Media Centre

Welcome to our Media Centre for Second Step news, blogs and publications. All our recent press releases are available below. You can also keep in touch with our thoughts and opinions by looking at our blogs from staff and people who use our services. And our publications are available to view online and download too.

If you have a media inquiry and want a comment from us or would like to speak to one of our service users or one of our staff,  please contact our PR & Communications Manager Jane Edmonds on 07841 777401 or email

Latest News

16 December 2016

Karen describes the last two years of homelessness as a living hell, so it is uplifting to picture her in the sanctuary of her own home this Christmas as a result of Second Step’s help.  

Earlier this year Karen, not her real name, moved into her own place in Bristol and will be there this Christmas. She said: “Even now I have to pinch myself to believe it is mine. It is warm, I can close the door and I feel safe”.

Karen’s life started to unravel rapidly when she lost her job and then her flat; perhaps unsurprisingly her mental health declined swiftly too.  When the engine of the camper van she had been forced to live in blew up, she realised she needed help.
Two years of living hell
Luckily she was allowed to park her van in the garage of her mechanic friend, but her living conditions were grim especially in winter, and plunged her into two years of deep-seated depression. Feeling a burden to her friends she gradually withdrew from them.
Karen did have some support through her darkest days, from fellow van owners that provided her with a sense of community and from her loving family and her one constant companion, her dog. However her family couldn’t offer her a home and it wasn’t until she met Lynne and Jason, support workers from Second Step’s South Gloucestershire team that her life started to change.
Going out for coffee
Lynne got the ball rolling through taking Karen to doctors’ appointments and helping her to apply for social housing. Karen told us how the simple act of Lynne asking her to go for a coffee meant she became more confident about leaving the refuge of her van. Jason then continued to fight for Karen: advocating on her behalf with the council, organising appointments and providing her with “a calm presence” throughout the turmoil.

4 November 2016

Positive wellbeing and good mental health are key when it comes to stopping older people from being lonely. Studies from similar projects suggest that about 75% of the people identified as isolated and lonely are likely to have some form of mental health problem, mostly depression, which could be the cause or result of their loneliness and isolation.

Funded by Bristol Ageing Better (BAB) five new pilot projects providing different approaches to enhancing older people’s wellbeing will be rolled out in the coming months. The Bristol Ageing Better Programme aims to fund projects which identify the most isolated older people and that provide activities and services to empower them and improve their contact with their community.

Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, Carers Support Centre in partnership with Dhek Bhal, Happy City, Second Step and Oasis-Talk were awarded a total of £75,000 to trial different approaches to solution-focused brief interventions to support those older people whose emotional problems contribute to their loneliness.

Bryony Campbell, Operations Delivery Manager at Second Step, welcomed the announcement: “We are very excited to be launching a pilot project in partnership with Brunelcare offering solutions-focused psychological interventions and holistic support to older people.

"Our aim is to provide support today to develop skills and improved resilience and connectedness for the long term. Experienced in delivering psychological therapies, our approach combines clinical interventions with holistic support centred on the client’s individual needs and aspiration and will be delivered by cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) trained Bristol Ageing Better Wellness Advisors."

Vicki Palmer from Oasis-Talk said: "Oasis-Talk are delighted to have been awarded BAB funding for a pilot which we have been wanting to do for 2 years and didn't have the people or financial resources to do. We know from our NHS delivery [of approximately 50% of the talking therapies in Bristol] that older adults don't take up the opportunity to access talking therapies in the numbers that would be expected. Our pilot will work directly with older adult groups in Easton to identify the barriers to accessing talking therapies and then they will help us design more user friendly services."

Carers Support Centre are also delighted to have received funding from BAB and to be working in partnership with Dhek Bhal to pilot a telephone counselling service for older carers. Keith Sinclair, CEO of Carers Support Centre, said: “We know that older carers face a range of issues including grief, loss, isolation and loneliness. The pilot aims to help older carers manage their own health and wellbeing better. Providing counselling by phone means that carers do not have to go out to an appointment, as leaving the person they care for on their own can be very difficult.”

