Bracknell Forest Community Network Newsletter - July

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July 2022

Managers Update


Its been a busy time for us at Bracknell Forest Community Network which is always a good thing as it means we are working with and supporting many people improve their health and wellbeing. The team at times share with me the great work our service users are undertaking and the commitment they have in engaging with community groups/ services and accomplishing their goals. We have some really inspiring stories which I hope to share with you all some day soon (watch this space)!

This month we have also introduced for the first time, face to face Wellbeing Sessions and a new project called PAWS offering Animal Assisted Therapies for our service users. You will find more information on these further down in the newsletter.

Our Network meetings are going from strength to strength with many people now attending to take part in either an activity, meet new people or provide us with feedback on what’s working well or what they feel can be improved. If you have anything you want to feedback about please do, we are always happy to listen and improve our service where we can.

Our Happiness Hub Events are gaining momentum and we have a new drop-in starting up soon so please do look out for more details on this.

Recently we have seen a significant increase in younger adults accessing our services and we are working hard in partnership with other services to ensure our offer is responsive and open to them. If you would like more information on this please do contact us on

Finally, I hope you are enjoying the glorious sunshine, although please do look after yourself by drinking lots of water to keep hydrated, looking after your eyes by wearing UV protective sunglasses, wearing sunscreen to protect your skin and keeping to shady areas during the afternoon when the sun is particularly hot. For more information on how to look after yourself when the weather is so hot please go to: Extreme heat | Bracknell Forest Council (

Sheetal Tanna – Development Manager – Mental Health

Happiness Hub Events


A little update from the Happiness Hub Events Team, we have taken a break after a very busy Mental Health Awareness Week but are now getting ready for some new events.

Come along and say “Hello” on Tuesday 19 July at the Annual Economic Fair being run at South Hill Park between 10am to 1pm. The services that work in collaboration under the Happiness Hub banner will be available to talk to, these include Bracknell Forest Community Network, Friends in Need, Sport in Mind, Stepping Stones Recovery College, Social Prescribers and the Wellbeing Service.

We also have our very first Happiness Hub Drop-in on Thursday 4 August from 10am to 1pm at Cup Of Rosie, Bracknell. We are hoping to run these monthly in a variety of settings to give you an opportunity to meet with us and discuss any concerns you may have or any support you might require. We will be there to help and signpost you where we can. Come along and treat yourself to a coffee and cake or even a tasty lunch, meet new people and join in the conversation. There is no need to book, just turn up on the day

We are also thinking about World Mental Health Awareness Day in October, so keep a look out for more information nearer the time.

Healthy Minds in Bracknell Forest

Healthy Minds

Young Adults Quiz Night

Monday 18 July @ 19.30 – 22.00 Peacock Farm, Bracknell RG12 8SS (£1 cash per person to enter)

A social event held monthly for 18-35 year old's. Contact James & Kara for more information on:

Network Meeting - Emotional First Aid


The BFCN Network Meetings are gaining momentum and for our next one we have invited Anne-Marie Gawen to talk to you all about Emotional First Aid. Anne-Marie is a wellbeing & mental health trainer, she offers training sessions at Stepping Stones Recovery College and Involve in Bracknell and also trains nationally in corporate, charity and community settings. You can find out more about Anne-Marie on her website: Mental Health Wellbeing | Mental Health Solutions, Support Reading (

Anne-Marie will be speaking to us about how we can apply different methods when life becomes a little difficult, We all tend to know what to do with a physical cut or sprain but what about our emotions, how do we manage these? A lot of people try and just ignore them or numb them, this training will help you find and adopt ways that can actually help in difficult situations.

Date: Tuesday 26 July 2022

Time: 6.00pm – 8.00pm

Venue: Bracknell Open Learning Centre - Rectory Lane,
Bracknell, RG12 7GR, United Kingdom

Teas and Coffees will be provided and Recovery Facilitators will be there to support you during the session.

Please email by 22 July 2022 to let us know you would like to join us or let one of the Recovery Facilitators know.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

Network Meeting

A few pictures from BFCN's last Network Meeting at Cup of Rosie's. We were joined by Tinkers -  (Boredom Boxes Painting Kits — TINKERS (

A very warm and friendly group joined us and enjoyed a slice of cake whilst painting beautiful ceramic flowers together.

Wellbeing Session

Bucks Mind

Following on from the success with our first face to face wellbeing session. BFCN would like to offer you the opportunity to attend 2 (that's right 2!) Wellbeing Sessions in August, where coffee/tea and cake will be provided

Our first session is at the start of August and the topic is Discovering Self-Compassion - 

Below are the details for both sessions - 

Discovering Self-Compassion

Research tells us that self-compassion plays a really important role in our wellbeing. We can all benefit from a little more self-compassion, but being self-compassionate can be really challenging. For some of us, it may seem impossible to treat ourselves kindly.

In this session we’ll explore why self-compassion can be difficult, why it’s important and explore some things we could try to develop it.

Date - Tuesday 2 August 

Time - 1.45pm until 4.15pm

Venue -  Bracknell Open Learning Centre - Rectory Lane,
Bracknell, RG12 7GR, United Kingdom

Our second session will be at the end of August and the topic is Managing Difficult Emotions - 

Managing Difficult Emotions

Emotions help us with lots of different things, such as decision making, relationships, day to day interactions and looking after ourselves. It is perfectly normal to have overwhelming emotions but sometimes our emotions and emotional reactions may start to feel out of proportion or not suited to the situation we’re in - which can be challenging to deal with.

