WHEN Bridgwater Carnival returns in less than two months, most of the attention will focus on the excitement generated by the magnificent annual show.

But the Carnival also gives a tremendous boost to many charities and groups serving the area.

The Mercury will be profiling some of these groups over the next few weeks, starting with Compass Disability Services.

The Taunton-based charity supports more than 3,500 people across the South-West, including many in the Bridgwater area.

Its aim is to give disabled people a greater say in how services are run which affect them specifically, such as accessibility in public buildings, and generally, such as recycling, or libraries.

Compass runs the Sedgemoor Disability Forum, which meets every two months to discuss key issues and way services could be improved.

Last year, for the first time, the charity took about 30 volunteers to Bridgwater Carnival to collect money.

Nearly £700 was raised for Compass, and the charity also collected between £400 and £500 for the Carnival itself.

Michelle Edwards, the charity’s operations manager, said: “The Carnival gives us a really good opportunity to access a huge crowd of people to raise money and awareness of what we are doing.

“We will be back collecting in November, even bigger and better than last year.”