Zehra Haq, CEO of Dhek Bhal, added: “We often meet carers who are so distressed and upset. They have been suffering in silence and language is a barrier as well. It is easy to get depressed and lonely when you are caring for someone non-stop. This service will help carers find solutions.”

These pilot projects will run for 9 months, after which a larger service will be commissioned in Summer 2017.

Bristol Ageing Better 
Carers Support Centre. Bristol and South Gloucestershire
Dhek Bhal

13 October 2016

As well as World Mental Health Day, October marks OCD Awareness Week (9-15 October). OCD is a serious psychiatric condition that is estimated to affect 1.2% of the population, making it one of the most common mental health issues. 

Second Step’s very own Terry Starr has been open about living with OCD to raise awareness of the issue. This weekend he is taking to the airwaves on South Bristol’s BASE Radio in a special edition of the “Second Step Recovery Tunes” show, talking about his life and experience of living with OCD.  The show will go out on BASE Radio’s loop several times over the coming month at Base Radio Bristol

Terry is also guesting on the region’s only regular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender magazine programme, “ShoutOut” on Thursday 13th October.  In a 10 minute interview, he will be talking about how everyone has a modicum of OCD, and how treatment and medication work. 
If you would like any resources on OCD, please email Terry on

2 October 2016

Action on homelessness needs to be taken now before the winter hits, and for the longer term, the Mayor told a packed breakfast debate in Bristol on Thursday 29 September.

Speaking to representatives of voluntary organisations, Bristol City Council, GPs, housing providers and business leaders, Mr Rees pledged his support for the #nomore campaign started by Golden Key, a citywide partnership led by Second Step.

The audience also heard from Professor Alex Marsh, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Bristol, Matt Griffith, Director of Policy at  Business West, Adam Rees, Golden Key partner and Regional Director at St Mungo's and Darren Nuttall a founding member and former Chair of IF, a group of people with first hand experience of homelessness, mental health and drug and alcohol dependency which acts as an advisory group to the Big Lottery funded  Golden Key programme.

Golden Key research shows that 44% of our clients have experienced homelessness in the last three months and 32% of the blocks and barriers which prevent our clients moving on with their lives relate to housing. Bristol has the highest number of rough sleepers outside London.

Later, representative of key organisations discussed a plan of action to tackle homelessness as part of a radical new 'city office' which the Mayor has created to look at the issue. Watch this space for next moves and join our #nomore conversation on Twitter @goldkeyBristol.

14 July 2016

Outstanding teaching at Second Step Recovery College

We always knew the training was good at Second Step’s Recovery College – but now we know it’s outstanding.
One of our wellbeing and mental health trainers Nina Simmonds was given an outstanding grade in a recent teaching observation by Bristol City Council’s Learning Communities team.

Rob Wright, Recovery College Manager, said; “This is a fantastic achievement and shows Nina’s hard work and commitment to our learners.”

Nina, a peer support officer and tutor in the Recovery College, has been working in the mental health sector in Bristol for the last 15 years and teaching for the last two. The Recovery College is a place of wellbeing and learning for anyone in Bristol who is interested in finding out how to improve their mental health.

To find out more, please call Ben Lilford, Recovery College Coordinator on 0117 914 5498 or email

Outstanding teaching at Second Step Recovery College

12 July 2016

Chris Kinston and Nicky Noble from Bristol Mental Health’s Community Rehabilitation team took to the airwaves on Saturday 9 July to talk about the service’s first year. Guests on the popular BBC Radio Bristol’s Dr Phil Hammond Show, Chris, the service manager, and Nicky, an Occupational Therapist from Avon and Wiltshire NHS Partnership Trust,  spoke about helping people with long term mental health problems reconnect with their communities. Community Rehabilitation is run by Bristol-based mental health charity Second Step in partnership with AWP and women’s mental health organisation, Missing Link.

Click here to listen to the interview.

The interview started at 9.50am and lasts for 10 minutes.

