News Archive

Some of these news items will no longer be valid.

The future of the groups

Saturday 21st February 2015
People viewing this site may wonder what has happened to the Bristol social anxiety groups? The main organiser/facilitator has left the organisation to pursue other projects and this has meant that support group sessions have had to cease. A group of service users are currently working together to see if they can continue a service for people with social anxiety in Bristol. Any major future developments will be publicised on this website.

Thursday group full

Friday 12th September 2014
Please be aware that our Thursday group is currently full and is not accepting new members. Please see our Getting Help and Downloads pages for other sources of support.

Women only sessions will run as usual

Thursday 9th Feb 2014
Due to the generousity of our volunteers and members, the previously cancelled women only groups sessions will run as normal.

Feb & March Women Only Sessions Cancelled

Thursday 6th Feb 2014
Please note that the February and March Women Only Group sessions have been cancelled. Our Thursday sessions remain open and people are welcome to attend them instead. Apologies for any disappointment caused by this.

Sessions are running as normal

Monday 13th January 2014
We apologise for those who were affected by last week's cancellation due our venue suffering flood damage. Sessions will be resuming this week starting 16th Jan with a New Member's session. Please be aware that our Sunday North Bristol (Horfield/Gloucester Rd) group is now closed. Please use the menu on the left to view the current schedule and group details.

North Bristol (Sunday) Group Closing

Tuesday 23rd July 2013
Our North Bristol (Sunday) group will close at the end of August 2013. There will be no sessions on a Sunday after August, although our other groups will continue to run as normal. Group members are encouraged to make best use of the group while it is still active and to get in touch with us if they have concerns about how this change will affect them.

2013 Session Schedule Available

Tuesday 1st January 2013
The 2013 session schedule is now available. Please click here to find out what is happening and when. Our North Bristol group will now be running every Sunday again. An updated leaflet can be obtained from our downloads page.

Thursday Group Open

Sunday 11th November 2012
Our Thursday group is now open again to new members. All of our other groups are also open to new members.

Thursday Group Full

Wednesday 19th September 2012
Our Thursday group has reached capacity and we cannot accept new members until space becomes available. We encourage current members to keep attending and not let this change how they use the service. Notices will be displayed here when we are accepting new members again. If you have already spoken to us about attending prior to this message then please still attend.

Thursday Group Open

Wednesday 11th July 2012
Our Thursday group that was recently closed to new members due to being full is open to new members again.

Thursday group full

Sunday 27th May 2012
Our Thursday group has reached capacity and cannot currently accept new members. Current members please still attend. New members are still very welcome to attend one of our other two groups (Sunday & Women Only). We will let you know here when the situation changes.

Women's Group Schedule

Monday 16th March 2012
Please be aware the our women's group schedule has recently been revised.

Women's Group Topic Change

Thursday 22nd March 2012
Please be aware that we have changed the topic for the Women Only group session on Saturday 31 March 2012 from 'Related Disorders' to 'Safety Behaviours'.


Sunday 26th February 2012
Please note that planning for the rest of 2012 is currently in progress and will appear on the schedule very soon. Thank you for your patience.

Updated Leaflet

Wednesday 8th February 2012
Please download and use our updated leaflet which incorporates the recent changes to our Sunday (North Bristol) group. Download leaflet v4.3

Changes to Sunday Group

Monday 6th February 2012
Please be aware that our Sunday group will now only hold sessions on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Sunday of the month. There will be no session on the 1st Sunday of the month or, when it exists, the 5th Sunday of the month.

2011 Session Schedule now available

Saturday 22nd Jan 2011
The new session schedule for 2011 is now available. This includes a new type of session called Understand & Overcome which replaces Question & Answer Sessions. View 2011 Session Schedule.

New Member's Session 2nd Jan 2011

Thursday 30th Dec 2010
Our first session of 2011 welcomes new people into the group who are suffering with social anxiety. The session focuses on hearing about other's experiences of social anxiety so you can know that there are people in the group who understand what you are going through. As usual, there is no pressure to contribute. If you are suffering with social anxiety then please join us. Just turn up at 2:20pm, Quaker's meeting house, 300 Gloucester Road, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 8PD. Free parking in near by streets is always available.

