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Brain of Bath 2017 winners

2017 July 7 by

The temperature was very sultry inside Bath’s Historic Assembly Rooms but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 21 teams who took part the annual Brain of Bath competition in aid of Julian House.

In addition to an amazing range of subject matter covered the participants were also entertained by showbiz snippets from one of the nation’s favourite actresses, Stephanie Cole OBE. There was the famous smells round which had noses twitching and a ‘where were they born’ set which presented a few surprises.

After 120 questions the eventual winners were St James Wine Vaults, long time supporters of Julian House and regulars at the popular fundraising fixture. Just two points behind were former winners of the event, Thrings.

Cecil Weir, Fundraising Director at Julian House, has been organising the event for 16 years: “It is one of the most popular fixtures in the Julian House calendar. The atmosphere is terrific and although by its very nature it is competitive, it’s competitive in the right way. The banter is fantastic and participants get to show off snippets of knowledge.

Another great feature of the event is the quizmaster or in the case of this year, quizmistress. Everyone has been entertaining but Stephanie Cole was tremendous – very witty and she shared some great anecdotes from her day job.

The inaugural Brain of Bath quiz night in 1999 was the brainchild of a small group of Bath businessmen. They were concerned about the problem of homelessness. It had three main objectives: to raise funds for Bath’s main local homeless charity (Julian House), raise awareness of the difficult social issues surrounding homelessness and provide support for a dedicated research project at the University of Bath. Originally the event took place in the main sports hall at the University of Bath and teams competed for the title of Brain of Bath and the impressive Waterford Crystal trophy. Since then the venue has changed to the elegant surroundings of the Assembly Rooms.

Long time supporters of Julian House, Deloitte, were the main sponsors. The final amount raised from the event is likely to top £10,000.

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30th anniversary year

2017 May 4 by

2017 is an important anniversary for Julian House.  Over this period the charity has not only changed lives – in many cases it has saved lives.  None of this would have been possible without the support of the community at large and many other key key stakeholders.  

During the year we will be celebrating the important work that has been done in support of a very vulnerable client group.  

If you think that you can give this milestone any extra impact for us please let us know – perhaps by nominating us the charity of the year for a club or organisation, or by taking part in one of our events;

  • Big Bath Sleep-Out, March 18th
  • Circuit of Bath Walk, Sept 24th
  • Brain of Bath, July 6th

Likewise, support in kind is always welcome.  

Please watch this space for further details.

Cecil Weir
Fundraising & PR Director
01225 354652

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Brain of Bath 2017 update

2017 May 4 by


Now in its 19th year the Brain of Bath is a popular fixture in the corporate calendar.  Last year’s winners were a group of media and finance professionals who entered under the banner of “The Quizzards of Odd”.  Not only could they spot the difference between cumin and garam masala in the unique smells round, they also knew a little bit about 20th history and movie characters.  They and the other 21 teams had a great evening in the elegant surroundings of Bath’s Assembly Rooms – a marvellous networking opportunity and a chance to show off nuggets of interesting knowledge.

Hot on the heels of the Quizzards were previous winners BMT Defence Services and architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley.  Big thanks also to the event sponsors Deloitte.

This year’s event takes place on Thursday 6th July, 2017.  Keeping the teams in order and acting as quizmistress will be one of the nation’s favourite actresses, Stephanie Cole.

Further details from


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Our new Aspire Business Manager, Jane

2017 January 19 by

JaneJane became Business Manager for Aspire in July 2016, after many years of coordinating the social enterprise.

Jane is tasked with using her excellent customer service skills to grow the social enterprise further.  Jane also provides essential support to the team leaders as well as managing the day to day running of the business.

Jane says “Aspire is a fantastic social enterprise, providing excellent services to the public as well as work experience for people trying to get back on the feet. We are very proud of what we achieve, from sparkling windows to transforming rooms and gardens”.

Jane is working closely with the Employment and Support team to explore new ways to engage people furthest from the job market, developing new and meaningful work experience and volunteering opportunities.

You may also see Jane out and about at various Julian House and community events face painting and operating the Smoothie Bike!

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Our new Employment Support Worker, Mai

2017 January 19 by

MaiMeet Mai Brillet, the new Employment Support Worker at Julian House Bristol.

Mai is based at the Aspire Property Maintenance and the Julian House Bike Workshop. Mai’s role is to develop the Build A Bike course, work experience and volunteer opportunities at the social enterprises, as well as providing one to one employment support to clients.

