adult Social Care supports adults of working age and older people who have disabilities, mental health problems, a sensory loss or general frailty.
SSAFA provides lifelong support to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army or the Royal Air Force.
Our trained volunteers can provide practical, emotional and financial support if and when you need it. Our network of local branches means that help and advice is close at hand. When you contact us for support we will put you in touch with one of our experienced advisers in the Somerset area. It is often the little things which make the most difference but we are also experienced at dealing with complex problems.
The Sleep Council aims to raise awareness of the importance of a good night’s sleep to health and wellbeing and they aim to provide helpful advice and tips on how to improve sleep quality.
For information and guidance on all aspects of sleep including insomnia, snoring, sleep tips for children and conditions such as sleep apnoea, visit the NHS choices – Better Sleep.
The Sleep Apnoea Trust Association is working to improve the lives of sleep apnoea patients, their partners and their families. Managed by volunteers SATA is regarded as the leading UK charity working in the field of Sleep Apnoea. Although we support patients in many ways, we do not provide medical advice. If you suspect you may be suffering from sleep apnoea, your GP will be able to refer you to a specialised sleep clinic.
The Blue Badge Scheme provides national parking concessions for people with severe walking difficulties who travel as drivers or passengers. The scheme is also for people who are severely sight impaired. People who have a blue badge can park close to their destination in on-street parking and car parks. The form can either be filled in online or you can call Somerset County Council.
The cost of a blue badge is £10. The badge can only be used with the person who owns the badge in the car at the time of parking, as a photograph is used on the badge, for identification. Badges take approximately a month to arrive.
If you are disabled, you may be able to exchange your mobility allowance to get a vehicle that suits your needs. What’s more you don’t even need to drive. Family, friends or carers can drive on your behalf.
The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair by exchanging their Government funded mobility allowance . If you receive either the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMC DLA), the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP) , the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) you may be eligible to join the Motability Scheme.
If you or someone in your property is disabled you may qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant. This would help towards the cost of providing major adaptations and facilities that would help the person to live in their home. The applicant of the grant must be either the owner of the property or a tenant.
The landlord of the property may also apply and a tenant must have the permission of the landlord. There are conditions attached please ask on application. To apply contact Adult Social Care on the number below and ask for an Occupational Therapist Assessment or visit website for more information.
Created so that people know where to find ‘accessible’ health information. ‘Accessible’ information is information that uses easy words with pictures covering food and exercise; informative health videos and useful health advice. There are over 500 leaflets on Easyhealth made by many different organisations. You can print off nearly all the leaflets straight away.
Looking for volunteers for their ‘Support at Home’ service which helps people on a short term basis who may need some support and help when they are first discharged from hospital. This could include collecting from patients hospital on the day of discharge then taking them home, or helping people settle back in at home, going shopping or befriending.
Full training is given and as a trained volunteer you can have the rewarding experience of helping others remain independent in their own homes. Could you spare a few hours to help support someone in need?
Want to volunteer with SPARK Somerset? We support and promote voluntary and community activity and encourage co-operation with other sectors to develop a more caring and inclusive society. We provide a pro-active and accessible services to all community groups and voluntary organisations, particularly those groups who do not have access to centralised support services.
Our services offer free, practical help, advice, support and representation of the views of its membership at local, county, regional and national level. To find out more visit our website or phone us for more information and advice about how to get involved.
The Cinnamon Trust is a national network of over 15,000 community service volunteers has been established to provide practical help when any aspect of day to day care of pets pose a problem, for example, walking the dog for a housebound owner.
A national fostering service is provided for pets whose owners face a spell in hospital. Volunteers take pets into their own homes and supply love and care in abundance until owner and pet can be reunited. For more information about the service or to become a volunteer please call us or visit our website.
Somerset Sight is a not for profit organisation, embedded in the local community providing practical and emotional support to over 3,000 people and their families across the county who are blind or visually impaired. The team at Somerset Sight is here to provide support at the point of diagnosis and beyond – reaching out to people who need help in their own homes or the wider community.
For more information about our services or to find out about volunteering please contact us.
