At Changes Bristol, we run weekly peer support groups designed to help offer encouragement, support and guidance to anyone in the community who is facing mental distress, or simply wants to share what is on their mind. Our peer support groups are completely free, and provide a safe space for individuals to discuss whatever they may be facing, while also receiving encouragement and support from peers who may be dealing with similar issues. The overall aim of these sessions is to help attendees equip themselves with the tools to make positive steps towards improved mental health and wellbeing.

We are always on the lookout for lovely volunteers just like you to help us run and facilitate these sessions. If you are interested in making a real difference in your community, here are 5 reasons why you should volunteer at a peer support group:

1. Positively contribute to your local community

By volunteering at a peer support group, you will be making a real difference to your local community. By empowering individuals to speak openly about their mental health and wellbeing, you will be helping them to implement real, positive change in not only their own lives, but also the lives of others.

2. Increase confidence 

Becoming a peer support volunteer can be great for building confidence in a variety of ways – whether you are looking to increase confidence with people skills, communication, or public speaking (don’t worry, you won’t ever have to facilitate alone. We’ll always have at least two facilitators at every group). You’ll also gain confidence in talking more openly about your own feelings and mental health.

3. Gain transferable skills

You will gain an array of transferable skills, from communication, to leadership and teamwork. These are all valuable life skills that can help you to succeed in further study, job interviews and in the workplace. But it doesn’t end there – you’ll also learn skills that will help in your personal life, such as listening skills and empathy.

4. Feel useful

We couldn’t run support groups without our amazing volunteers. So, whether you are currently out of work, taking a career break, or perhaps retired and have some extra time on your hands, volunteering at a peer support group can be a great way to utilise your extra time and make a real difference. Helping others can also be beneficial for your own mental health and self-esteem.

5. Help others while helping yourself

If you are living with mental illness, volunteering at a peer support group can help you in your own recovery journey. In fact, we actively encourage volunteers with lived experience to share with the group, so that they can also receive support and feel less alone. Many of our volunteers have said that helping others facing similar issues is not only rewarding, but also helps them to work through their own challenges. 

What our Current Volunteers Say

 Volunteering with us



“Volunteering for Changes offered me a unique space to explore and discover things – meetings are a great place to learn about yourself and about other people and what they go through” – Marc

“Being a doctor, one of the ways I look after myself is by helping others. As I wasn’t able to work as a doctor when I arrived in England, this was a good alternative for me and felt therapeutic. I have gained skills I can take further in my life, such as empathy and knowing how to respond when someone shares something personal with you. 

From the moment I joined Changes Bristol, I have felt genuinely valued and appreciated not only by the staff but also by the members. Regular members hold great significance to me as they have provided unwavering support and genuine warmth. Their presence provides a sense of familiarity, comfort and belonging”. – Mo

How to Get Involved

If you would like to make a difference in your community and can commit to volunteering at one of our peer support groups for 2.5 hours at least twice a month, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch at or give us a call on 0117941123.