Carers Support Centre provides support, information and advice to carers of any age living in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
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Welcome to the last edition of Volunteer News
for 2021!

And what a year it’s been ...

Dear Volunteers,

Around this time, we often think about the new year and making plans and perhaps, what we might like to do differently.

Wendy, one of our amazing colleagues, recently shared this:


We often consider the physical clutter or things in our home, so now may be a good time to think about the emotional “clutter” we carry around in our heads and have a sort out!

Welcome to our latest recruits … 

Olivia - joining the Carers Break Services
Sue, Avril and Tessa - all joining the Dementia Volunteer Mentors


Christmas Opening Hours – Carers Support Centre

We’ll be closed to the public from close of play 
Friday, 24 December 2021 (please phone before visiting,
in case the staff member you wish to see is on leave or
out of the office), opening again on Tuesday 4 January 2022.

Ways we celebrate Christmas … 
This is how some of the Wellbeing Team will be spending the big day … and beyond!

Pauline’s Christmas   

It is rather decadent but I always start Christmas morning with a Buzz Fizz whilst I am preparing the veg.  Then we go and see the grandchildren open their presents, after which we come back and finish dinner prep.  I am sometimes forced by my kids to open presents at this point though I prefer to do this after dinner.  Our dinner is a mixture of Caribbean and English so the menu usually looks something like this: turkey/ chicken/ lamb, rice and peas, stuffing, roast potatoes, salad, coleslaw, pigs in blankets, yorkshire puddings, carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage.

Dessert varies and is never taken straight after dinner (hardly surprising is that).  Sherry trifle, cheesecake of some description, Christmas pudding for one (me, as no one else likes it) with brandy cream.

After dinner, if we can move, we go for a walk to the local park to walk off all those calories and prepare for all the sweet treats later!

When we come back we usually watch a film and play board games.  Traditionally, I used to always buy a family board game every Christmas but as we seem to have most of them now, we just choose one we have.  

            &     Maria’s Christmas   

My Christmas day is usually quite ordinary and I spend it with family eating far too much. 

My favourite thing about the festive season is a tradition we call friendmas. A group of 22 of my closest friend (and their significant others) gather usually the weekend before the big day itself. We each cook one aspect of a roast dinner and come together to feast. What aspect of dinner is yours to prepare is drawn from a hat. We had to skip this last year but the year before it was my job to provide roast potatoes. We each take it in turn to host. 

We also do secret Santa and each year pick an amusing theme for the gifts. These themes are usually based on a Christmas tradition from somewhere else in the world. The last time we met we followed a German tradition called schrottwichteln, a tradition of finding the ugliest gift possible. There are rules to the game; gifts can only come from charity shops, be re-gifts, homemade or otherwise acquired. Spending cannot exceed £5. 

One friend also acts as a quiz master for a post-feast challenge. He usually has four rounds: news of the last year, music of the last year, stuff we did in the last year (usually dates of weddings from the past year or dates of significant birthdays or facts about any festivals we have been to) and who's social media from the last year (usually a quote one of us had said on social media where we have to guess who said it). It's usually very funny and the winning team gets to share any leftover alcohol from the big party. Last year, we just did the quiz over zoom to stay safe! 

More on Schrottwichteln:

Maria has also shared this link on interesting Christmas traditions around the world which you might want to explore:

Dates for your diaries – 2022 Volunteer Workshops

We are DELIGHTED to announce the following sessions for the New Year:

Understanding Dementia:
Wednesday, 23rd Feb 2022 from 10 am – 12 noon
(Rowlings Room, Carers Support Centre)

Building Confidence and Resilience
Wednesday, 27th April 2022 from 10am – 12 noon
(The Batch, Cadbury Heath)

Understanding Parkinsons’ Disease
Tuesday, 10th May 2022 from 10.00 am – 11 am
(via Zoom)

Booking is ESSENTIAL and places are limited so if you would like to attend any of these workshops, do let us know by sending an email to:

or call Marilyn on 07840 818 316

Click here to book a place
Raising Funds for Carers Support Centre
Our Lottery

The CSC lottery costs £1 a month for each number you have and you can have as many numbers as you like. Half of the money goes into a prize fund and the other half is used to support carers. There are 5 cash prizes every month.

If you can help us to promote the lottery, or would like to join the lottery, we would be delighted!

See more information on our website, or email:

Belated wishes to our lovely volunteers with a birthday in October and November, and best wishes to those celebrating in December and January.

October 2021: Andy, Sandi, Ken, Heather, Amanda, Mary, Mandie, Louise, Natasha and Jo
November 2021: Sue, Julie, Jackie, Lucas, Margaret, Carmen, Val, Sue, Nicola 
December 2021: Lesley, John, Amy, Tracey, Clare, Christine, Carol, Samantha and Alicia
January 2022: Mohamed, Craig, Nicol, Jasmin, Jen, Jill, Danielle, Philip, Helen, Margaret, Julia and Eva

Christmas walks!

If you are able to get out and about, Westonbirt Arboretum is a wonderful place to visit.   The autumn and winter colours are spectacular, there is a café and shop. You do need to book in advance, by calling 0300 067 4890 or online at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum | Forestry England

Alternatively, Tyntesfield in Wraxall, North Somerset has beautiful grounds, gardens and stately home.  Entry is free if you are member of the National Trust.  If you’re not, you will need to pay and have some change for the parking too (you can pay by phone, but not everyone likes to do this).  There is a kitchen garden, walled garden, woodland walk and much more besides.  There are a number of cafes, and a shop, too.  Contact Tyntesfield on 01275 461900.

Ashton Court Estate in Bristol has lots to see, too, and two lovely cafés.  Amongst the 850 acres of woodland an grassland there is a deer park and it’s a great place for bird watching.  Entry is usually free and parking for the day is just £1.20 (no charge if you have a blue badge).   The estate is open every day from 8 am and during November, December and January, closing time is
5.15 pm (this changes throughout the year).   The Mansion House is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am til 4pm.  Contact Ashton Court estate on 0117 963 3438.

In South Glos, there is the very well establish Page Park in Staple Hill, which has, over the last few years, benefitted from Lottery Funding.  Enjoy a cuppa at the Bean Tree Café and visit the Avery in the Sensory Garden.  It is a great place for families, as the pathways are flat and accessible for all.  The Park is open from dawn til dusk throughout the year.  Looking at the website, this is 6am – 9pm during the winter!  There don’t appear to be any restrictions on visiting this park, which is great if you are in the area and would like to pop in.

Please check the websites before going or ring as opening times may vary if a special event or activity is taking place.

Goodbye and thank you…

Donna – Carers Break volunteer
Julie – Carers Break and Telephone Befriending volunteer
Sian – Carers Break and Telephone Befriending volunteer
Sandi, Julia, Gul, Paul – Carer Reps

Bereavement support

The festive season can be a difficult time for anyone who has lost a loved one.  If you need support, please do reach out to someone you can talk to or get in touch with one of the following organisations.

The Compassionate Friends 
An organisation that gives support and friendship to bereaved parents and their families. 

Helpline: 0345 123 2304 (daily 10 am to 4 pm and 7 pm to 10 pm)

Cruse Bereavement Care 
Offers one-to-one bereavement counselling for any bereaved person, including children, who need support after a loss. Home visits can be arranged.

Telephone: 0117 926 4045

The Harbour 
Counselling for people with life-threatening conditions, for their carers, loved ones and those who have been bereaved by illness.

Telephone: 0117  925 9348  Email:

Tel: 08457 909 090

Bereavement Advice Centre 
For a range of advice and support, also signposting to other organisations    Tel: 0800 634 9494

LGBT Bereavement support 
Support for gay, bisexual, lesbian and trans people who have been bereaved

Way Up Advice
and support for people who have been widowed in their 50s and 60s

Widowed and Young  For anyone aged 50 and under who has been widowed.
Tel: 0300 012 4929

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our amazing volunteers for their continued kindness, support and commitment through what has been another challenging year.  All of us at Carers Support Centre send our warmest wishes for the festive season – however you wish to spend it, or celebrate.

Thank you again and remember to take care of yourselves.


Marilyn and Jeanette
Carmen, Lay, Maria, Pauline and Wendy 

Tel: 07840 818 316 

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Carers Support Centre

Tel: 0117 939 2562

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Carersline: 0117 965 2200

Registered Charity Number: 1063226 Company Number: 3377199
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