Talk to us any time you like, in your own way, and off the record about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal. We know a lot about what can help you through tough times. We can help you explore your options, understand your problems better, or just be there to listen.
It doesn’t matter who you are, how you feel, or what has happened. If you feel that things are getting to you, get in touch. We’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Local branches have different opening hours for face to face support. Find your local branches and numbers below
Yeovil: 25 The Park, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 1DG
Bath and District: 25 Windsor Castle, Upper Bristol Road, Bath, BA1 3DH
Taunton and Somerset: 16 Wood Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1UN
Bristol: 37 St Nicholas Street, Bristol, BS1 1TP
Call or check website for hours open to receive callers at the door.
Are you a problem solver, do you like a challenge? Could you use your life experience to help a child or young person having a tough time? For more information please contact Route 1 Advocacy. This volunteer role requires a criminal background check via the disclosure procedure.
Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service offers free, confidential advice and support to anyone whose life is being adversely affected by drug and/or alcohol use. They offer help to anyone whatever their age, as well as their partners, other family members and friends. You can contact the service on our 24/7 service number below.
To report someone sleeping rough, call the number below, calls are confidential. We aim to visit people referred to the service within 2 working days. Please provide as much detail as possible about the individual to help us make contact with them.
Co-Depentents Anonymous is a set of informal self-help groups made up of men and women with a common interest in working through the problems that co-dependency has caused in their lives. CoDA is based on AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and uses an adapted version of their Twelve Steps and Traditions as a central part of its suggested programme of recovery.
Credit unions enable people in a community to come together to save ethically and to borrow money at competitive rates. 100% of members’ savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Like all other credit unions, MCCU is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Our Service points:
We may be able to help people in need, living in the South West, with funding for respite holidays, days away, taxis etc. Registered charity 1069330
Seeking to provide access to specialist advice, advocacy and casework under Community Care Legislation in Somerset, get legal advice about the NHS, Social Services and Disability Rights. Ensuring that the most vulnerable people in our society do not suffer through lack of information or advice about their rights to Community Care under the Law. Working with multidisciplinary partners to achieve the best possible outcomes for people, we aim to help build a healthy, informed and caring community.
This service is here to help when you need advice, have concerns or don’t know where to turn. As a patient, relative or carer, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice and support. This is where the Patient Advice and Liaison Service can help. This service is free and confidential. Our aim is to help sort out any problems or concerns you may have when using health services, agree the best way forward to deal with a problem and get it resolved as quickly as possible. We will do this by: offering advice and support to patients, their families and carers, providing information on NHS services, listening and responding to concerns, suggestions or queries, talking to staff, management and other organisations on your behalf, helping sort problems quickly on your behalf. Write to us: NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, Freepost RRKL-XKSC-ACSG, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 8HR or use the on line form at our website.
Swan will be delivering all types of advocacy for Somerset through a single point of contact; these advocacy services were previously provided by Somerset Council through four separate advocacy providers. This new, comprehensive model of advocacy support ‘all under one roof’ will enable Swan to deliver the ‘Person Centred Approach,’ and will further meet the new requirements under the Care Act, which came into force of April this year. Under the new requirements Local Councils are required to provide an independent advocate to support an individual who is subject to care practices and is finding it difficult to understand the care process, or to speak up for themselves, and who does not have an appropriate person to help them.
We offer a wide range of treatments for adults 18 years of age and over who are registered with a GP surgery in the Somerset area, in a variety of different ways, so that we can help as many people as possible access talking therapies. Our aim is that our therapies should intrude as little as possible in your everyday life, but still have the best chance of delivering positive outcomes for you.
If you are 18 years or over and registered at a GP surgery in Somerset, there are a number of ways you can refer yourself to Talking Therapies:
Counselling Directory lists counsellors and psychotherapists who are members of a recognised professional body or those who have sent us copies of their qualifications and insurance cover.
A collection of books ranging from factual information, carers’ experiences, experiences of those with dementia, fiction and children’s stories. Available from most local libraries.
