Recycling and rubbish collection days are also changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.


There are a lot of organisations out there to support you if you have a concern about how you are, or have been treated. If you feel you are being discriminated against, or if you have been a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour, then these organisations are there to help you.

Equality Advisory Support Service

The Equality Advisory Support Service provides help and support to individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights. They can accept referrals from organisations, which due to capacity or funding issues are unable to provide ‘in-depth help and support’ to local users of their services.

The service is accessible and inclusive, which means they can support a wide variety of different languages. For example, they can support the Deaf community through their partnership with the Royal Association for Deaf People.

If a service user requires the support of a lay advocate for them to understand the advice being given, the Equality Advisory Support Service can secure help and support through their partnership with VoiceAbility.

Examples of the types of issues the Equality Advisory Support Service have advised on:

  • A disabled individual who was trying to update banking details through the use of an interpreter at his local bank.
  • An individual who has been victimised by a pub landlord because he has inferred that a member of his staff was acting unlawfully by racially abusing a fellow customer.

The Equality Advisory Support Service can be contacted by:

A Voice

A Voice is a free, independent and confidential advocacy service for victims of crime or anti-social behaviour run by the Care Forum in association with Support, Empower, Advocate, Promote (SEAP) and Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI).

A Voice can advocate for an individual over 18 years old, live in the Avon and Somerset Police force area, and has one or more of the following:

  • Issues with their mental health
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Become a victim because of their age, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and belief.

A Voice Advocate can help individuals:

  • Understand the criminal justice process and their rights within it
  • Access services to help them cope and recover from the crime
  • Explore their options with them and support their decision-making
  • Get practical help from other agencies by working with them on their behalf
  • Make informed decisions by offering guidance and information
  • Get their voice heard.

A Voice can be contacted by:

Hate Crime

Hate Crime is a crime motivated by prejudice against a person because of their:

  • Ethnicity or race
  • Disability, including mental health and learning difficulties
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Religion or belief
  • Age, gender, marital or pregnancy status.

Hate Crime can be:

  • A physical attack such as hitting
  • Name calling or bad gestures
  • Threats, harassment or intimidation
  • Damage to property
  • Nasty letters, emails, texts, phone calls or social media messages and more.

Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI) provide a support service to help victims of hate crime.

If you have been a victim of, or have witnessed a hate crime, please report it and make your community safer. 

Phone: 0800 171 2271

In an emergency, call 999

Senior Citizen Liaison Team

The Senior Citizen Liaison Team provide a comprehensive victim support package known as the Platinum Service Scheme. It is for vulnerable older adults who been victims of doorstep crime, or those who have been identified as being at high risk of becoming victims in the Avon and Somerset Police force area. The Platinum Service Scheme includes designated caseworkers for clients with a full range of support, including:

  • Crime prevention survey of a client’s home address
  • Personal safety pack, including free mobile phone and home safe
  • Ongoing phone support for an indefinite period
  • Social Inclusion visits with other clients to support rehabilitation
  • Ongoing befriending opportunities with the Senior Citizen Liaison Team.

The Senior Citizen Liaison Team can be contacted on 07788 236804

The Senior Citizen Liaison Team also produce The Senior Siren, which is a free magazine published twice a month and produced by the team. It contains lifestyle articles, games and puzzles, features on older adulthood and interviews with interesting people from all walks of life. Most importantly it also contains features to help older adults stay safe in their daily lives.

Last reviewed: May 1, 2024 by Daniel

Next review due: November 1, 2024

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