7 June 2016


Bristol Community Rehabilitation Service was really pleased to be rated good in a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Wellbridge House, the accommodation side of the service, which was inspected last month, was given a positive assessment across the board. The inspectors’ report concluded that people using the service were:

  • Supported  by staff with a  good understanding of their needs and the care they required.  The staff were trained and knew how to provide them with effective support

  • Well supported with their mental health needs and they understood the aims of the service
  • Treated in a kind way by the staff, and

  • Encouraged to make choices and helped to be more independent by staff. Individual care records set out how people wanted to be supported by the staff as part of a recovery approach to their support and care.

Chris Kinston, Senior Operations Manager, said:

“Bristol Community Rehabilitation is a successful partnership between Second Step, AWP and Missing Link.  We are really pleased with the way the partnership is working for the benefit of people using the service.  This is evident in the rating of ‘Good’ that the Service received across each of the five categories assessed by the CQC; including ‘Safe’ and ‘Well Led’.

“This rating demonstrates the progress Second Step is making in delivering innovative health services.  The CQC report also shows what an important contribution Bristol Community Rehabilitation Service makes to Bristol Mental Health.”

  • Bristol has adopted a new approach to delivering mental health services. They now come together under the banner of Bristol Mental Health which is made up of 18 organisations chosen because of their expertise and experience. The process of change took nearly three years and included the involvement of people with experience of using mental health services, carers, voluntary organisations, community groups and health and social care professionals. The new Community Rehabilitation Service is a key part of these changes. For more information go to

 6 June 2016

Reaching Out - Golden Key Local Evaluation Report

Golden Key's first annual evaluation report, produced by the partnership's local evaluators - University of the West of England (UWE) offers valuable learning from Golden Key's first phase, setting out important considerations for future development.

As with all evaluations the report represents a snapshot in time.  Already Golden Key has drawn on the report's learning as the partnership continues to evolve.

Help the partnership continue to evolve by discussing the report's key learning questions with your organisation or team and reflecting on how you can play a part in addressing the issues they raise.  Together we can inspire lasting change in Bristol!

2 June 2016

Celebrating volunteers and the wonderful work they do supporting some of Bristol’s great causes.

Seven voluntary sector organisations will celebrate the great work done by their volunteers at a special event in Bristol’s Brunswick Square tomorrow, Friday 3 June at 12.30pm.

Second Step is holding the two-hour event with Bristol Drugs Project, Bristol Women’s Voice, Oxfam, Big Issue, Golden Key and DHI (Developing Health and Independence), and NACOA (National Association for the Children of Alcoholics) as part of national Volunteer Week which runs from 1 – 12 June.

In the last 12 months Second Step volunteers have supported more than 873 people who use our mental health services. In total, 126 Second Step volunteers have donated an amazing 5287 hours of their time.

Aileen Edwards, Chief Executive of Second Step, said: “Our volunteer team has grown in numbers and also in the impact it has made for the people who use our services and also by complementing our staff team. The time they give is invaluable and it is fantastic that we are holding this event to say thank you.”

Other events taking place to celebrate volunteering during Volunteer Week can be found here:

23 May 2016
Second Step Media Group tomorrow present the first of a series of programmes called “My Recovery Tunes”.
Taking a leaf out of Radio 4’s much-loved “Desert Island Discs”, we are asking guests to reflect on music that has had an impact on their own journeys of recovery - rather than maroonoing  them on a tropical island.

We begin at BCfm by welcoming Heather from Bike Minded – a project which encourages people to cycle to better mental health.

Heather has chosen a fabulous selection of tracks to share with our listeners, including artists as diverse as Suzanne Vega, Noah and the Whale and They Might Be Giants.  She will also be chatting to our interviewer, Danny, about the work of Bike Minded and upcoming events this summer. 

The show has been planned and formatted by service users and will be delivered by them as well. 

Tune in between 3 and 4pm tomorrow afternoon, 24th May.  The station is (in Bristol) at 93.2 on your FM dial – between BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.  It is also (in Greater Bristol) on digital DAB radio (scroll for BCfm) and online at  

9 May 2016

Mental health survivor Dean has learnt as much as he can about his mental health issues so he can live his life to the full. Dean says his relationship with his Second Step support worker Rachel is key: “She totally sees I am the expert in all of this.” Rachel says: “I’ve helped him learn about himself”.