Amendments to Schedule

Wednesday 16th November 2011
The Understand and Overcome session and talk scheduled for Sunday 27 November 2011 will now be replace with a topic session on assertiveness. There will be no more understand and overcome sessions now until 2012. Apologies for this change. View the Session Schedule.

Before attending a session

Wednesday 14th September 2011
If you are new to the groups then note that we run different types of sessions on different weeks. We usually recommend new members start with a New Member's Session or a Topic Session although you can start with any session you feel comfortable with. View the Session Schedule.

New Website Section!

Thursday 21st October 2010
There is a new 'Independent Living' section of this website that aims to help you develop the skills and confidence to live independently. It currenly covers healthy eating and basic cookery. It is hard to ask when you experience social anxiety so we want to help you teach yourself. More topics and pictures to follow. Click to visit the Independent Living section

All Groups Open

Saturday 9th October 2010
The Thursday group has now re-opened to new members meaning new members are welcome to attend all our groups.

No Progress Checklist

Friday 20th August 2010
A checklist has been put together for people who feel they are not making any progress with overcoming their difficulties with social anxiety. The list provides an overview of things you need to do (or be doing) to make progress. Download the No Progress Checklist (PDF)

Mobile Device Friendly

Saturday 23rd July 2010
Our website should now be more mobile device friendly if you wish to view it on your phone, blackberry or other handheld device.

Socials Survey Report

Saturday 17th July 2010
To help us find ways to make our monthly socials more accessible to group members we conducted a survey to identify the barriers people face. Below you can download the report of the results. Download Socials Survey Report (PDF)

NO SESSION Sun 19th Dec

Saturday 11th December 2010
Please note that the Sunday session on 19th December is cancelled as we will be having our group christmas meal then. There will then be no sessions until 2nd January which is a New Member's session. We hope you have a nice Christmas or other celebration and that SA doesn't make the usual Christmas activities too uncomfortable.

Understanding Social Phobia Talks

Friday 20th August 2010
This Sunday (22 Aug '10) Nick Hanlon from will be giving a free talk on understanding social phobia. It will include important information on the vicious cycles of social anxiety that will act as a foundation for making progress. All who experience social anxiety are welcome. Arrive at 2:20pm for a 2:30pm start at the Horfield Quaker Meeting House, 300 Goucester Rd., Bristol, BS7 8PD.

Thursday Group Full

Friday 13th August 2010
We have reached capactity several times recently on a Thursday at 35 Old Market Street and for safety and comfort reasons this group is closed to new members until further notice. The Sunday (North Bristol) and Women Only groups remain open to new members. A message will be clearly displayed on this website's front page when the situation changes.

Monthly Socials Survey

Friday 25th June 2010
[SURVEY NOW CLOSED] If you already attend our group sessions then please help us make our last Thursday of the month socials more accessible and enjoyable for you by filling out this quick 2 minute survey. Click here to take the survey

Bristol IAPT Self-referal Update

Saturday 7th June 2010
If you have used our services recently then you may have been informed that you can self-refer to the new Bristol IAPT psychological therapies service for anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, we have been informed that the self-referral route will now not be available until further notice. This change is just for the Bristol RightSteps service. Other services in other counties (S. Gloucestershire, North Somerset etc.) that were offering self-referral continue to do so.