In this session we’ll explore why this is, along with some techniques we might try for changing our emotional reactions and the impact this might have on our wellbeing.

Date - Tuesday 30 August 

Time - 1.45pm until 4.15pm

Venue - Bracknell Open Learning Centre - Rectory Lane,
Bracknell, RG12 7GR, United Kingdom

If you would like to attend please email and let us know which one or if its both you would like to attend.

Wellbeing session

BFCN's last wellbeing session was about 'Coping Strategies'. It was our first face-to-face session. It was so good to be surrounded by like minded people and be able to speak openly in a safe space whilst enjoying a cuppa and treats (a special cake was made by one of the attendees! Thank you so much!) 

PAWS Sessions


The BFCN have just started a new project in partnership with PAWS -People and Animal Wellbeing Services (PAWS)

The Wellbeing and Educational programmes involve a lot more than stroking a calm, placid dog. PAWS facilitate practical Animal Assisted Interventions that promote an active lifestyle, teach communication skills, team-building skills, build self esteem and solidify the canine-human bond with people. We focus on goal setting, communication and regulation techniques through practical activities that teach both canine and human behaviors as well as dog handling skills. 

BFCN have set up 3 x block sessions for our service users to participate in and so far they are going very well!  

We are still in the early stages of the project and will update you more in the next newsletter.

Take a look at a few of our pictures from the PAWS sessions so far...

Link to PAWS -  Home | PAWS (


Recipe of the Month

Strawberry Lemonade

We hope you are keeping cool during the hotter Summer days and evenings. 

Fun fact - Scientists believe that summer babies have higher chances of suffering from mood swings more than other seasons’ babies. - Although I bet it's not just Summer babies having mood swings in this heat! Follow the link in the Manager's Update to find ways to keep cool. 

What better way to keep cool and hydrated then with Strawberry Lemonade! 

Strawberry Lemonade 

Ingredients - 

  • 175g sugar
  • 400g strawberries, hulled and quartered, plus extra whole strawberries to serve (optional)
  • 200ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (the juice of about 4-5 lemons)
  • ice, to serve

Method - 

  • Step 1

    Tip the sugar and 1 litre water into a saucepan over a medium heat and heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.

  • Step 2

    Put the strawberries in a blender and blitz to a purée. You can strain this through a fine mesh sieve to remove any seeds, if you prefer. Tip the strawberry purée into a large jug with the sugar water and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Pour into glasses filled with ice and serve garnished with whole strawberries, if you like. Will keep chilled for a day.


    Follow the link to BBC Good Food for more recipes - Strawberry lemonade recipe | BBC Good Food

Friends in Need - Days Out

FiN Owl

With the sights of Spring and Summer well under way, we have been loving FiN days out in the sunshine.

Feathers and Fur Falconry Trip

The members loved our recent Falconry trip at Feathers and Fur Falconry centre, at Moss End Garden Centre in Bracknell. 14 members were shown how to call, hold and fly a variety of birds safely. We got to learn about all the different birds and their individual characters, and amongst just some of our favourites were Bailey the Barn Owl, Nala the Kestrel, Milo the Harris Hawk and Billie-Jean, the European Eagle Owl.

Adventure Golf Trip

Members recently enjoyed a day out to Golfplex, Binfield where they got to play 3 rounds of adventure mini-golf! It was a gorgeously sunny day with plenty of laughter and peer support.  We explored the 3 themed rounds – the Polar Zone, The Jungle Zone and The Desert Zone!

By Elouise Griffin - Friends in Need Coordinator - Bracknell

Fancy joining Friends in Need on a day trip or a social coffee and chat morning or seeing what else is on the timetable follow the link to find more information and the welcome form - Friends in Need - Bucks Mind

Stepping Stones Recovery College


Stepping Stones Acoustic Couch Musical Extravaganza

Date - Wednesday, 27 July

Time - 8pm until 11pm

Venue - The Acoustic Couch - 
11 Market St, Bracknell RG12 1JG, UK

An evening of Music for Family and Friends. Come and join our Stepping Stones recovery college end of year celebration with live music. Entrance is FREE and each guest given 2 complimentary soft drinks and free snacks! 

Follow the link for tickets - Stepping Stones Acoustic Couch Musical Extravaganza | Stepping Stones (

Also check out Stepping Stones Recovery College new Autumn Timetable  - Workshops and Classes | Stepping Stones Recovery College  

Sports in Mind



After the fantastic Circuits taster session at the Happiness Hub event, Sport in Mind are now going to be delivering a free, weekly Circuits session at South Hill Park every Tuesday 6-7pm (starting on Tuesday 7th June) all the way throughout the summer, and hopefully beyond if it is as successful as we are hoping it will be!


What: Circuits in Bracknell (more information available on our website)

Where: South Hill Park (meet outside the café at the back of the Arts Centre), Ringmead, Bracknell, RG12 7PA

When: Every Tuesday 6-7pm 

Follow the link for more sessions in our area - Sport in Mind - the UK mental health sports charity

Community Corner



This newsletter especially for you, and we would love to involve you as much as we can! 

Accomplished something you're proud of? Why not share it with us and we will add it to our newsletter. 

Found a recipe that everyone loves? Share it with us! 

Read a good book recently? We'd love to post about it!  

Any suggestions on a post? Or would you like to write something for us? We'd love that! 

We would love to hear from you!  Email 


 'I choose to surround myself with people who feel like sunlight.'

Bracknell Forest Council • Time Square • Market Street • Bracknell • RG12 2JD

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