Mai’s previous role was in Brighton with Nightstop as a Project Support Worker. Brighton Nightstop provides emergency accommodation to 16-25 year olds through placements in the homes of voluntary hosts on a night by night basis.

Prior to working in the charity sector, Mai completed a Masters Degree in Literature and Philosophy. Mai is also a practicing visual and performance Artist.

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Phil’s Story

2017 January 19 by

PhilPhil, 45 years old.  Previously a St Vincent’s resident, he is now full time Gardening Team Leader at Aspire.

“Before St Vincent’s I was languishing in a cycle of drink, drugs, crime, prison and my life was pretty much going nowhere.”

“I came to St Vincent’s because I was serving a prison sentence and I had to do something different with my life.”

“A few of the people I was associated with in prison had come to St Vincent’s and championed the cause and so in pursuit of the new life I craved I guess it was a logical choice.”

“I’d worked large parts of my life but a lot of those jobs had fell by the wayside because of my substance misuse and then the 5 years before my latest prison sentence, the one before I came to St Vincent’s, it was a case of I didn’t really want to work and I was happy in my oblivion.  I didn’t think that I was worthy of anything more than I had become so I didn’t even try to get work.”

“Realistically if I hadn’t got a place in any 2nd stage dry house, maybe I’d still be taking drugs, committing crime, going to prison, possibly dead, that’s as black and white as it was quite honestly.”

“Aspire, because they come under the umbrella of a social enterprise they are much more understanding of the issues associated with coming out the other side of substance misuse, for instance I’ve had quite a few hospital appointments and illnesses of late and they haven’t been anything other than supportive.  I think it’s amazingly encouraging for me.”

“What I’m learning more than anything at Aspire first and foremost is working with other people and leading other people. Some of the people there don’t have as much on hand experience as I have, so it’s kind of nice to teach and help other people.”

“My immediate goals are to find my own place and then work full time for Aspire, because I like the job, I like the people and the ethos of the company.”

“To anyone thinking about St Vincent’s, it has helped my immeasurably in turning what was a pretty bleak outlook for my life into something which today I have genuine aspirations and hope for the future.”

“Aspire do great things for people that wouldn’t otherwise necessarily have got a chance. I would absolutely champion the cause of both.”

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Our new Social Enterprise Area Manager

2017 January 19 by

Esther Passingham joined Julian House 6 months ago as the Social Enterprise Area Manager, responsible for the Julian House Bike Workshops and Aspire Property Maintenance.

She moved to Bristol to join Julian House from Worcestershire where she had managed and developed charities and social enterprises since 2000.

Helen Bedser, Business Development Director said “we are delighted that Esther has joined the team. She has a wealth of experience in developing organisations, which I am sure will help to make the social enterprises even more successful”.

Esther said, “The challenge is to consistently achieve strong social outcomes, excellent customer service and robust finances within each of the social enterprises. To achieve this, the hard work and commitment of every staff member and volunteer is vital. It is a fantastic organisation to be part of, and I feel extremely excited about what we can all achieve together”.

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Fun run makes a colourful splash

2016 October 5 by

750 people took part in our second Julian House Colour Fun Run, which was once again held in the beautiful Oldbury Court Estate.

We were blessed with glorious weather all day as the fun runners ran, walked and skipped around the 5km course whilst getting splashed with brightly coloured paint!

Lots of happy faces raising money for Julian House. Big thanks to all those who took part, cheered on the runners, volunteered to help make the day such a great success and fundraised for Julian House.

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10 great reasons to volunteer

2016 September 8 by

Volunteering is a great way to help to make life better for homeless and vulnerable people in your local community. You also get to meet people, learn new skills & expand your horizons.

Jacqui, one of our volunteers, spoke to us and gave her top 10 reasons why she loves giving some of her time:

  1. I always come away with a smile on my face
  2. The events are great fun and very well organised
  3. There’s always a fantastic atmosphere on the day
  4. I know I’m supporting an extremely worthy cause
  5. The roles on the day are really varied so there’s something for everyone
  6. I know my time is appreciated whether I can offer 1 hour or 5 hours
  7. I get to meet lots of new people
  8. I see the commitment from the staff and other volunteers to help vulnerable people firsthand
  9. I have a birds eye view of some wonderful activities and events that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen
  10. I’ve learnt that homelessness can happen to anyone and through the support of Julian House many vulnerable people are given the guidance and support to get their lives back on track.

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