How to Get The Most Out of The Groups

Saturday 23rd May 2010
We have put together a list of tips which explain how to use the group to build up your confidence and get the most out of sessions. This can also be found on the downloads page. View How to Get The Most Out of The Groups

Guide to IAPT Services

Saturday 15th May 2010
To help make sure people understand how to access and use the new government funded psychological therapies (IAPT) services, a new guide had been produced and added to the downloads page. View the IAPT Service Guide

Recommended Reading

Saturday 15th May 2010
A new recommended reading list for people experiencing social anxiety has been made available from the downloads page. This list can assist you in choosing the books or audiobooks that could help the most. View the IAPT Services Guide

Helplines and Bristol Groups List

Friday 14th May 2010
There is a new document available from the downloads page offering a list of helplines and mental health self-help/support groups local to the Bristol area. You are free to print and distribute this list. View the Helplines and Bristol Groups List

Groups Still Open

Wednesday 31st March 2010
Our Thursday (Central) group and other groups continue to be open to new members. There is a New Member's session tomorrow (1st April) at 7pm, 35 Old Market Street, Bristol if you wish to give our groups a try for the first time. You are also welcome to make another session your first session if you cannot make it to a new member's session.

Member Participation Guidelines

Thursday 11th February 2010
To help our members have a productive and helpful session we have introduced some Member Participation Guidelines. These outline what might be considered acceptable and unacceptable behaviour within our sessions and why. Click here to download the Member Participation Guidelines.

Vote for 'The Socially Anxious DJ'

Friday 22nd January 2010
Our very own socially anxious DJ called 'The Socially Anxious DJ' is raising awareness of social anxiety by using his excellent skills. Please help him raise the profile of social anxiety by voting for him with a few clicks of your mouse. Click here and rate his mix. I think you'll agree he deserves 5 stars :o).

Thursday Group to Re-open

Friday 22nd January 2010
The Thursday (Central Mixed Group) will re-open on 4th February 2010 and will close when the group is full again.

Feedback Survey Results

Thursday 19th November 2009
In October this year we asked our members to give us feedback on our groups. The results were very encouraging and show that our groups help people overcome their social anxiety and increase their confidence. View the results here.

Thursday Group Full

Wednesday 12th August 2009
Our Thursday group is currently at it's maximum capacity and we are unfortunately unable to squeeze in any more new members. We recommend that new members try our Sunday group or women only group as we have plenty of space at these. Please note that if you have already been attending our Thursday group then you are very welcome to continue doing so. We will post a message up here when our Thurday group can accept new members again.

23rd August - Open Session

Wednesday 12th August 2009
Please be aware that on Sunday 23rd August 2009 it will be an Open Session. This means people who have not experienced social anxiety are welcome to attend as well as those who have experienced it. It's an opportunity for members to challenge themselves and help inform others about social anxiety, and for family, friends, carers, and professionals to find out more about the group and social anxiety.

Changes to Topic Sessions

Tuesday 16th June 2009
Many people are finding that topic sessions are too short and that they would like more time to discuss the chosen topics. We've explored several options in our committee meetings to find more time and have decided the best option is to leave out talking in pairs at the start of the session, just for topic sessions. This will be starting from Thursday 18th June.

Social Confidence Workshop: 6th June

Tuesday 27th May 2009
If you're looking to understand how your social anxiety works and how you can build up some confidence in social situations then you may wish to attend the Good Mental Health Workshop on Building Social Confidence run by Nick Hanlon on Saturday 6th June at 35 Old Market Street, Bristol. The workshop will be from 10.30am to 1pm, £4 (waged) £2 (low/unwaged). Please just turn up on the day. Spaces are limited so please arive early to avoid disapointment.

Freedom to Shine 2009

Friday 8th May 2009
Engaging in self-expression within a supportive environment can be a great way to build your confidence. Freedom to Shine is an annual one-day event in Bristol organised by one of our members who has overcome their social anxiety. This year it is on 23rd May at the Greenway Centre, Southmead. For only £10 you can benefit from taking part in four self-expression workshops of your choice plus other activities. Visit the Freedom to Shine Website or book a ticket online here.

New Leaflet Available

Sunday 29th April 2009
We have compiled our leaflets into a one that covers all our groups. This can now be downloaded from the downloads page. Old leaflets can still be used but will not include our new group starting in 28th June.

Session Schedule Updated

Sunday 29th April 2009
The session schedule has now been revised to accommodate our new North Bristol group. Question sheets for topic sessions will be downloadable from this page or the downloads page as they become available.

