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Active in Mind – Dorset Mind

Active in Mind aims to provide a warm, welcoming and safe environment in which anyone with mental health difficulties feels supported, encouraged and stimulated towards gentle exercise. We offer Active in Mind in Bournemouth and Weymouth.


Acts Fast

Acts Fast’s aim is to ensure that other parent/carers are freed of the guilt, shame and isolation experienced when their child discloses sexual abuse and to reduce the impact of the trauma. Support groups available. Drop-in sessions are held in Poole and Dorchester.


AIM Community

This creative arts, education and mentoring charity is based in Bournemouth and Poole. Bespoke support packages are provided for 7-19 year olds. Young people are given a variety of creative arts experiences to reach their potential and enhance their creativity.


Alcoholic’s Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.


Artisan Community Art Studio

This independent community art studio offers a wide range of high quality/low cost art, craft and textile workshops for all abilities. It takes place in an inspiring studio and beautiful courtyard garden. They have a mental health group, learning disability group, ASD adult group, physical disability group, chronic fatigue group and a mental health group for teenagers.


Autism Unlimited

Autism Unlimited (formally Autism Wessex) was founded in 1968 by parents of children with autism, Autism Unlimited is a regional charity providing high quality specialist services for people affected by autism and associated difficulties across the counties of the South of England.


BCHA’s – Ignite Programme

BCHA’s Ignite Programme provides relaxed workshops for people aged over 19 who are unemployed or at risk of losing their job. Ignite will help people improve their self-belief, break free from benefit support and get back in to work. This programme is a person-centred, which will give people skills and knowledge that will enhance their life.


Befriending – Dorset Mind

Dorset Mind 1-2-1 Befriending service offers individual support by trained volunteer befrienders to those with mental health problems. The aim is to improve the quality of life of clients by helping them to regain confidence and social skills so they can become self-sufficient again.


Bipolar UK – Bournemouth & Poole Support Group

Bipolar UK helps those affected by Bipolar via support groups and one-to-one mentoring.

The Bournemouth and Poole support group meets the 1st Wednesday of every month (excluding January).


Body Positive – Dorset

Body Positive Dorset is an organization set up to offer advice, practical support, counselling and information helping those people whose lives are affected by HIV.


Bournemouth YMCA

YMCA believes that every young person should have some they can Trust. They offers different services: YMCA youth forum, peer mentoring and among other things.



This organisation challenges societal stigma that limits young people’s ability to take control of their sexual health, enjoy healthy relationships and explore their identities. Brook provides contraception and emergency contraception, STI screening and treatment and partner notification, abortion referrals and counselling.


Carers in Mind – Dorset Mind

Carers in Mind is a monthly support group held in Poole to help carers take a break from caring and focus on self-care. It provides an opportunity to gain support through talking to people who have similar experiences. Our group is open to anyone who is a carer and would like support with improving their mental health. The aim of the group is to enable people to talk openly without judgement. Furthermore, workshops provide positive support with advice and real solutions to challenges faced by carers. The sessions are friendly and informal, and are held in a safe and confidential environment.


Chestnut Nursery

Chestnut Nursery provides voluntary work for adults with severe and enduring mental illness.


Citizen’s Advice – Dorset

The Dorset Citizens’ Advice aims to provide the service you need for the problems you face and improve the policies and practises which affect your lives. Use the website to select a specific area of Dorset.


Community Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS)

The Community Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS) provides information, advice and support for people with alcohol or drug problems and for their families. Counselling, treatment, community detox. Staff team includes specialist nurses, social workers and a clinical psychologist. (Only GP’s, health care staff or social care staff can refer to this service).


Coping with CHAOS – Dorset Diverse Abilities

Coping with CHAOS are a local charity offering support, information and friendship to families caring for a child/young person with a disability or special educational needs. Services are provided for families living in East and west Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. The charity provides play opportunities for disabled children and their siblings, activities and outings for young people with a disability or special educational need, parent befriending service, payroll bureau service and information and signposting.


Coroners’ Court Support Service

The Coroners’ Courts Support Service is a voluntary organisation whose trained volunteers offer emotional support and practical information regarding the inquest process. The volunteers offer face-to-face support at our court when people attend in person. When they are unable to be at court, they also provide telephone support in advance of the inquest.

Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse Bereavement Care is the leading national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We offer support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies and work to enhance society’s care of bereaved people. They cover the following areas: Bournemouth, Christchurch, Ferndown, New Forest and most of the Southampton Waterside Towns, Poole, Verwood and West Moors.


Dorset Advocacy

This organisation provides advocacy across Dorset for people with learning, physical or mental disabilities. Dorset Advocacy provides a person-centred approach to protect people’s rights and ensure equality of opportunity is gained.


