Support in Somerset communities

Support in the community in Somerset

There are lots of clubs and groups providing support in Somerset communities helping to keep people connected.

These include:

  • groups that meet to provide companionship – they may even arrange for someone to collect you to take you to group meetings
  • pubs that provide meals, often at great value, where you can meet up with friends
  • befriending schemes, where volunteers can come and visit you at home or accompany you if you would like to go out
  • organisations that can help you with some domestic tasks, such as cleaning, shopping, gardening, or simple repairs to your property

You can visit Somerset Choices to explore lots more community support available in your area.

There are also regular drop-in Community Connect events held in a venue near you.

Somerset Skills and Learning

Somerset Skills and Learning provides a wide range of courses for people of all ages, whether you want to get a qualification, exercise your mind and body or discover a new pastime.

These include everything from Nordic walking and fly fishing, to courses to develop caring skills, such as listening and counselling, and dementia care.

For more information, phone 0330 332 7997 or visit the Somerset Skills and Learning website where you can search for courses or download a brochure.

Somerset Volunteer Service

The Somerset Volunteer Service (SVS) matches people to the many volunteering opportunities that support Adult Social Care and other council services.

Volunteering opportunities include:

  • a community support role – supporting people with possible social care needs
  • community volunteers for Adult Social Care
  • Active Living volunteers
  • volunteer drivers
  • Leaving Care Services volunteers

Somerset Active Living

Somerset Active Living has over 120 community groups, clubs and organisations that offer the opportunity for people to come together, enjoy the company of others and develop new friendships and social circles.

Active Living Groups may offer:

  • light exercise
  • new skills and knowledge
  • access to advice
  • information about looking after your health and wellbeing

They run on different days and times of the week and some offer lunches.

Somerset You Can Do leads the whole Somerset Active Living Network. The network is supported by hundreds of volunteers who have a variety of roles, including group co-ordinators and more universal volunteers.

Find out more and search for an Active Living Centre near you.

Accessible transport in Somerset

Accessible transport in Somerset is available to people who might be unable to use conventional public transport.

Transport schemes offer a mix of vehicles, from accessible minibuses to cars driven by volunteers, with availability varying depending on where you live.

SLINKY transport services

SLINKY is an accessible, demand responsive, door-to-door bus service that can be used for everything from health appointments to shopping trips.

SLINKY services operate in different parts of Somerset, all offering free travel to concessionary bus pass holders.

Find out how to contact your local SLINKY service.

Phone: 0300 123 2224

Community transport and community car schemes

Community transport schemes provide transport for individuals or groups using a range of vehicles from minibuses with disabled access to cars driven by volunteers.

Charges for community transport vary depending on which service or scheme you use. Discounts may be available for concessionary bus pass holders.

Find your local community transport or community car scheme

Phone: 0300 123 2224

Fall prevention

Fall prevention becomes more important as you get older. If you fall and break a bone, especially a major fracture like your hip, you may find it difficult continuing to manage in your own home. It makes sense to do all you can to look at ways to prevent falls now.

Staying physically active can help reduce the risk for falls.

Wearing badly fitting or worn shoes, foot problems and trip hazards in the home, such as loose rugs and trailing wires, can all be causes of falls.

As part of ageing, you may develop health conditions that can increase your risk of falls. For example:

  • muscles can become weaker
  • eyesight and hearing may decline
  • certain medications can cause side effects which may cause falls

Sunlight is our main source of vitamin D. To keep bones strong, include lots of calcium and vitamin D in your diet, and aim to have 15 minutes of sun a day on your skin during the summer months, without sunscreen, but take care not to burn.

Some people will benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement, especially during the winter months. If you have any concerns, talk to your GP.

If you are worried about your balance or have had a fall, speak to your GP. They might refer you for a falls risk assessment and recommend you attend a Balance and Safety class at your local community hospital, or a physiotherapist may be able to set up an activity plan with you at home.

There are community based Stay Strong Stay Steady classes across the county to help keep you on your feet and help prevent falls.

Community alarms can also help if someone is falling frequently or if you are worried about falling.