If you have concerns about Alzheimer’s disease or about any other form of dementia, Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline can provide information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations
Carers of people with mental health problems (this includes dementia) who are registered as a patient/client with Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust can request a carers’ assessment and access specialist carers’ services and ongoing support provided by the Trust.
This service supports unpaid carers and family members to ensure that they feel valued and supported, empowering them to begin to take control of their lives. We provide a comprehensive range of services for carers which include Carers Assessment Workers, Carers Employment Support Officer, Carers Education Courses, Carers Support Groups, Carers Website, Carers Newsletter, Carers Info Packs, Carers Participation Group, Information and Advice about Carers Breaks and Carers emergency cards. Carers can be referred or self-refer for a Carers Assessment providing the person that they support is registered with Somerset Partnership. Contact – Samantha Pike Foundation House Taunton
Information and support for people with dementia in Somerset and their carers. See website for phone numbers of different services.
An information and signposting service provided by the Alzheimers Society to people who are in the process of being diagnosed or have recently received a diagnosis of dementia. Also home visits on an ongoing basis to provide a wide range of information, support and a listening ear. Visits are carried out during regular working hours by appointment.
Provides housing related support to individuals with dementia or memory problems to assist them to develop or maintain their independence and quality of life in their own homes. Support is tailored to the needs of the individual and may include: support to resolve or prevent debts and claim state benefits; advice on property maintenance and safety in the home; access to health professionals to maintain physical and mental health; guidance regarding assistive technology, aids and adaptations; investigate participation in social activities. This service is offered free of charge to eligible people living in Somerset. Those under 65 require a diagnosis of dementia.
Support for people with dementia or their carers who have been in the Armed Forces: The Royal British Legion provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces community – serving men and women, veterans, and their families. This includes Admiral Nurses, Care Homes and Holiday Breaks. Please note that Legion beneficiaries can be either the person with dementia or the carer.
1) Admiral Nurses – The Legion works with Dementia UK to provide Admiral Nurses – a service that supports the carers of our beneficiaries who have dementia. The focus of the service is to maintain independence and improve the quality of life for carers and families and to provide the practical advice they need. WHAT DO ADMIRAL NURSES OFFER? Our Admiral Nurses have the experience to facilitate the service every step of the way. Currently operating in Somerset, Admiral Nurses offer:
2) Royal British Legion Care Homes with specialist dementia wings for long term residency or respite care.
3) Royal British Legion holiday breaks at one of our Break Centres around the country for rest and relaxation for carers.
Break Centres available around the country for rest and relaxation for carers.
We provide free information and support to those with macular disease, along with their family and friends, to help people retain their independence.
Meets First Monday of every Month 11 to 1pm.
Enjoy a regular chat with a telephone befriender who shares your interests, experience or type of macular condition. Telephone befriending is free, everything can be set up over the phone.
Somerset County Council’s sensory loss team are trained to work with people with sight and/or hearing loss. Workers can visit you at home and arrange to provide you with support to help keep you independent. Services include provision of equipment and rehabilitation, along with advice and information on a range of specialist organisations for people with sight and/or hearing loss.
Available to everyone affected by sight loss. Whether you’re losing your sight, blind or partially sighted, our practical and emotional support can help you face the future with confidence. Services include talking library books, specialist education for children young people and learning disability support. Services such as e-Learning courses are also provided to businesses, support workers and individuals to help understand and accommodate people affected by sight loss.
We offer information and support at all stages – from diagnosis through to recovery. We provide information packs, a helpline, newsletters, support groups around the country, and a web forum where you can share your experiences and learn from other people with PMR and GCA. Above all we offer hope. There are regular meetings in Bath and Taunton.
Committed to providing specialist palliative care, advice, support and respite to patients and their families living in Somerset and parts of neighbouring counties. Our care is available for those who have a terminal or life-limiting illness, for example cancer, motor neurone disease and chronic lung disease. For general information and advice, or for healthcare professional referrals to all patient services, there is now only ONE number to get help.
Marie Curie helper service support people living with any terminal illness, and their families. We offer expert care, guidance and support to help them get the most from the time they have left as well as support for the carers.
For the hire of mobility aids including wheelchairs. Delivery costs £10 and Pick up £10 as well as donation for the hire depending on the item. Cost no barrier for those not able to donate.
We are the first point of contact for all Somerset GP patients enquiring about transport to their NHS appointments. We assess patients’ eligibility on their medical need, mobility and various other factors and if suitable can provide free car, W/C Taxi or ambulance transportation. Our lines are open from 08:30 – 18:30 Monday to Friday.
It may be possible to claim back travel expenses to hospital appointments, if you are in receipt of certain benefits. You may be able to get financial help from the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme if you: • are on a low income • need NHS treatment at a hospital, other NHS center or private clinic • have been referred by a healthcare professional.
HTCS does not apply if you are: • visiting a GP or dentist for routine appointments • visiting others in hospital • visiting A&E or Minor Injury Units. Claims can be made to the individual hospitals.
Mind Line Somerset is a confidential listening service giving a safe place to talk if you, or someone you know, is in distress. We can also give basic information about mental health and local services.
Opening times Wednesday, Friday – Sunday 8.00pm – 12.00 midnight. When our lines are busy, or closed, our switchboard can connect you to our sister service, Wand (0808 800 0312) or the Samaritans. The result is that any caller can speak to a call handler 24 hours a day/7 days a week – which we feel is a truly valuable service.
Bipolar Support Group is a website offering support for people around Bipolar. Currently Taunton and the surrounding area does not have a local support group however the national support line is available.
OCD UK is the leading national charity, independently working with and for almost one million children and adults whose lives are affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD typically falls into four categories Checking, Contamination / Mental Contamination, Hoarding, Ruminations / Intrusive Thoughts.
Breathe Easy Taunton is a support group for people affected by lung conditions including their friends, family and carers. The group meets on the third Wednesday of the month in the afternoon,Taunton Baptist Church, Silver Street, Taunton, TA1 3DH 2pm-4pm
Rethink Mental Illness provides integrated mental health services that include accommodation, outreach and resettlement services for adults with mental health problems.
The P4A Hubs serves as the main access point for referrals for support or accessing an accommodation element and will provide advice and information on a range of issues including signposting to other services. Rethink Mental Illness has two accommodation hubs and two high need mental health accommodation units together with resettlement and outreach teams. Location of the Taunton hub is: P4A West at Eastleigh Court Taunton and is the single point of access for all services across Taunton and West Somerset. Referrals can be received through a variety of sources including self, carers, professionals and partners. Please contact the Hub for further information.
The Red Cross helps thousands of people following a short stay in hospital and prevents unnecessary hospital admissions by providing extra support at home. The support offered by our volunteers can smooth the process of settling back into a normal routine and enable people to regain their confidence and independence. The service includes: rebuilding confidence, collecting prescriptions, offering companionship, assistance with shopping. The service is available on a time-limited basis. Usually 6 weeks. Referrals are accepted from GPs, hospitals, social workers and individuals. No Domestic chores such as washing up carried out.
Our dedicated team of Caseworkers and Technicians will provide advice and practical help before you go home, or within the first few weeks after you are home such as:
Free support –
Help you set up food delivery services
Meet and Greet you at Home following your stay in hospital
Provide benefit and welfare advice
Help you sort out utility bills and other post whilst you have been in hospital
Carry out a Home Safety check to ensure you are safe and secure
Carry out a Home Energy Assessment to keep you warm, well and reduce fuel poverty.
Make arrangement for urgent shopping requests for those clients who have no one else to help.
Telecare Life Line alarm for 8 weeks for those discharged from hospital. After the 8 weeks there is a payment for the alarm.
Support where there is a charge –
Make arrangements for the fitting of key safes, home improvements and adaptations.
Moving of beds or other furniture within the home.
Arrange the installation of Telecare Life Line equipment which includes an 8 week free trial then it becomes a chargeable service.
And lots, lots, more… please contact us for advice
Help at Home is an individual service that can be designed to support your exact needs. We can help with things like: shopping or light housework; claiming benefits; getting out and about or to appointments; arranging a tradesperson to visit; writing a letter, reading or dealing with the post; arranging alarm and response services; sitting service; personal care (not yet available in Somerset).This isn’t all we do, so whatever you need from supporting you to move house, organising a holiday or just clearing a bookshelf, we’ll always try to help. There is a charge for this service.
