St Pauls
Advice Centre

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Free, confidential advice for the people of St Pauls and East Bristol


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Self-help – Other

We also offer advice on a range of consumer, discrimination, domestic violence and community care issues.


When you buy goods or services the law gives you consumer rights. These protect you from being treated unfairly by a trader. Use the resources below to find out what your rights are and how to take action.


Consumer rights information:

Answers to common problems:

Understanding regulations:

Action you can take yourself:

Consumer sample letters:

Domestic Violence and abuse

If you or your family are in immediate danger, or if you have sustained physical injuries, call the police and emergency services on 999

Domestic violence and abuse is the misuse of emotional, physical, financial or sexual control by one person over another. The abuser may be a family member or someone you are in or have been in a relationship with. Anyone can be a victim of abuse regardless of age, race, income, religion, belief, sex, disability, culture or sexual orientation.

If you feel scared of your partner it is likely that you are experiencing domestic violence and abuse. It is very common, 1 in 4 women will experience it in their lives and men can be victims too.


Bristol Against Violence and Abuse:

National Domestic Violence Helpline (24 hour): 0808 2000 247

Bristol Next Link (domestic abuse services): 0117 925 0680

Rights of women (legal advice): 020 7251 6577

Childline (24 hour): 0800 1111

Womankind (for women in emotional distress): 0845 458 2914

Broken Rainbow (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender abuse helpline): 0300 999 5428

Respect (for perpetrators of abuse): 0808 802 4040

Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327

Avon and Somerset Constabulary: 101 (non emergency telephone number).


You may have been treated unfairly in some situations, but this is not always against the law. Understanding what counts as discrimination can be complicated and there are many barriers to finding the right solutions.

The resources below help you identify discrimination and the action you can take to deal with it.


About discrimination and the law:

Taking action against discrimination: Taking action under Equality Act 2010

Community Care

The phrase ‘community care’ is used to describe the various services available to help people manage their physical and mental health problems in the community e.g. nursing or social work support, home help, day centres, counselling, supported accommodation.

Any person who appears to need community care services has the right to have their needs assessed by their local authority. Carers also have the right to an assessment.

The first step is a community care assessment, which is usually arranged by the local authority’s social services department. The resources below can help if you need to challenge your assessment, a range of factsheets on independent living as well as information on personal budgets.


Complaining about local authority decisions:

Independent living and community care factsheets:

Personal budgets helpline and email service: Telephone: 0300 555 1525 Email: