facebook Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

Mission Statement


The Balsam Centre exists to reduce inequalities, and provide health, social and cultural opportunities for individuals and communities in its area of benefit.

missison statement

Which means....

...that we are committed to improving your mental health and quality of life by offering services that are simple to access, enjoyable, and with benefits we hope will last you a lifetime!

All this in a friendly, vibrant space where many people come in every day for meetings, activities and creative or quiet time.

Oh - and we're a charity, so any income gets put right back into services.

Please click on the link to read our Privacy Policy and see how we treat your data if you use our services or join us as a volunteer.

But what does The Balsam Centre actually DO?

Our services cover all age groups, keeping people connected, preventing isolation and loneliness, and supporting those who are struggling to cope. Starting with our youngest users, we have a Breastfeeding Support Cafe and Buggy Walks, along with Conkers, our very own nursery based down at Churchfields. We run youth groups out in the community and have counselling for teenagers who are experiencing mental health difficulites.

For adults, we are here to support your wellbeing in a variety of ways. There are activities to bring people together - the cafe, health walks, art class, games club, and the Mens Shed, - and now a Womens Shed! - and we have support groups for people who have been affected by cancer, dementia and postnatal depression. YHG (Yarlington Housing Group) fund an IT project, helping older people learn how to use a tablet and get online, opening up new ways to stay in touch with friends and family, and to use the internet safely. The Armed Forces Covenant funds a project assisting families of the Armed Forces to integrate into the local community, supporting playgroups, the Women's Shed and a local buggy walk, and helping families to volunteer with us, giving them further opportunities to train and meet other families.

1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem each year.

With funding from The Big Lottery and Comic Relief, we employ three mental health workers - soon to be four - to help, guide and support people who are feeling unable to cope. The Like Minds Project works with young people and adults, and the Comic Relief Project is helping people suffering postnatal depression.

And then the building itself hosts numerous exercise and fitness classes, a great way to improve your mental and physical health - head over to Fitness to take a look. For anyone needing advice or transport, take a look at our Services page where you will find more about the CAT Bus and Citizens Advice, as well as information on Midwives and the Health Visitors who also use the centre.

View our short video to see what beneficiaries think of The Centre!

And don't forget, you can get involved too by volunteering. It's a great way to meet people and make new friends - and make a difference to someone else!

Big Lottery

The Big Lottery funds the Like Minds Project working with young people and adults experiencing mental health difficulties, and helps to fund projects preventing isolation such as the Men's Shed.

Comic Relief

Comic Relief funds the project helping mothers - and fathers - who are experiencing postnatal depression.

Armed Forces CovenantArmed Forces Covenant

Funding from The Armed Forces Covenant has enabled us to start playgroups and the Women's Shed, and support new volunteers, helping forces families to integrate into the local community.

YHG have been funding our IT project, running classes and Drop-ins showing people how to use tablets and smartphones to get online and stay in touch with friends and family and "surf safely"!

Did you know we have a cafe, run health walks, a Men's Shed - and a Women's Shed -, meditation classes, a games club, a textile group, exercise classes, IT Drop-ins, playgroups, English classes....

...and you can also volunteer in many of them!

There are several ways to get involved here when you want to get out and meet people, and new activities come up all the time. For more information head over to our Adult Activities or Volunteering pages.

Everyone needs friends, don't they?

There are plenty of ways you can help us, from a simple donation to becoming a Friend of The Balsam Centre. Or perhaps your business would like to take up a Challenge?

Ramblers Award

Walk Leaders win the Ramblers Inspiring Walkers Award!

Congratulations to Ali, Simon and Lu who have just been honoured for all their hard work in developing the Short Walks and encouraging new walkers to experience the mental and physical benefits of walking.


The Balsam Centre is an independent charity set up by local people for local people.

Whilst the work of the Centre is long term, funding for its projects and services is all too frequently short term. We own the Balsam Centre building and let space in it to earn income. Many people using the Centre kindly make small donations and others sometimes (to our great delight) make large donations! All donations are valued and appreciated.

To see what we do, and hear what people who have benefited from the services have said about us, watch our short video.

If you are thinking of donating, have you considered becoming a Friend of the Balsam Centre? This is a commitment to regular giving of any amount, at any interval, by standing order. Really this is the greatest help we can have as it provides a predictable income, enabling us to maintain services. Even better, if you are a UK tax payer and you ‘tick’ to say so, we can claim another 25% on top of your donation to support the work of the Centre.

Become a Friend here!


Give As You Live

We have signed up to be a part of Give As You Live where you can raise money for us - just by shopping online in your normal way! All you have to do is click on the link, choose your charity - The Balsam Centre - and then create an account.

The site will ask for your name, email address and a password. You can choose your favourite shops, or just use their search bar to find the product you are looking for. When you buy in this way, the retailer will donate an amount to us, and you can see exactly what you have donated. This is a great way for people who would like to support us to do so whilst doing their normal online shopping! All the big retailers are there, Amazon, Ebay, supermarkets, and department stores. Happy Shopping! And thank you for supporting us!!

Virgin Giving

We also have a Virgin Giving charity page where you can donate directly, and Virgin will collect the tax for us! Just click on the button below.

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

It is largely thanks to help from a fund created by a legacy left by one person, that the Balsam Centre has been able to continue its mental health work over the last few years. The help that this has given hundreds of people is a permanent and living memorial to that person’s generosity. A legacy to the Balsam Centre is also one of the simplest ways that you can help the practical work of the Centre.