Our history

Established in 1941, Brunelcare has undergone many transformations over the years to become the charity that it is today.

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Our history
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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’.

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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.

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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.


From 1964 onwards BOPW carried out an ambitious expansion 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'.


In response to increasing age and support needs of their residents, the charity opened Saffron Court (now 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.

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Opened in 1997, Robinson House care home encouraged people living with dementia, to develop ‘Dementia Care mapping’, changing the way care teams responded to those living with dementia.

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

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

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

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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.

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