Brigstowe Expand Peer Support Service

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We have delivering Peer Support to people living with HIV for over three years. We started a pilot project in January 2015 and by July 2016 had been awarded Big Lottery Reaching Communities grant to continue, and develop this service.

Since it’s inception, over 80 people living with HIV have received the service and a further 40 people living with HIV have been trained as Peer Mentors. The impact this service has had on those who have received it has been overwhelmingly positive. People have reported being able to live better with HIV, improved mental health and wellbeing, as well as a reduction in isolation and improved community engagement. These our fantastic standalone outcomes, but we also know that when wellbeing improves so do health outcomes.

Brigstowe in partnership with Bristol Community Health are now looking to extend the benefits of peer mentoring to people living with Diabetes.  Like HIV, diabetes is a long-term health condition that needs constant management. Like HIV, we believe that Peer Support for diabetes will improve well-being and health outcomes.

A pilot for diabetes Peer Support will begin in October this year. We will be using our skills, experience and expertise around peer mentoring to support people with another long term health condition.

The wellbeing of people living with HIV will continue to be our overall aim.  The development of this new service will not impact on any of the HIV specialist services we currently deliver. People living with HIV will still be able to receive high quality, confidential, specialist services from Brigstowe.

What the new diabetes project will do, is contribute to the running costs of Brigstowe.

The funding environment for HIV services is extremely challenging at present.  Many similar organisations around the country have lost funding in recent years, resulting in either reduced services or no services in some areas.  As an organisation, we are working hard to ensure the long-term sustainability of Brigstowe so that we can continue to achieve our vision in the coming years.

One of the ways of doing this is developing new services that will generate additional income, through sharing the expertise we have developed over many years.  We believe that this is a great opportunity, which is in the best interests of people living with HIV.

If you have any questions or concerns or feedback about any of these developments, we encourage you to attend  a Q & A session we will be hosting on Wednesday 24th October at 6pm at Easton Community Centre. This will be an opportunity to speak to trustee and staff representatives, understand more about our plans for the organisation.  Please ring the office on 0117 9555038 or reply to this email to let us know if you would like to attend.



Every charity has a set of “Objects” within their governing documents, which

outline the purpose of the organisation.  Our objects are currently focused exclusively on people living with HIV.  We will need to widen these in order to use our expertise in other areas.  We have been advised by the Charity Commission that we can start the pilot at the same time as commencing the process of expanding our objects.

You can read Brigstowe’s current Objects here on the Charity Commission website.

We will be contacting our formal Membership within the next few weeks with a proposal regarding changing our objects.


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