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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 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.

But what does The Balsam Centre 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, head over to our children's page, to see the various activities for with their parents, including a Craft and Play group and a Multiples Group for families with twins or triplets, and Buggy Walks. The Balsam Centre has its very own nursery, Conkers, now based at the Centre. For teenagers there are youth groups and life skills sessions.

For adults, we are here to support people's wellbeing in a variety of ways. There are activities to bring people together - health walks, art and craft classes, games club, and the Mens Shed, the Opportunities Hub to help people find training and work, and we have support groups for people who have been affected by depression, dementia and postnatal depression.

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.

You can also volunteer in many of our groups!

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?

friends
Ramblers Award

Walk Leaders win the Ramblers Inspiring Walkers Award!

Congratulations to Ali, Simon and Lu who have 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.

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!

Open Mental Health
Open Mental Health

Current Vacancies

Within The Balsam Centre and organisations we work with

Balsam Gardens


Independent Chair, Somerset Open Mental Health VCSE Alliance

Salary: Remunerated (£6,000 per annum)
Role: Chair (2 year term)
Location: Somerset area
Closing date: 20th June 2022 Reference: HQ00180925

Open Mental Health Voluntary Sector Alliance is the partnership between a VCSE alliance, the NHS, Somerset County Council, and individuals with lived experience of mental illness. We are working together to improve the way people in Somerset receive support with their mental health by providing access to a number of specialist and holistic services and by changing the way that support is offered and provided. We are working to change the culture and language associated with traditional mental health provision and believe that by working collaboratively in new and innovative ways we can support people together to achieve a better quality of life. Our alliance is currently undergoing a review of structure and governance, and our new chair will be a key player in this process.

In Somerset, we have built a partnership of more than 10 charities and been able to help tens of thousands of people. There is a 24-hour, seven day a week phoneline, getting over 2,400 calls a month. We are seeing or directly contacting 2,500 clients a month.

We are led in everything by coproduction and by the determination that there is no such thing as a wrong door when someone asks for help.

The successful candidate will bring executive experience as a chair or in a leadership role, you will have knowledge of the voluntary sector and health and mental health statutory and voluntary sectors and will be based in the Somerset area.

To download the appointment brief and for further details on how to apply please follow this link.

If you wish to have an informal discussion about the opportunity, please contact our retained advisor Jess Stockford at Prospectus on 0203 479 5405, or email Jessica.Stockford@prospect-us.co.uk


Conkers Nursery

BANK STAFF

We are seeking an enthusiastic Early Years Practitioner qualified at Level 3 or equivalent for 15 hours with the flexibility to work between the hours of 8.00 – 5.30 and all year round, to start as soon as possible. Applicant must be able to work as part of a team, have good communication skills and knowledge and understanding of the EYFS.

It is desirable for you to have Childcare Safeguarding and Paediatric First Aid training. The hourly pay rate is dependent on experience. The position will be subject to an enhanced DBS and two satisfactory references.


SOUTH SOMERSET COMMUNITY ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORT (SSCAT) - based in Wincanton.

Require part-time minibus drivers.

Hourly rate of pay is £9.58 this includes £0.68p in lieu of holiday pay.

Hours are flexible but may involve some early morning, evening and weekend work.

Applicants must have a caring disposition and hold a full clean driver’s licence with D1 category. Suitable applicants will be subject to mini bus test and DBS checks.

For more details and an application form please contact: 01963-34594

If you are looking for work, you might find these local jobs sites helpful:

Somersetjobs.co.uk

Somerset-jobs.co.uk

Somerset Council jobs

If you want to look for free online courses or are thinking about a career change, go to our Jobs Advice page.

For volunteering opportunities with The Balsam Centre, please head to our Volunteering page.

Our Trustees

Our trustees have the ultimate responsibility for the charity, its assets and its activities.

The trustees have been recruited as representatives of our local community and for their diverse skills and experience, including health and wellbeing, especially mental health, business, finance, charitable activity and management. They ensure we make best use of funds we receive, and set our policies and procedures, and they shape our long term plans and protect our values and reputation.


Michael Bainbridge

Chair - Michael Bainbridge

John Bartholomew

Vice Chair - John Bartholomew

Paul White

Treasurer - Paul White


Helen Smith

Helen Smith

Emily Showering

Emily Showering

Richard Porter

Richard Porter


Sarah White

Sarah White

Helena Groom

Helena Groom

Sara Kirkby

Sara Kirkby

Data Protection

We look after your private information very carefully. We will not sell your data to any third parties, pension or bitcoin salesmen. Nor will we pass on your details to "phishers" - that charmer who'd like to email you about a lottery you've won in Spain or the man who says he's from your bank...

Seriously though, 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.

Funding

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!!


Wonderful.org

Donating via Wonderful.org

We also have a Wonderful.org charity page where you can donate directly, and Wonderful will collect the tax for us! Just click on the logo.

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.