Our history and legal structure

Take a journey through the 80+ year history of Brunelcare.

The Old People’s Welfare Committee was founded during the Bristol Blitz in 1941. Today, as Brunelcare, we provide housing, care and support to more than 2,000 people across Bristol, Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Find out more about our history and legal structure below.

An archive image of a member of the Old People's Welfare Committee in the 1940s.


Committee founded in Bristol in October 1941, called the Old People’s Welfare Committee (OPWC), its key priority being to support Bristol’s older people in the aftermath of WWII to ‘keep them warm, keep them fed, keep them alive’.

Uganda House in 1942.



A letter arrived from the Secretary for the Colonies: the people of Uganda had raised £1,000 for charitable work in England and it had been agreed it should be spent on West Town House. The mansion was renovated and renamed ‘Uganda Hostel’ (see photo), a ‘home for the able-bodied to live independently’.


Bristol Older Peoples Welfare (BOPW) was incorporated, and acquired several houses in Bristol, meeting its objective to help find accommodation for older people.

Members of Bristol Old People's Welfare delivering hot meals in 1959.



Thanks to extra donations from local councils, and a large volunteer task force deliveries of hot meals increased from 16,000 hot meals in 1959, to 2,500 meals a week on 31 routes from 1959 to 1966.

Members of Bristol Old People's Welfare stood outside Anchor House in 1964.


From 1964 onwards, BOPW carried out an ambitious extension plan, building sheltered homes throughout Bristol, and by 1973 was providing accommodation for over 900 people. The charity also registered as a Housing Association at this time.


Bristol Older Peoples Welfare is renamed ‘Bristol Age Care’.

External of St Johns Court in Bristol.


In response to the increasing age and support needs of their residents, the charity opened Saffron Court (not Saffron Gardens), St Johns Court and Robinson House. These were a new generation of care homes and St Johns Court was sheltered housing with warden-call support – an innovation. All encouraged more independence for residents.

Robinson House care home entrance.



In 1997, Robinson House care home opened its doors to people living with dementia, encouraging them to develop ‘Dementia Care mapping’ and changing the way care teams responded to those living with dementia.

Brunelcare green and purple logo.



The charity is renamed ‘Brunelcare’, to recognise its wider reach across the region. Brunelcare continues to provide services across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Somerset.

External of Saffron Gardens care home.



Brunelcare was awarded £7 million to redevelop Saffron Gardens as a centre of ‘dementia excellence’.

A sign reading 'Welcome to Orchard Grove Reablement Centre'.



Orchard Grove reablement centre opened. The first dedicated centre in Bristol providing short-stay reablement to people discharged from Bristol hospitals.

A round bench at Little Heath care home, with a blossom tree standing in the middle.


Little Heath Care and Support, a purpose-built care home and reablement centre, opens on April 1st 2020. The versatility of this development enables Brunelcare to offer a variety of care and support to meet the changing requirements of care provision going forward.

Brunelcare 80th anniversary logo



Brunelcare celebrates its 80th anniversary. The charity now provides housing, care and support to over 2,000 people living across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, and Somerset.

Brunelcare’s legal structure

Brunelcare is a company limited by guarantee without share capital (registered company number 601847) and a registered charity (registration number 201555).

The charitable objectives of Brunelcare, as set out in its Articles of Association are:

  • The business of providing and managing housing and care, including Social Housing and providing assistance to help house people and associated facilities, amenities and services for people of lesser means or for the care of aged, disabled (whether physically or mentally) or chronically sick people; and
  • Any other charitable object that can be carried out from time to time by a charity or provider of care registered with the Care Quality Commission and provider of social housing registered with the Regulator.

To fulfill the above objectives, Brunelcare is registered with the Regulator for Social Housing and provides social housing across a range of sites in the Bristol area. It is also registered with the Care Quality Commission as a provider of care homes, extra care housing and a range of community services in Bristol, Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Further details about the care Brunelcare provides and the types of housing and the areas where they are provided can be found by visiting the Locations and the Care and Support sections of our website.

Articles of Association are one of the constitutional documents of a company which set out its basic management and administrative structure. The Articles are a public document open to inspection at Companies House.

Brunelcare’s Articles of Association were reviewed during 2020-21 and a revised set of Articles were approved by Special Resolution on 28 January 2021, following approval by the Charity Commission. A copy of Brunelcare’s current Articles of Association are available here:

Articles of Association

As far as possible, the draft Articles have been based on the Model Articles of Association for a Charitable Company as issued by the Charity Commission in August 2014 and updated in January 2017.

Further information regarding Brunelcare as a Company and a Charity are available here:

Companies House     Charity Commission

Our latest news

We are a living wage employer.

4th Apr 2024

Continuing our commitment to the real Living Wage increase for 2024

We are delighted to announce that we are retaining our status as a Living Wage Employer for the third year in a row, increasing wages for all 1,100 of our

Plaque detailing Agathie Christie's marriage in 1914.

6th Mar 2024

Plaque dedicated at Emmanuel Court to mark Agatha Christie's 1914 wedding

A plaque has been installed at our Emmanuel Court housing site to mark the place where Dame Agatha Christie married her first husband 100 years ago.

Simone smiles at her carer Tara.

13th Feb 2024

“Coming here saved my life" - Simone's recovery story

After being transferred to our Little Heath Care Home for end-of-life treatment, Simone has made a full recovery and can finally move in with her long-term partner for Valentine's Day!