Dean and Rachel’s relationship is powerful. You just have to talk to them to see that. And it’s this connection of trust and respect which has helped Dean discover strong coping mechanisms – even on bad days.

Second Step, a leading mental health charity in the West of England, is championing strong relationships like Dean and Rachel’s during Mental Health Awareness Week (16 – 22 May). This year’s theme is relationships – the relationships we have with friends, colleagues, neighbours and others. When these relationships are strong it is easier to feel more in control of our lives, with or without the symptoms of mental ill-health.

Aileen Edwards, the Chief Executive of Second Step, said: “Strong relationships are at the heart of the work we do with people. We offer our clients real hope that their lives can change for the better.

“The client’s voice is heard in all the work we do. Our vibrant client groups help shape our services and the way we run them. We recognise the importance of the client experience and pioneered the introduction of peer staff – employing people with first hand experience of mental health services to work in our support teams.”

Dean and Rachel’s story
Dean says his relationship with Rachel is based on honesty and respect. “She totally sees that I am the expert in all of this. I live with my symptoms all day, every day. And she has empathy for me for this”.

Rachel says Dean has developed brilliant coping strategies to deal with his ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), personality disorder and bipolar and she supports him with a positive mental attitude. “He wants to learn about the different mental health issues and how to cope with them so that he can live his life to the full.”

Dean says: “Getting support is the best thing I have done,” and urges others to seek support for their mental health issues.

Rachel enjoys helping Dean with different aspects of his life, not just the administrative tasks and feels that this is important.  He listens to someone else’s point of view, and as a result he understands himself more.

Dean, who used to be a successful athlete at national standard as a teenager, fell into a life of chaos when his mental health issues took over. Dean then turned to drink and drugs to block out how he was feeling. Dean realises now that this just ended up making his mental health worse. “Rachel helps me remain hopeful even when I have tough days – and that means my life feels more manageable and I feel more in control,” says Dean, who lives in Weston.

Dean has coping mechanisms to help overcome his mental health issues.  He understands his triggers and knows to avoid them.  He eats a vegan diet and doesn’t smoke or drink so that he can give himself the best chance of being mentally well. When he has a bad day, Rachel encourages Dean to think of the positives in his life.  He had a difficult childhood, but she talks to him about being a survivor rather than a victim and describes it as giving him “fire in his belly” to get up in the morning even if he doesn’t always feel like it. Rachel says her job is about listening and not judging and says:  “I try to put myself in Dean’s shoes” in order to help him.


23 February 2016
Joining forces to raise awareness of homelessness

Second Step is taking part in the city’s Homelessness Awareness Week (February 20-26) along with organisations and charities from across Bristol. The week got underway with an art exhibition featuring work from people have experienced homelessness first hand.

A number of organisations are opening their doors to the public to help deepen understanding of the work being done to support people who have no home. These organisations include the Spring of Hope, the Julian Trust, Caring in Bristol and the IF Group – the advisory group for the Golden Key Programme.

The IF Group, the advisory group for the city’s Golden Key Programme – a citywide partnership led by Second Step – teamed up with Bristol Reconnect and Keep Bristol Warm to host its own art exhibition entitled ‘Being Homeless’.  Held in Café Connect, St Mark’s Road, Easton, the exhibition will include photographs and stories from people who have been homeless themselves. The exhibition will be open from 25-27 February, 11am-7pm.  To talk to those involved in creating the art please visit between 2-4pm.

Second Step staff will also be helping a stall in the Bear Pit on Wednesday 24 February from 11am-4pm. 

For more information about the week please go to Bristol Housing Forum website at

12 January 2015
Keeping in Step with the Times

Second Step today launches its annual Impact Report, Step Change 2015. 

A look back at the last 12 months, the report details seven of the many ways we are making change happen at Second Step.