New North Bristol Group

Sunday 26th April 2009
We are starting a new North Bristol group on 28th June 2009 in Horfield. The group sessions will run every Sunday 2:30pm to 4:30pm and will have a lower age limit of 16 and over. Our Thursday and Women's group in central Bristol will continue to run with the age limit set at 18 and over. More Information

New Information on Getting Help

Wednesday 8th April 2009
Our new and updated getting help section tells you how to find help for social anxiety. Find out what treatments work best and where to find a therapist. Getting Help

Welcome to our new website!

Tuesday 31st March 2009
We hope you like our new website. If you have any comments, corrections or suggestions then please email us.

New Women Only Group

Saturday 10th January 2009
Our first women's only group session will be held on Saturday 31st January, 2-4pm at our usual venue, 35 Old Market Street. It will be run by a female facilitator and will likely continue on a monthly basis.

05/02/09: Tonights session will be running despite the recent snow fall.

19/01/09 The session line-up for 2009 is now available. Please check it before each session as changes will be made from time to time. 2009 Session Dates.

12/01/09 Leaflets for both mixed and women's only groups, and our constitution, are now available from our new Downloads Section.

03/12/08: The group's constitution is now avilable online to download here. This file is also available on the 'Further Info' page.

28/11/08: A new women only social anxiety group is planned to be launched in the new year. Sessions will be similar to our usual mixed group, but will have a female facilitator and be held in the daytime on Saturdays. Please email us if you are interested in attending.

07/10/08: SA West can now accept credit/debit card and PayPal donations. Please go to the donate page to make a contribution.

07/10/08: SA West now has a landline phone number you can call (0117 230 7735). Calls are charged at local rate. This number is manned Wednesdays 7-8pm, messages can be left at all other times. Skype users can also call by looking up the user sa-west.

07/10/08: Session Donation Increases: Due to increased costs, from November 2008 we will be asking members for a donation of up to £2 at the end of each session instead of the previous £1. As usual we only ask that you give what you can afford.

31/07/08: If you're look for a fun way to improve your confidence then try "Freedom to Shine". This is a one day event (13th Sept) organised by a SA West member to help you increase confidence through dance, drama, singing and much more. Click the link to find out more.

23/05/08: Please remember that on the last Thursday of the month there is no session. Instead, a social get-together is held at a pub/bar in Bristol city centre. See session dates for more details.

27/02/08: Please note that public speaking and games session on the 6th and 13th of March respectively have been swapped over for faciliation purposes. View the session dates.

19/01/08: A warm welcome to all our new members who came to the group last Thursday, it was great to meet all of you and we hope to see you again :) You may wish to sign up to our social group.

18/10/07: Please use the details on our new donate page to make a donation to the group.

12/10/07: The government has promised to massively increase funding for talking therapies such as CBT on the NHS. Read the BBC report.

12/10/07: You can now stay up to date by subscribing to the SA West RSS podcast and news feeds. Just click on the orange symbols.

11/10/07: Please note that it is now possible to send mail to the postal address on the contacts page.

09/07/07: Please take note of the directions to our new venue on the Directions Page.

05/10/07: Please visit the new Podcasts page for tips on overcoming your social anxiety.

01/07/07: IMPORTANT We are moving again! From 12 July '07 onwards our sessions will be at 35-37 Old Market Street, BS2 0EZ. Directions will follow soon.

28/03/07: IMPORTANT All sessions have moved to Thursdays and there will be No Session on the last Thursday of the month. Instead, a social will be held and our first one of these socials is on 26 April '07, venue to be confirmed.

28/03/07: IMPORTANT Our next session will take place on Thursday 19 April '07 at our new venue, Bristol Mind. Please see the directions page for more information.

06/03/07: Please see recent updates to the session schedule

03/02/07: IMPORTANT Our weekly sessions will be moving from Redland Library to Bristol Mind from April 2007 onwards and one session per month will be a social where members can meet and chat in a public location. Please see the updated session schedule for more information. Please regularly visit this website for updates.