A grass-roots charity in Somerset which aims to re-connect people with the social, health and environmental effects of growing, buying, preparing and eating local food.
An NHS Health Check can help you identify potential risks early and give you personalised advice so you can take action to reduce your chances of developing these health problems.
You can have an NHS Health Check if:
See website or call to book a Health Check.
The DeafPLUS Mobile Advisory Service gives advice and information on all aspects of hearing loss. You can find out more information and access support via our website or contacting us by phone or email.
A Communication Skills Group provides an ideal opportunity to practise lipreading skills in a friendly, relaxed and informal setting. You will learn from each other and the tutor those situations and behaviours, which make it challenging to lipread and the strategies you can use to help yourself and others around you. Sharing experiences of living with a hearing loss can be invaluable, as being deaf or hard of hearing can be very isolating. Classes run in Wellington. Call for details.
Classes are FREE and take place weekly (during term-time). For details contact the tutor Annie Bell or Deafplus.
Action on Hearing are experts in providing support and information for people with hearing loss and tinnitus. We supply communication services and training. We offer practical advice to help people protect their hearing. We send out leaflets and catalogues. We have a Samaritan trained person to support people overwhelmed by Tinnitus. For more information about the service, visit our website or call the freephone number below.
Citizens Advice Taunton provides free, independent and confidential advice to help people resolve their problems.
We provide advice on virtually any issue. Our goal is to help everyone find a way forward no matter what problem they face.
The following centres offer a walk-in service only and don’t provide appointments.
Taunton. St. Mary’s House Magdalene Street Taunton TA1 1SB Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-2pm Wednesday 1pm-6.30pm
Halcon. 110 Roman Road Taunton TA1 2BL Tuesdays 9.30-12pm
Priorswood. Priorswood Community Centre Priorswood Estate Taunton TA2 7JW Thursday 09.30-12pm
Wellington. 28 Fore Street Wellington TA21 8AQ Monday and Thursday 10am-1pm
for relationship counselling and family difficulties.
We exist to improve the lives of everyone affected by epilepsy.
For information on disabled access, wheelchair walks, easy access for all, mobility, Walks on Wheels, Miles without Stiles and buggy walks visit the ACE website.
This site also provides information regarding taxi companies with disabled friendly taxis, along with wheelchair and scooter hire.
English National Concessionary Travel Scheme Passes are available for residents of Somerset who are of pensionable age or eligible on the grounds of disability. The pass allows you to travel free on buses in every area of England subject to certain time restrictions. Download application form online or contact Transporting Somerset who will post form.
You may be able to apply for a disabled person’s rail card, if you are in receipt of certain benefits, are visually impaired or registered as deaf, please see website for details, the card will allow you a third off rail travel and costs £20.00 a year.
National Express, Senior Coach Card, Disabled Coach Card and Young Persons Coach Card give a third off standard fares. Coach Card costs £10 a year.
with specialist dementia wings for long term residency or respite care.
Community Council for Somerset provide a carers support service that is available to all unpaid carers, whether you care for a few hours or provide a substantial amount. They give good quality local information, emotional support and practical advice to help you in your caring role. They also work closely with the other specialist carer support networks. This service is to support you as a carer. It does not replace assessed care and support provided by the local authority.
A self-help group for people with Colorectal Cancer (often known as bowel cancer), their families and carers. We are here for anyone who lives in Somerset or who is receiving their treatment in the county. We are not professional counsellors. We are patients, and partners of patients, who speak from our own, personal, experience. We have been through a variety of surgical and other treatments for bowel cancer and its effects. We are backed up by Macmillan Cancer Support and the colorectal surgical team at Musgrove Hospital.