The report shows the amazing impact we are having on people’s lives and how with support people are able to change their lives for the better. Highlights include the way in which the people who use our services are involved in improving those very same services and the launch of a brand new service called My Support, tailored specifically to each client’s needs.

To read the report in full please click here or to order a copy please contact

Illustrated by a collection of selfies from people who use our services, staff, partners and friends, the report also invites readers to send their selfie to add to the ultimate group photo we’re putting together on our website. If you’d like to be part of our great Second Step selfie family please send your selfie photo to 


14 December 2015
Taking care this Christmas
Christmas can be joyful but it can also be a difficult time of year for many of us. We feel obliged to get together with our families and to join in but for many the prospect, let alone the reality, can feel stressful, even unbearable.

The number of suicides soar to their highest levels in January and the Samaritans expect to receive one call every six seconds over Christmas and the New Year.

The sense that everyone else is finding the festive period enjoyable serves to emphasise our own insecurities and problems. Many also feel pressurised to spend money they many not have adding to their sense of feeling overwhelmed.

The last thing we want to hear are platitudes about grinning and bearing it. Instead, here at Second Step we have put together our top tips to cope with Christmas based on the five ways to wellbeing.

1. Many of us have family obligations at Christmas and some of us find these hard. Others may not have places to go or people to see and that can be upsetting too. Either way try not to beat yourself up about your situation, be    kind to yourself.

2. Take care not to indulge too much, a bit of activity added into the mix will make you feel so much better and more balanced. So go for a walk or do some other exercise, whatever works best for you.

3. Keep things small and simple. Trying to do too much will stress you more. If you keep things doable and don’t expect too much of yourself you will feel much better.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are people out there who understand how difficult Christmas can be and will be keen to help you through.

5. Do something for others if you can. Maybe visit a neighbour if that’s a possibility. For some, this may be difficult and so it is important to remember to treat yourself well at this time of year. Be sure to do something for you too, it’s important to care for yourself.

4 November 2015
Our five steps to combat stress
Tomorrow , Wednesday 4 November, is National Stress Awareness Day. Stress comes second to back pain as the most common reason for taking time off work.
And currently the UK loses 15 million of working hours every year because of our stressed out employees.
Second Step runs successful stress-busting courses as part of our pop-up Recovery College operating across Bristol and to help manage your stress our Recovery College manager Amanda Headley-White has come up with her top five tips.

1. Take Time:  make sure you have regular breaks and check in with how you are feeling. If you need to take time out, don’t beat yourself up about it -  it’s ok to have a duvet day once in a while. And during a busy working day, remember to take time out for lunch – it will help

2. Know your limits: don’t over commit yourself and take time to prioritise. It’s ok to say no sometimes.

3. Talk: speak to colleagues and or supervisor – especially if feel you are becoming stressed or anxious.

4. Learn what helps : particularly what helps you and find time to do it. For some people  that might be going hard at the gym, for others taking time to read or play a game on your phone.

5. Do something fun or nice for yourself to help leave your stress at work or wherever the stress may be and try and do this every day

Amanda says: "The key to all this is valuing yourself to enable you to find time just for you.  We all need to learn that it is ok to put yourself first and do things for you.
Our five top tips are manageable and doable. It’s about beating stress with small steps."


9 October 2015
A blog for World Mental Health Day by Amanda Headley-White, Recovery College Manager and Peer Support Manager at Second Step.

"I've been involved in mental health services, sometimes as a user, sometimes as a professional and often as both, for all of my adult life. I think dignity is one of those words like respect, or hope, or recovery that is very easy to say, and very easy to subscribe to, yet can be challenging to truly enact.

"One of the things that has made me feel most stripped of dignity while using services has not been others putting me down, but rather pressing their expectations on me, in such a way that I could only feel failure.

"At 20 I was forced to leave Cambridge University due to my severe mental health problems and found myself living in supported housing in Bristol. I felt I had little dignity. I was also bulimic, which is an illness which brings dignity and self respect to an absolute low.

"I had no aims and no goals other than to either get better or die. Getting better involved living in a house with a cat. That was it. 

"Yet support staff found this hard to accept. What about goals and ambition and hope? Rather than meet me where I was and accept my modest hopes, there was a sense of being pushed and judged. What about work? Study?

"Inevitably it would be suggested, when I spoke of my despair at leaving Cambridge, that I return there. And yet had anyone really listened they would have heard me saying that the place had nearly killed me. I needed the space to be, to grieve what I had lost and to slowly recover the strength to move on.

"I think those with their own lived experience of mental ill health are well placed to meet service users (even the word lacks dignity!) where they are, and to hold the hope without foisting it upon them.

"Despair and loss need to be recognised just as hope and joy do. When a worker has been to the depths of despair, they are able to acknowledge the other's feelings while implicitly demonstrating that recovery is possible.

"To treat someone with dignity is to accept them as they are, with all their failings and weaknesses, and mistakes, because that is what makes us human.

"I never went back to Cambridge and I still mourn the me that could have been, and yet to treat myself with dignity (and its taken a long, long time) I've had to accept the real me with the quirks and frailties alongside the strengths."

25 September 2015
Aileen Edwards, Second Step Chief Executive and Jason, from Investing in Futures (IF), took to the airwaves this week to talk about Golden Key’s work in Bristol.  The pair were interviewed by BBC Radio Bristol’s Geoff Twentyman for his afternoon news round up programme.

Aileen talked about how Golden Key will meet the Big Lottery’s challenge, for the partnership to find new solutions for those furthest from services, by being ‘creatively disruptive’.

Jason described how IF are ensuring that lived experience remains at the heart of the Golden Key.

In the wake of the recent Decourcy House squat eviction in Bristol, Geoff was also keen to hear from Jason about his experience of being homeless.  Jason explained that there are many complex reasons why people resort to living in a squat.  Jason went on to emphasise that having somewhere safe to stay is a crucial first step of recovery and that only targeted, long-term programmes like Golden Key can achieve real change by supporting those likely to use squats so that they no longer need to.

The interview was featured on the Geoff Twentyman show on Tuesday (22/09/15) evening between 4-7pm.  The show is available via iplayer and you can listen to it using this link:  Aileen's interview is 15 mins in and Jason's is 1.21.30  in.

3 September 2015
A new service tailored to your needs.  To find out more about the service you can either download a leaflet by clicking HERE, or visiting their page on this site by clicking HERE 

30 July 2015
Volunteer Services are opening the doors to talk about volunteering and current opportunities at Second Step, on Thursday 30th July from 4 - 6pm, at the office in Brunswick Square. You'll need to call us to book in a time. To find out more:

15 June 2015

Watch the clip below from ITV West to hear interviews with Phil, peer recovery navigator Rosie and our Chief Executive Aileen Edwards at the launch of Bristol's new mental health rehabilitation service.

10 June 2015
Watch this short film to find out more about Bristol's new Community Rehabilitation Service and the high hopes we have for it.

1 June 2015
Tom has had a torrid 12 months - dropping out of school, turning to drugs for solace, falling out with his family, lurching between violent episodes and complete withdrawal, and ending up in a secure mental health unit far from home. Finally he was moved to Bristol's new Community Rehabilitation Service.  (We have changed names to protect identities) 

When Tom started taking drugs with his friends, refused to do his school work and became increasingly angry and violent at home, his mum Kate was at her wits’ end.

A shy boy Tom did well at school and always had a best friend. However things changed in his late teens when his family became concerned about his behaviour. 

Violent episodes
He withdrew from the family and grew very angry – his anger spilling over into violent episodes. He then fell into periods of self-hatred and depression when all he wanted to do was end his life. Tom blamed his parents for it all, particularly his mum. Click here to read more.....

14 May 2015
A blog by Golden Key Lisa for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The theme for this year's awareness week is mindfulness. To mark the week Lisa from IF, the group which advises the Golden Key Programme, writes about her views and experiences. While recognising the value of mindfulness, Lisa says it is difficult to be mindful when things become chaotic. Use this link to read Lisa's powerful words:

29 April 2015
Bristol’s new Community Rehabilitation Service opened its doors earlier this month and to celebrate the first people moving in, staff and clients tidied the garden, planted lavender and rosemary herbs and held a barbecue.