15/01/07: Thank you to all our new members who came to the session yesterday. Please join the online social group for news and events - SA-UK Bristol

01/01/07: Happy new year to you all from SA West. Wishing you positive change in 2007.

30/12/06: The new Session Schedule for 2007/2008 can be found by following the above link. Please check it for updates before coming to a session.

30/10/06: Due to illness, todays session (30th Oct.) is cancelled. Sorry for the late notice and any inconvenience.

19/10/06: Please note: The session on Monday 13 November is cancelled.

15/10/06: Please note that the problems with our answerphone service have been resolved. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

10/10/06: We are currently experiencing problems with our answerphone service. Apologies for any inconvenience caused by this.

Anxiety Disorders Conference 2006 Logo
11/09/06: The 2006 Anxiety Disorders Conference will be held in Manchester on the 11th of November 2005. The conference is especially for those with an anxiety disorder & their family and friends. There will be professional talks on social anxiety and other relevant conditions.

21/09/06: The session on the Monday 25th September will be based around the topic of "Ways of Socialising", if this interests you then please come along.

15/08/06: This Monday's session (21 Aug) will be based around the topic of Socially Anxious Thoughts and different Categories of Thoughts. We will likely be discussing this in small groups and as a whole group.

06/08/06: A new resources page has been added providing information on local support groups, social groups, other mental health issues as well as a list of useful websites.

16/07/06: Steve Campbell (Link Removed), a master NLP practitioner, will be our guest speaker for the session on Monday 24 July '06. Talking about the magic of goal setting, getting control of your subconscious mind and making things happen in your life.

06/06/06: Three talks have been scheduled on understanding anxiety, becoming confident and motivating change. See the session schedule for more details.

06/06/06: Thinking about coming but feeling nervous or unsure? Try our new members session that specifically takes into account the needs and concerns of new members on Monday 10th July 2006.

05/05/06: NOTE: Bank Holiday, no session on 29th May 2006.

03/04/06: NOTE: Bank Holidays, no session on 17th April & 1st May 2006.

02/01/06: We have scheduled four sessions in 2006 that are specifically designed to welcome new members. The first takes place on 16th January. Please see the session schedule for more details.

08/12/05: A schedule of session dates has been added under the sessions section, please click the link above to view it.

27/11/05: The links in the "What is SA?" section have been updated. Links have been added to help you find a therapist and acurate info on social anxiety.

27/11/05: SA West at the Anxiety Disorders Conference in London a success.

19/11/05: This website has been moved to a different web server, see [link removed].

21/10/05: The "What is SA?" section has been updated to include more information about seeking appropriate help.

16/10/05: SA West will be running an exhibition stand at the Anxiety Disorders Conference presenting information about social anxiety and our organisation.

Anxiety Disorders Conference 2005 Logo15/10/05: The 2005 Anxiety Disorders Conference will be held in London on the 26th of November 2005. The conference is especially for those with an anxiety disorder, their family and friends. Click on the logo above for a full programme & application form.

15/10/05: A viewable archive of past news items has been added (this page).

16/10/05: The website has been updated with a new look.

10/10/05: Sessions section updated (includes changes to session rules).

26/09/05: Please note the following changes to our sessions...

Sessions will start at exactly 7:00pm and will finish before 9:00pm at the very latest. The main entrance will only be open between 7:00pm & 7:30pm. Please contact us if you will arrive later than this.

Two new roles have been introduced. A welcomer will now wait by the main door to greet new members between 7:00pm & 7:05pm. We also now how a social secretary to help organise social get-together's outside of sessions.

See the Further Info and Sessions sections for more details on these changes.

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New Support Group Opening

Saturday 7th May 2016
Since SA West closed members of the group have been working to form a committee and start a new group which is now in a position to accept new members. A first new members session will run on Thursday 9th June 2016. Please see for up-to-date information on this group before attending a session. Thank you to everyone who has worked hard to keep support for people with social anxiety in Bristol.

Click to view past news items...