We support people to live well with the impact of cancer through lifestyle information, self management tools and support. Our services address the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual impact of cancer, through a comprehensive whole-person programme that is designed to work alongside medical treatment. We recognise that cancer has an impact on the people closest to you and we welcome your supporters. We are here to support people through their whole journey living with and beyond cancer. We welcome direct self referrals from anyone over the age of 18 years with a cancer diagnosis and their close supporter. Referrals can also be made by health and social care professionals.
St Margaret’s drop-in support groups are held in Yeovil and Taunton – for anyone affected by a life-limiting illness – patients, family and friends. We offer a listening ear, information and can assist with finding other services which may be of help
The Somerset Association is run by local men who have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. One of the objectives of the charity is to help patients and families at all stages of their cancer journey. This can be achieved by gaining knowledge from those in the group who have already experienced the traumas, the treatment decisions and set-backs. Call to find out about meeting times/dates. 4 meetings a year.
We are a unique organisation helping Somerset residents to live as independent a life as possible after brain injury. While promoting a wider understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provide information, support and services for people with brain injury, we also assist in accessing and signposting to other services. Not least is helping with sometimes much needed respite care for family and carers. We provide social and cognitive rehabilitation for adults with brain injury and support and respite for their families through our three Brain Injury Outreach Units based in Bridgwater, Henton and Yeovil.
The Bereavement Advice Centre supports bereaved people on a range of practical issues via a single freephone number. We give practical information and advice and signposting on the many issues and procedures that face us after the death of someone close. If we do not know the answer to a concern or query we will research it and call back within an agreed period of time or signpost to another organisation which can give the information required.
We welcome calls from bereaved people and the professionals and volunteers who support them. Bereavement Advice Centre helps many people every day and aims to give straightforward, useful advice when you need it.
We provide confidential support, information and guidance to families and professionals throughout the UK. Our professionally trained bereavement support workers are available to take calls 9am – 5pm Monday-Friday.
At the Child Death Helpline we’re here to listen. We understand that the death of a child is one of the most devastating events that anyone may experience. Sometimes the feelings of grief can be so overwhelming that they make everyday living very difficult – we’re here to help. Our dedicated helpline offers support to anyone affected by the death of a child of any age, under any circumstances, however recent or long ago.
FCN volunteers provide pastoral and practical support for as long as needed – helping people to find a positive way forward through their problems.
The mission of Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS) is to provide free and confidential emotional support and information to anyone who is affected by the loss, or anticipated loss, of a pet or assistance animal through illness, euthanasia, natural death or other circumstances like theft or attack. We commit to providing this support service every day of the year from 8.30am to 8.30pm.
Committed to assisting in relieving distress, whether mental, physical, spiritual or emotional, caused by the bereavement of a child
Offering support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies and work to enhance society’s care of bereaved people.
A self-help, voluntary organisation which aims to meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend.
for those bereaved by suicide. Parents, siblings relatives friends and other emotionally involved in a suicide are welcome to attend. Meetings are held at MIND in Taunton West Somerset. First Thursday of every month , at Sussex Lodge, 44 Station Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1NS.
If you or someone you care about has had a stroke, our Somerset based service can provide practical advice, essential information and emotional support. The service is free to people of any age recovering from stroke, their carers and family members. Either you or your carer, health or social care workers or GP can refer you to the service. We visit people wherever they may be such as their own home, hospitals or care homes.
If you would like support from someone who has been affected by a stroke, then you can contact the Somerset Stroke Association.
Life after stroke grants provide a one off payment of up to £300 to fund vital home or personal equipment or by funding support to become active in your local community. If you are a friend or carer of a stroke survivor who would benefit from this support please visit our website or ring us to find out more information.
If you are suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and would like help and advice, contact the Somerset team on the number below.
This website lists the Talking Newspapers which are available in your area. Listed are national and county-wide newspapers.
The U3A approach to learning is – learning for pleasure. There is no accreditation or validation and there are no assessments or qualifications to be gained.
Taunton U3A provides many opportunities for anyone no longer in full-time employment, to enjoy:
Newcomers to any group can attend their first session free of charge before making a decision about joining. Please contact Chris Eyles for further information
Wellington Offer a monthly coffee morning as well as regular groups. Please see the website for further details www.u3asites.org.uk/wellington/welcome