We hold four peer support groups which we have categorised as closed safe spaces as they are only open to specific members – our Women’s, Men’s, Women of Colour and LGBTQIA+ online meetings. These groups are open to anybody identifying as part of the community that the group serves.Click HERE to sign up for the links to our safe space groups
Why do we have safe space support groups?
We understand that people belonging to specific groups experience particular challenges, and they may need particular safe spaces to explore their mental health with others who may have similar life experiences.
For this reason, Changes Bristol operates several closed support groups that are reserved for people from particular communities. These include our Women’s Group, Women of Colour Group, LGBTQIA+ Group and Men’s Group. Though we understand that no two people are the same, by providing these spaces, our members are able to speak openly with more common understanding. We also recognise that many people are not able to get support from their family or peers for many different reasons and are left to navigate their identity or mental health by themselves.
“It’s really empowering to have a space to talk about these things with people who are similar to you” Changes Bristol member
Each of our groups are overseen by facilitators who identify as part of that community, who help to create a setting where everyone is able to speak freely about their experiences, their mental health and their wellbeing. These groups are also supervised or supported by a member of staff who also identifies with that specific group.
We have opened these groups by request of members and volunteers. Anyone who identifies as part of the community the safe space group serves is welcome to attend. Find out more about why we have our safe space groups here and read our full diversity statement here.
If you would like to join any of our Online Peer Support groups, please click here to complete our membership form to get sent weekly links to our groups.
Women’s Peer Support Group
Our women’s group is inclusive of anyone who identifies as a woman. At Changes Bristol we believe in the availability of women only spaces so women can support each other, learn from one another and be free from any bias that may arise due to their gender.
We recognise that throughout history women have been discriminated against and this is still a prominent issue in our society. Almost one in three women will experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime* and we want to ensure that our female members have the opportunity to explore topics such as this in an environment that recognises the impact of being a woman in a patriarchal society. *For more information, click here.
To join our online women’s group, please click here and complete our membership form to get sent weekly zoom links for the group.
If you have any questions about our Women’s group, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Men’s Peer Support Group
Our men’s group is inclusive for anyone who identifies as male. Changes Bristol recognises the importance of male only spaces as an essential way for men to talk freely about issues they may not feel comfortable talking about around other genders. We seek to confront toxic masculinity and believe that male only spaces can be a place for reflection, positive role modelling and honest communication. Unfortunately, men continue to have the highest suicide rates* and we hope that by having a men’s only group, we can help reduce the stigma for men who are in need of emotional support. *For more information, click here.
To join our online men’s group, please click here and complete our membership form to get sent weekly zoom links for the group.
If you have any questions about our Men’s group, please email: email@example.com
LGBTQIA+ Peer Support Group
Changes Bristol is a LGBTQIA+ ally and believes in creating safe spaces for anyone who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Unfortunately, one in seven LGBTQIA+ people avoid mental health services and treatment for fear of discrimination.* Our LGBTQIA+ group is open to anyone who feels they identify as part of this community. We acknowledge that unfortunately the majority of LGBTQIA+ people will have experienced some form of discrimination due to their identity and believe that LGBTQIA+ spaces are an essential source of community, solidarity and healing. We hope we can work towards true equality for all. *For more information, click here.
To join our online LGBTQIA+ group, please click here and complete our membership form to get sent weekly zoom links for the group.
If you would like to learn more about gender and sexual orientation, click here to look at our Pride Flags and their meaning page.
To hear our thoughts on pronouns and why they are important, click here.
Making the first step and joining a new group can be daunting so if you have any questions about our LGBTQIA+ group and would like to chat first, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Women of Colour Peer Support Group
Our Women of Colour group is a dedicated safe space for all women of colour in Bristol. Unfortunately, in meetings and other common workplace scenarios, 54% of Black women are often the only, or one of the only people of their ethnicity in the room*. We understand that Women of colour are subject to unique discrimination and marginalisation and we have a duty to ensure there is a safe space for Women of colour to share and be supported by a community of peers with similar lived experience, without fear of judgement, racism or gaslighting. *If you would like more information, click here.
To join our online Women of Colour group, please click here and complete our membership form to get sent weekly zoom links for the group.
If you have any questions about our Women of Colour group, please email: email@example.com
All of our services operate in a strict confidential manor, meaning your identity and anything you share will not be discussed outside of the group, unless there is significant concerns about your safety (or someone else’s) and then they will contact our team.
Unfortunately, we still live in a world which is far from equal and where there is still so much stigma around mental health. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia along with many other types of hate crime are very real and sadly have serious impacts on many people. We believe that there is no place for hate crimes of any kind and are committed to making a change and a safer world for everyone.
In time, we hope to be able to create more specific groups to support our members even further.
How can I volunteer?
If you’d like to be a volunteer with Changes Bristol, there are various services you can support.
If you would like to help facilitate any of our Peer support groups, including any of our Safe Space groups, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also support us as a Befriender in our Befriending Service or volunteer for our Walk and Talk Service. You can email email@example.com for more information.
Barton Hill Settlement
41-43 Ducie Road