Elderly men playing walking rugby

Community development

Bettering lives

St Monica Trust’s community development team helps empower older people in and around Bristol to make changes in their own communities and lives. Engaging with meaningful activities can make a real difference as you get older, relieving both social isolation and loneliness.

Working with you in your community.  We want to change older people’s lives to the point where they feel empowered to make changes in their own community. 

Debbie Wills, Community Development Manager

Working on the ground

The community development team work with individuals and organisations to make things happen where they live. Activities such as walking rugby or new age kurling were established in response to the wishes of those who live in the community. We also run some great projects such as volunteer befriending schemes.

Get active

Bedminster, Southville and Ashton

If you’re over 55, and live in Bedminster, Southville or Ashton, we offer an exciting programme of activities from art classes to Zumba. While some people prefer sports such as walking football or table tennis, others like something a little more sedate, such as going to art or social groups, enjoying a quiz evening or perhaps a game of skittles at the local pub. In partnership with Bristol Ageing Better, we’re working to make Bristol a brilliant place to grow old and you can be part of it.

Download the brochure or call 0117 305 2365 for more information.


Our Stockwood hub works with our local Advisory Group which is made up of local older people and helps run a whole range of activities and events for people aged 55 and over.  From card playing to line dancing, we’ve got something for everyone and we’re always looking for enthusiastic people to get involved.

Download the brochure or call 0117 305 2365 for more information.

Join Communities in Transition, a vibrant network of people who together can help influence decisions in your neighbourhood. Working with Southern Links Children’s Centre we offer enriching opportunities for older and younger people to get together to share their interests, skills and make meaningful connections.  Funded by Bristol Ageing Better, find out how you can get involved by calling Hannah on 07964 342388 for more information.  

Filwood, Hartcliffe, Keynsham, Lawrence Hill and Withywood

ACE Neighbours matches volunteers with older isolated adults who want to become more active and engage with their local community. If you would like get out and about more, to socialise or to do some gentle exercise, we can match you with your own volunteer who can help you achieve this aim. Enjoy the benefits of feeling fitter, meeting new people or just spending some time outside your home. For more information on making a referral or becoming a volunteer, call our ACE Neighbours Project Officer, Catherine on 07817 632963 or email catherine.robinson@stmonicatrust.org.uk.  

A bit of company

If you’d like to organise a regular visit from someone for a chat, to share family photos and memories, or perhaps have a game of cards, our befriending scheme may be able to help. The community development team runs a befriending scheme for isolated older people in the following areas:

In Bristol - Ashton, Bedminster, Stockwood and Southville
In North Somerset - Banwell, Churchill, Langford, Sandford and Winscombe

For more information on making a referral or becoming a volunteer, call our Community Befriending Officer, Karen on 07875 406 844 or email karen.bennett@stmonicatrust.org.uk.

Befriending scheme forms

Our Befriending Volunteer Application Form can be downloaded HERE

Our Volunteering Monitoring Form which needs to accompany your application form above can be downloaded HERE

Our Befriending Referral Form can be downloaded HERE. Use this to refer yourself or someone you know if you feel you/they would benefit from the befriending scheme.


If you’re interested helping out with any of these initiatives by volunteering in your community, please visit our Volunteer page for more information.

Active Ageing Bristol

Active Ageing Bristol in partnership with Bristol Sport Foundation, The Anchor Society and St Monica Trust, with support from LinkAge Network, is one of the UK’s first sport and physical activity programmes for older people.

Covering the greater Bristol area, this specially targeted programme aims to get more people from the local area and over the age of 55, involved more regularly in physical activity, coaching and volunteering.

To find out more and get involved visit the website.

Active Ageing
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