Community News

New Alcohol Support Group for Women starting in Knowle West

A new support group for women with alcohol issues is starting this week at Filwood Community Centre.

The Women’s Independent Alcohol Support (WIAS) is a service-user controlled organisation which has been running for a year at the Quakers Meeting House in Champion Square in the city centre.

It has just moved to Knowle West this month and will be holding weekly sessions every Friday, thanks to help from the Bristol Drugs Project.

The organisation is also launching a new alcohol support helpline on Wednesday evenings from 20 January which offers a confidential listening service.

WIAS Chair Patsy Staddon explained: “We have no funding and have registered as a charity with the HMRC. It is not a traditional 12 step organisation, we operate on the basis that women overdrink for a reason…

“It is the chance to talk with somebody who has either recovered themselves or who has specific knowledge of issues such as domestic abuse and mental health and we also have a qualified councillor available.  We offer a group setting or we can offer one to one by appointment if required…”

As well as providing support, part of the group’s role is to signpost women to organisations which could be useful to them – from training to health – and they are currently putting together a database of different contacts.

The first support group will be held on Friday 8 January from 10.30am-12.30pm  at Filwood Community Centre in Barnstaple Road, BS4 1JP.  Women can drop in or book a one-to-one appointment if they wish by calling 0117 942 8077 or emailing

The new women’s alcohol helpline will run on Wednesday evenings on the above number from 20 January between 6pm and 10pm.

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