Well Aware is a signposting service for health and well being services in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. 

 

How we can help you

Well Aware is a free health and wellbeing signposting service for Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Our database contains over 6,000 organisations, events and activities that can help improve your health and wellbeing. Just type into the search bar the service you are looking for, and the area you live in, to find all of the services available in your area.

We also provide telephone signposting, just call 0808 808 5252 to get through to one of our friendly advisers who will search the database for you and send you the information you need, either by email or in the post. Our telephone service is available Monday – Thursday, 9am-5pm and 9am-4:30pm on Fridays. Alternatively, email us at infoservices@thecareforum.org.uk

Our database includes, but is not limited to, the following types of services:

  • GPs

  • Dentists

  • Hospitals

  • Mental health services

  • Care homes

  • Support groups

  • Home care services

  • Respite services

  • Drug and alcohol services

  • Social groups (including groups for older people, young people, people with mental ill health)

  • Exercise groups

  • Arts, craft and hobby groups

  • Handyman services

  • Gardeners

  • Cleaners

We also have specialist information and resources on learning difficulties, dementia, mental health, low vision, hearing loss and men and boys’ health

 

Our team

Coordinators:

  • Alex Hodgson

  • David Harwood

Administrators:

  • Lauren Maddox

  • Mike Matthews

  • Bruce Mulcahy

Outreach:

  • Dan Hull (part time)

 

Our impact

From April 2016 to September 2016, Well Aware answered 1198 telephone signposting queries, 216 email queries and 57197 people visited our website. For more information about our impact, please see below some of our case studies:

Lauren Finds 93 Year Old Service User an Accessible Dentist in Bristol

Well Aware Outreach Officer Dan gave a talk to the Older People’s Forum on how older people can use the Well Aware service to access health and social care services in their area. A 93 year old lady who attended the forum spoke to Dan about her dentist. She wanted to change to another dentist because hers was on the first floor and she was having trouble using the stairs. Dan recommended that she call Well Aware so that we could help her find a more accessible dentist in her area.

Last week she called and she got through to Lauren. Lauren took her address postcode and told her that she’d have a look on Well Aware and call her back. By inputting ‘dentist’ and the postcode into the Well Aware search engine, Lauren found several dentists in her area. However, Lauren had noticed during the phone call that this particular service user was quite hard of hearing, and was having trouble remembering things like her post code and phone number. As this service user needed a little extra care and attention, Lauren called the dentists herself to check that their surgery was accessible and that they were accepting NHS patients. Lauren managed to find three dentists that met this criteria, so she sent off this information to the service user along with some travel information on local busses that would take the service user from her home to each dentist.

Although Well Aware is primarily a signposting service, where service users are encouraged to contact each organisation themselves, we also know that each service user has different needs. Here at Well Aware we believe that it is our job to break down the barriers in accessing services, bridging the gap that many service users feel stands between them and the services they need.

Mike Finds Social Activities in South Gloucestershire for Widower

Mike got a call from a man aged over 55 who wanted to take part in some activities in Bristol and South Glos, as he wanted to meet new people and stay fit since the recent death of his wife. He was quite specific about the types of activities he wanted to take part in as he knew he had enjoyed taking part in them in the past. He wanted information about:

  • Ballroom dancing

  • Bridge clubs

  • Walking groups

  • Gardening groups

Mike carried out several searches on Well Aware to find a variety of options for each activity. Some groups were quite straight forward to find such as:

  • LinkAge over 55 ballroom classes at the Beehive Centre in Whitehall

  • Falcon Court Kingswood Walkers Group

  • Bromley Heath Gardening and Social Club

  • The Bristol Bridge Club

However, to give this service user enough of a variety of activities to choose from, Mike also sent details of local community associations that has listed activities on Well Aware such as gardening clubs and ballroom dancing. These included:

  • Kingswood Community Association (lists ‘Gardening clubs’)

  • Emersons Green Village Hall (lists ‘Ballroom Dancing’)

As this service user was recently bereaved and wanted to meet new people, Mike also included details of Changes over 55 support group, where those over 55 can meet new people and receive support for bereavement.

Finally Mike included information about two Linkage groups, Whitehall and Easton, as they may be able to help further signpost this service user to activities in Bristol and South Glos.

 

Partnerships

Well Aware is part of the umbrella charity The Care Forum. The Care Forum is a health and social care voluntary organisation providing a mixture of frontline services and support to individuals, groups and organisations. We work primarily across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Somerset. Some of our work also covers North Somerset and the South West region more widely. The Care Forum is a registered charity (No. 1053817) and a company limited by guarantee (No.3170666).

Well Aware works in partnership with, and is funded by, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and South Gloucestershire CCG. 

The Well Aware website was designed by Focus.

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