To find out more about our oral history project about Bristol Crisis Service for Women (BCSW), as told by the women who made it happen, visit 

There you can listen to our podcast series Gentle Activism, download or order a free copy of an illustrated history of Bristol Crisis Service for Women and hear the audio recordings of former Bristol Crisis Service for Women volunteers and staff. You can also find out where to see our travelling exhibitions Voices of the Bristol Crisis Service for Women and The Power of Listening.

Started in 1986 as a feminist collective, Bristol Crisis Service for Women grew into a national charity in the 1990s. Its non-judgmental, non-directive peer-led helpline helped thousands of women feel heard and held in times of crisis. Its groundbreaking research and training helped change how women using self injury were viewed and supported, not just in Bristol but across the UK. In 2014 Bristol Crisis Service for Women changed its name to Self Injury Support to better reflect its purpose  and we’re still going strong. 

Over the last year we have interviewed 22 former staff and volunteers from our pioneering organisation, learning about its successes and challenges, such as: how Bristol Crisis Service for Women survived when many other peer-led organisations fell by the wayside; why self injury a feminist issue; how listening can be such a powerful tool for change; why everyone loved the volunteer training so much!

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