Bristol Ageing Better logo

Community Navigators

This project was run through a partnership with Bristol Community Health and North Bristol Advice Centre as the lead partners.


This partnership also included Ambition Lawrence Weston, Avonmouth Community Centre, Barton Hill Settlement, The Care Forum, Shirehampton Community Action Forum, Southmead Development Trust and BS3 Community

What was the project?

Community Navigators was a service that informed isolated and lonely older people of community activities and services by providing them with information, signposting and introductions to a range of local services, through one-to-one-support as well as outreach sessions.


What did the project do?

It was a signposting and support service that helped older people in Bristol feel happier, healthier and less lonely by connecting them with their community.

Community Navigators offered free personal signposting and support for older people who want to do more in their local area. It aimed to improve confidence and wellbeing and tackle loneliness through friendly, trained ‘navigators’, who make contact with older people, get to know them and share information on different things that are happening where they live. Whether it is meeting people, becoming more active, rekindling old hobbies, volunteering or learning something new - the community navigator can point them in the right direction.

If the person needed extra support, the community navigator could attend with the person when they were trying something new for the first time. They also supported the older person with any concerns that they had about getting out and about – including safety, transport or money worries – by connecting them with other community and health services to tackle these problems.

The service, which provided short-term support for older people over 50, was completely free and was available to people in their home or via phone appointments. 


How to get in touch

For further information about this project please email or ring 0117 928 1539


Why did BAB fund it?

Community Navigators was identified as a key project within the original application based on the learning from a number of different yet similar models across the world. We knew that we wanted a project that provided support to isolated or lonely older people and could connect them to activities, services and support.

There was a lot of talk about social prescribing style projects and while there are similarities, the focus of Community navigators was specifically reducing isolation and loneliness and referrals come from anywhere.

During Summer 2016, BAB hosted collaboration events that showcased good practice Community Navigator examples and invited partners to decide which models would work best in different parts of Bristol.

BAB commissioned 3 Community Navigator contracts to fit into the boundaries used by health and local authorities: Central and East Bristol, North Bristol and South Bristol.


Project news and learning 

Community Navigators remained a key project within the BAB programme working closely with other BAB-funded projects and contributing to overall learning about social prescribing style projects in Bristol.  North Bristol Advice Centre secured funding through St Monica Trust and The Dolphin Society to continue a scaled down version of the Community Navigators project. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Community Navigators have been part of the Bristol Support Hub for older people, providing signposting and guidance to those needing practical, emotional and social support.

Read UWE’s final evaluation of the BAB Community Navigators social prescribing service, the Summary of UWE's final evaluation of the Community Navigators  and reports on Collective learning from social prescribing services in Bristol and Community Webs evaluation 

© 2022 Age UK Bristol.
A charity limited by guarantee. Registered no 2984207.
Registered Charity no. 1042548

Somerset Design - Supporting Charities in Bristol

If you'd like to receive our updates then you can subscribe to one or all three by clicking here.