Dorset Blind Association

This charity provides a range of practical help and support services for people who are blind, partially sighted or suffering from serious sight loss, across the whole of Dorset.


Dorset Council – Family and Children Information

This family information service provides free, impartial information and advice on childcare, children’s centres, early education, funding and family support within Bournemouth.


Dorset LGB&T Equality Network

Dorset LGBT Equality Network is a voluntary sector community group which aims to increase awareness of LGB&T issues amongst the public. The network also acts as a forum to discuss LGB&T issues and develops educational campaigns to influence changes in NHS understanding and interaction with LGB&T service users.


Dorset Mental Health Advocacy

This service provides community based advocacy for anyone over 18 years of age that experiences mental health problems.


Dorset Mental Health Forum – Social Connection

These activities are inclusive and offer people the chance to socialize in a friendly atmosphere. There is a range that people can join in and are delivered by people who have lived experience, who understand first hand how difficult it can be to reconnect and will help you think about what activities or opportunities might work for you.


Footprints Project

The Footprints Project mentors men and women who are leaving prison or serving a community sentence and are returning to Dorset, Somerset and Hampshire. We aim to reduce the risk of re-offending by helping our clients to re-integrate into their local community.


Help & Care

Help & Care is a registered charity that supports people and communities to live independent and fulfilling lives, for as long as possible. We are here to provide you with information, advice and support that will enable you to take control and make decisions to live your life the way you want to.



Home-start North Dorset provide a local community network of trained volunteers and expert support helping families with young children through challenging times. About two thirds of the in-home work they do is to provide support for mothers with mental heath challenges. They also provide Mothers in Mind. This is a group forum where mothers experiencing perinatal challenges can come together in a safe and secure environment to feel supported and discuss and share information. Home-Start has approximately 40 volunteers who provide support to around 150 families and 250 children each year.

Ignite Youth Group

The Youth Group takes place on Friday nights from 7:45pm-9:15pm. Ignite Youth Group provides a range of activities for young people in school years 7-13. The group is a fun and friendly group which encourages anyone to join in.



Mediation Dorset provides a high quality Conflict and Dispute Resolution Service for the people of Dorset and surrounding counties.


MindOut – Dorset Mind

MindOut is a safe, confidential and accepting space for LGBTQ+ people experiencing mental health issues and offers recovery-based peer and staff support. Each session involves a guided relaxation or mindfulness exercise, time to share experiences and concerns, followed by discussion workshops based on group members’ requests. Discussions cover a diverse range of topics, for example:  coming out to friends and family, developing self-compassion and building self-esteem, managing anxiety, mental health conditions and recovery-based coping skills, for example helpful ways of thinking, relaxation and mindfulness. Groups are held in Bournemouth and Weymouth.



This Dorset Charity offers support to bereaved children, young people, parents and carers. Mosaic provide individual support and offer children and young people the opportunity to meet others and share their experiences (Depending on circumstances there may be a fee to pay, please contact the charity to discuss.)


My Health My Way 

My Health My Way provides support from specially trained health coaches who work with young people on the areas where they need help. It can builds skills, knowledge and confidence to start taking control of a health condition, rather than letting it control you.


Over the Rainbow

This NHS service in Bournemouth provides advice, support and information for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Over the Rainbow provides a range of services including counselling, peer support and 1 to 1 or group training.


Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership

Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership works to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.


Parent, Carer Forum

Parent Carer Forum gives parents an opportunity to help shape health, social and educational services for children with disabilities or SEN in Bournemouth.


Reach – Young People’s Service

REACH YP understands that talking about drugs and alcohol can be a sensitive matter and appreciates how important it is to feel that you are in a safe environment, where your questions will be answered and you can receive the help you need. In REACH YP we make no judgements about you, we are just here to help, offering a confidential, drug & alcohol service for under 24’s who live in the county of Dorset.



This national charity supports older people tackling loneliness and social isolation. Reengage organises monthly tea parties for people aged over 75 living alone to replace loneliness with companionship, as well as a companion call where a volunteer will call for a chat every week or two. You can find out more and apply for these services on their website.


Relate Counselling

Relate Counselling is the UK’s largest provider of relationship support, and every year we help over a million people of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations to strengthen their relationships. Follow the link for services within Dorset.


Safe Partnership

The Safe Partnership Limited is a national charity which aims to help victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse across England and Wales. They secure the homes for victims of domestic abuse, they provide safe rooms and sanctuaries, and they also run a free healthy relationship programme for young people.


Samaritans – Bournemouth

If you need emotional support, Bournemouth Samaritans can help you on 116 123 FREE or 0330 0945717 (local call charges apply). The local branch of the Samaritans has helped local people for many years. They work with local schools, Bournemouth University and other organisations such as Bournemouth Police working in their Custody Suite and South West Rail. Their trained volunteers reflect the diverse community of Bournemouth.



Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through our advice, support and legal services. The local service in Dorset is based at Bournemouth Triangle.


Space Youth Project

Space Youth Project is a group for young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or just unsure. They meet weekly throughout Dorset. You get the opportunity to meet other people and make new friends, chat, go out, plan events and have fun.


Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDiass) – Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

SENDiass gives information, advice and support for children and young people with special education needs and/or disabilities, and their parents or carers.


STARS – Sexual Trauma and Recovery Service

STARS is a pan-Dorset charity that offers free 1-2-1 support, for anyone of any age or gender who lives, works or studies in Dorset and has experienced any form of sexual violence at any time in their life.


Steps 2 Wellbeing – Dorset

A free, confidential, NHS service for people aged 18+. It provides psychological support across Dorset and Southampton for people registered at a Dorset or Southampton GP surgery. As an IAPT service (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies), they accept self-referrals online and by telephone.


The Chatterboxes – YMCA

The Chatterboxes is a youth action project run by young people with disabilities aged 13 to 25 years old. Their aim is to raise awareness of disabilities and create a community which is equal for all whilst being surrounded by friendship and laughter. Within all groups there is a focus on transition and supporting members to build skills to help them in the future. Activities include cookery, safety workshops, arts and crafts, film making, magazine design and much more.


The Good Care Group

The Good Care Group provides a personalised and professional live-in care services in the comfort of your home. The provide care packages to help people stay at home for as long as possible. Follow the link to the Dorset page.


The Leonardo Trust

The Leonardo Trust is a charity that help people in Dorset who care for a sick or disabled relative or friend. The aim of the Trust is to provide for the special needs of the carers and to advise about respite and relaxation. They also host coffee mornings for carers.


The Listening Ear

Based in Bournemouth, Dorset, The Listening Ear provides counselling and training courses. They help families to improve aspects of their lives that they find difficult to resolve alone.


The Retreat

If you are struggling to cope with life and feel yourself approaching a crisis point, you can attend The Retreat. It’s staffed by mental health professionals and peer specialists (people who have their own lived experience of mental health issues). The Retreat offers out-of-hours support and advice on self-management. This service operates face to face Sunday – Wednesday or online every day between 4.30pm to 11.30pm in Dorchester, and every day both face to face and online between 4.30pm to 11.30pm in Bournemouth. Please check online for further details.


Townsend Children’s Project – YMCA

Townsend Children’s Project is a community-led project supported by YMCA Bournemouth which provides play activities for children in School years 1 to 7 based at Townsend Youth Centre near Castlepoint Shopping Centre in Bournemouth.

Wednesday evenings from 4.00pm – 5.00pm
for children in school years 1 to 3
Wednesday evenings from 6.00pm – 8.00pm
for children in school years 4 to 7


Treads – Blandford

This is an informal advice, information and drop-in centre for young people, based in Blandford Forum, Dorset. Treads focuses on the problems and issues that local young people face daily. It provides free, unbiased and non-judgemental help and advice to people up to the age of 19. It also helps those up to 25 who have Special Educational Needs.

They offer help and advice on almost anything, including: bullying, education and learning, health, wellbeing, relationships, sexual health and pregnancy. They also advise about family conflict, alcohol and drugs, employment and training. Treads also offers counselling, victim support, legal, debt and finance, homelessness, housing and benefits.


Victim Support

Victim Support (VS) is the independent charity for people affected by crime and traumatic events in England and Wales. Our specialist teams provide individual, independent, emotional and practical help. It enables people to cope and recover from the effects of crime. Follow the link to the Dorset Page.


Wellbeing in Mind – Dorset Mind

The group’s focus is to educate people about common mental health issues like stress, anxiety and depression. We teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms as well as finding helpful ways of coping with them. The group offers peer support and helps to reduce stigma by normalising conversations about mental health.  It encourages people to talk about wellbeing challenges or triumphs with others who share similar experiences. The group provides an accepting and supportive environment. The workshops give an opportunity to access support and identify helpful and holistic ways to improving mental health. Groups are held in Bournemouth, Dorchester, Gillingham, Sherborne and Verwood.


With You

With You serves members of the local community with advice and information on all matters regarding drug, alcohol and NPS (‘novel psychoactive substances’ or ‘so called legal highs’) use or misuse. They provide support for users of substances and family members with a free, confidential service.

Women in Mind

Women in Mind provides a safe, secure and understanding environment for women with mental health problems to support each other. Opportunity is provided to talk about feelings and share experiences. Each week a chosen topic is discussed.

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