As well as running our own groups and classes, other organisations rent space from us to run their services from the centre. You too can rent a room from us, either as a one off or on a weekly basis; big rooms like The Shed or small rooms like the Family Room - see Room Hire. The other organisations that run an office or group complement the centre in some way. The Citizens Advice Bureau offers advice on anything from debt to unfair dismissal, and Battens, the solicitors, run a fortnightly legal clinic here. The midwives will see you through pregnancy and the health visitors will help you and your child through the early years. These are all important services to the community, supporting those that need them.
Don't forget the CAT bus, a vital service if you don't have a car or can't drive whilst you are recovering from an operation perhaps. It will pick you up from home and drop you back again. Check out the information on how to register for the service.
And then we have our gardens, run and managed by The Growing Space, our sister charity, helping people with anxiety or mental distress learn to cope through horticulture.
The Centre has a wonderful range of rooms that are available to hire, from the large and light Shed to small consulting rooms, all with access to Wi-Fi. Each room has hand sanitiser, wipes and disinfectant spray, and we have screens you can use for meetings.Whether you are looking for a venue for a conference or children's party, or if you want to hire our kitchen for demonstrations or classes, then call us to discuss it. 01963 31842.
Take a look at the rooms we have to offer:-
Our largest room, with wooden floors and plenty of light, this is the perfect room for conferences, large meetings and parties.
A small room, with a desk and chairs. (The room is about to be redecorated so a photo will be up soon!). This is the perfect room for a one-to-one or small meeting.
Another large and light room overlooking the gardens with a toilet and a utility room attached, where folding tables are stored.
This is our wonderful training kitchen, with 3 ovens and plenty of work-surface, it is a great place for catering classes. There is a large circular table on one side of the room making it another good meeting room. This area is carpeted so it is also quiet.
Next to the Shed, this room could be hired at the same time, giving you access to a small kitchen and cafe seating area.
This room is ideal for smaller meetings. There are 2 large tables that can be fitted together to create one large meeting table, and there are 3 smaller tables at the back, along with a public computer.
The room has is perfect for meetings and small conferences, with a U shaped arrangement of tables.
It has a projector screen, and a projector is available for use with the room. This room has a Loop system installed for anyone with hearing aids with the Loop function.
A small informal room, a good place for small family or informal groups to meet. There is a sofa and chairs, and toys for children to play with.
If you would like to run a class, course or meeting on a regular basis, or hire a room for a one-off event, come and talk to us, 01963 31842 or InfoREMOVEREMOVEREMOVE@REMOVEBalsamCentreREMOVE.REMOVEorgREMOVE.REMOVEuk
Telephone: 01963 34594
This very successful community transport scheme, based at the Balsam Centre has now been operating for many years in the Wincanton, Bruton and Castle Cary areas. The scheme operates a Ring and Ride door to door service for people who live in villages without transport or for those who are unable to access the normal bus service.
The service runs Monday to Friday from 0800 to 1800
For bookings and fare prices please call 01963 33864
Membership of the scheme costs £10 and the fares are very reasonable. Holders of bus passes travel at half price within our operating area.
CAT also operate a social car scheme and are currently in desperate need of volunteer drivers to take people to hospital appointments out of the area. A mileage rate is paid to cover expenses and drivers are covered by the scheme’s insurance.
We are very aware that over 50% of Citizens Advice in Somerset clients have health conditions and/or disabilities. Between our 5 organisations we helped over 20,000 clients last year. For this reason we must exercise extreme care in minimising the risk of infection for our clients and for our staff and volunteers.
We have taken the difficult decision to close our face to face services (including outreach) whilst also increasing capacity on our phones and email services. Please be assured that this decision has not been taken lightly.
The advice by phone service in Somerset is very well established and part of our general offer. All our systems are in place for a team of home based and office based advisers.
Clients can visit our respective websites for full details of their options or clients can call the advice-line: 03444 889 623
Each local Citizens Advice centre will appoint a daily lead responsible for dealing with clients in crisis and we will continue to make the Local Assistance Scheme available to those in crisis (Fuel, food, essential items). We will maintain close contact with local foodbanks and work with them to address any challenges as they arise.
West Somerset: www.westsomersetadvice.org.uk/
South Somerset: www.citizensadvicesouthsomerset.org.uk/
Getting outdoors and into nature is good for you! It has beneficial effects on health, both physical and mental, helping to reduce the impact of anxiety and depression.
The Growing Space is our sister charity, working in the gardens around the centre and in the vegetable and flower plots across the road. They grow the fruit and veg for the cafe, local schools and pre-schools, whilst helping people who are experiencing emotional difficulties. They also run activities to boost self confidence, and give training and support to people with learning disabilities.
And the food's delicious! If you want to find out more head over to their website, The Growing Space.
The health visitors for this area are based at the Balsam Centre, working with you as your child develops, on hand to offer advice and support.
ALL CLINICS ARE SUSPENDED BUT APPOINTMENTS ARE STILL RUNNING - BUT PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND IF YOU ARE FEELING UNWELL
To talk to the health visitors or make an appointment, call 01963 32498
The community midwives now run a clinic at The Balsam Centre, every Friday, 1pm - 3pm.
To talk to the midwives or make an appointment, call 01935 384449
Spark Somerset excited to announce the launch of Wellbeing South Somerset, their brand new website dedicated to promoting good health and wellbeing in South Somerset.
WELLBEING SOUTH SOMERSET features a huge directory of support groups, services and activities in South Somerset, as well as health-boosting self-management tools and tips.
It helps connect people with groups and services in their community that could support their health and wellbeing, from lunch clubs and walking groups, to condition-specific support groups, and even housing and debt advice.
Visit WELLBEINGSOUTHSOMERSET.ORG to find out more.
Do you have a group, service or activity that you would like us to include in the directory? Please email SUPPORT@SPARKSOMERSET.ORG.UK.
Counsillor Sarah Dyke is the South Somerset District Council's Portfolio Holder for Environment. As part of her role, she produces a monthy newsletter, Get SuSSed, where the Council will keep you in the know on all things linked to their Environment Strategy, with new recycling initiatives, courses and events, giveaways, and news on what's happening across Somerset.
To view the newsletters, follow this link.
The local Community Police officer runs a session at The Balsam Centre where people can come in and have an informal chat and discuss any Police related issues or problems they are having in the community.
Their next meeting at the Centre will be posted here once we have the date.
The Country Market has been running in Wincanton for 43 years selling locally and home grown produce which include:
Plants, Cakes, Cheddar cheese and butter from an internationally known local farmer, Jewellery, Knitting, Cards, Turned Wood, Fresh Eggs and - nearer to Christmas - a full range of Christmas goodies.
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.
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.
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, and 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!
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!!
We now 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.