Chris Kinston, the service manager, said: “The sun shone throughout the afternoon and we had a great time with everyone getting involved in making the garden look more spring-like. “

The new service, which is part of Bristol Mental Health, provides a high level of support for people who need skilled rehabilitation expertise as part of their recovery. The ten-bed accommodation hub of the service is based in Wellbridge House in Brentry, north Bristol.  Read more.....

March 2015

3 March 2015

Ex-serviceman Barry Double joined Bristol’s Big Sleep Out last Friday night to raise awareness of the problem of homelessness in the city.

Barry, who is supported by Second Step’s support team in South Gloucestershire, spoke to more than 200 people to remind them that while they would be able to go home to food and warmth, many people have to live on the streets – just as he has done – night after night.

Members of IF Group Bristol – who advise the Golden Key Programme which is looking for ways to change life for hundreds of people living with complex needs in the city – also joined the Sleep Out.  Read more here

17 February 2015
Second Step is joining Bristol City Council and other partners across the city to help highlight the problem of homelessness.

The Bristol Homelessness Awareness Week (February 23-27) has been set up to raise awareness of homeless, those at risk of becoming homeless and the issues facing rough sleepers.

The week will culminate in the annual sponsored Sleep Out, which is being organised by the Bristol Christian Action Network (BCAN).

More than 100 people are expected to take part in the event at the Pip ‘n Jay Church from 10pm on Friday February 27.

Richard Drake, Treasurer of the Julian Trust, said: “2015 will be the eighth year that we have had a Sleep Out in Bristol to raise awareness of homelessness in the city and the work done by a range of agencies.

“The Sleep Out is now part of a much wider awareness campaign that involves the council and many other organisations that are all working together to prevent and alleviate homelessness.  I hope we’re successful in explaining to people that we are all affected by homelessness and that there are many ways to help.”  

 Aileen Edwards, Chief Executive at Second Step, said mental health continues to be a major problem for homeless people: “If you are sleeping rough your mental health deteriorates, or it could be that mental health issues came to the fore under a large amount of stress.  It is a big issue to bear in mind when trying to help people.” More.....

4 February 2015
WHY PEER SUPPORT IS AMAZING - To celebrate Time to Talk Day on 5 February one of our peer support workers Rosie shares her thoughts about why peer support helps combat the stigma around mental health

Peer support is little known outside the world of mental health and drug and alcohol services. For me it has become a big part of my life. Not only have I experienced the power of peer support, I have also become a peer support worker myself.

For the uninitiated, a peer support worker is someone who has progressed in their own recovery, who identifies themselves as a peer and is willing to support other people with their mental health problems.

For me my recovery, my hope, came initially, not from the medical support I received – far from it – it came instead from someone who had had similar experiences to me.  She was a woman I met at university, who after a family murder was thrown into a child psychiatric hospital. She was told that because of the trauma she had experienced, that she would never achieve anything. She almost gave up at the time – but she had the tenacity and determination to fight back against these predictions and construct a life for herself that was truly meaningful and worthy of admiration.  More.....

2 February 2015
Today we launch our latest Impact Report giving a snapshot of our work during 2014. The report details seven areas of our working and looks at the impact we had in these seven areas during the last 12 months.

Entitled Stepping It Up – taking our seven steps to Bristol and beyond – we hope the report gives you a taste of what we do and an understanding of how we do it.

Do take a look and find out about some of the wonderful people we worked with last year and the changes they have been able to make in their lives.

Our Chief Executive Aileen Edwards said: “I am proud of the work we have been doing over the last year. It is testament to our hard-working and dedicated staff team that so much has been achieved during some particularly challenging times. We thank all our partners, our staff and our volunteers who worked with us last year and are looking forward to building on our strengths in the year ahead.”

To view the report please click here

15 December 2014

14 November 2014

14 November 2014 

24 October 2014

9 October 2014

Older Press Releases More.....