Copy | | Bulletin 04

Berkshire West CCG GP Makes Personal Pledge
What Can You Do?

Dr Angus Tallini is a GP in Newbury and GP Mental Health Lead for the Berkshire West CCGs, He says "I would like to pledge my support for Brighter Berkshire Year of Mental Health 2017. 1 in 4 of us are affected at one time by mental ill health, which means that all of us come across it in our lives, whether in ourselves, our family, our friends, our work colleagues or our neighbours. This is why we need to start talking about it without making assumptions or judgements, and why we need to start bridging that gap and offering a helping hand or a listening ear. I will be running the Reading Half Marathon in March 2017 in aid of Brighter Berkshire Year of Mental Health and to highlight the benefits of exercise of all kinds to improving your mental wellbeing."

Song Writing Competition to Raise Awareness of Mental Health to be Launched across Berkshire Secondary Schools

The Founder of the Rock Academy Foundation, Pete Doyle, is going to kick off a song writing competition across Berkshire Secondary Schools to encourage discussion and awareness with this group on mental health. This is a creative way of engaging this age group in the subject of Mental Health. Its hoped there will be 6 regional heats in each council area and a big bang final towards the end of the year. If you are interested in being involved in helping shape this or get involved in some way, then please contacts us here.

10 Year Old Daughter of Brighter Berkshire Arts Lead Driven to Community Action for the Homeless

Caroline Gratrix, who leads on our Brighter Berkshire Arts, has had her own daughter gather community support through her class to help the homeless she was compelled to try to help. A lesson to us all how much capacity, humanity, kindness and compassion there is out there and what can be achieved. See more on this in Get Reading coverage of the story here.

Look out for Our Angela on BBC Politics Show on Sunday! 
Angela Ryan, co-host of the BBC Radio Berkshire Monthly Show ‘Talking Heads’ as part of the Brighter Berkshire season has been interviewed with her teenage daughter about her personal experience of mental health issues, journey of recovery and using this to help others.

120 Council staff signed up for Mental Health First Aid Training in Theresa May’s Windsor and Maidenhead

120 members of Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council staff have immediately signed up for the mental health first aid training, which is absolutely fantastic. 

Mental Health champion, Cllr MJ Saunders, did an interview with the Maidenhead Advertiser on attitudes & Cllr Stuart Carroll has also been following up with Crossrail to ensure suicide prevention measures will be implemented at the redesigned Maidenhead station.

Building Mental Health into Mainstream Awards

We have been talking with a number of awards teams who have awards across Berkshire to see if we might have a category on mental health for this year and see how this goes. Business awards and sports awards are first up and we even have had offers of sponsorship should award teams agree to proceed.



Activate College in Reading

We met with the design team at the College this week to plan the work for setting the students the task of redesigning our Brighter Berkshire logo, designing some postcards and setting in motion some video opportunities to capture projects linked to the year. The students will be given the assignment next Wednesday and will have over half term to complete it.

Brighter Berkshire Bike Ride
Discussions are taking place around a Berkshire Bike ride later in the year which stops at all 6 council towns with photo opportunities, everyone wears the same teeshirt with same message, you can do some or all of the ride, get sponsored or challenge yourself and Reading College have offered to take location videos and pictures to make a film of the day. We are working with Sport in Mind and Better Points to start pulling this together. We are aiming for September/October to give people on the Brighter Berkshire Team enough time to train or get sponsorship.


Stepping Up Brighter Businesses

We’re now calling on businesses to get involved to, make a pledge to improve the mental health of your workforce, create a work opportunity for someone with a mental health problem and donate £1PerEmployee programme. 

£1PerEmployee will go towards a collaborative effort across the county to improve mental health. With statistics showing that mental health issues cost businesses £1,000+ per employee, these vital funds will drive Brighter Berkshire’s events, increase awareness, strengthen support networks across the region and work towards a goal of raising £1million by the end of the year to go to local charities and initiatives aimed at making a lasting difference to the mental health of the Berkshire population.Cisco, the worldwide IT leader, whose UK offices are headquartered in Berkshire, are drawing on its leadership in the mental health area to set a template for other businesses. Its award-winning strategy includes training mental health first aiders, addressing mental health in its young leaders and apprentices as well as hosting coffee mornings where people with a mental health issue can receive support.

Phil Smith, Chairman of Cisco UK comments, “We understand the importance of supporting the whole individual to grow, develop and succeed in work and in life. There are many aspects to mental health from helping staff understand their strengths and potential, to managing change and dealing with failure. Stress can have a big effect on individuals, teams and on the business. Our economy relies on us taking this issue seriously as mental health related issues cost on average £1000 a year per employee.”

Phil adds, “It’s very easy in a successful tech company to get carried away on a constant drive to be the best. But we will only succeed in this if we value the difference each one of our employees brings, ensure a strong message to look after your mental health and encourage them to speak up when they need support so they get help as soon as possible.

We will be capturing the sign up to this initiative through Twitter or Instagram  using hashtag #Berkshire1for1. We will collect pledges and send details of how to transfer donations and ask you to send your logo so we can display it on our website. 

 Launching your ‘stories’ section 

We have started to upload some of the amazing and inspirational emails and stories we have been receiving as we think these will inspire and motivate others in the way they do us every day.  We will also soon launch a blog and welcome anyone who would like to send in contributions for this. 

Brighter Berkshire YouTube Channel

We have opened our own You Tube Channel and although we are all new to  this we think it would be great to capture Vlogs, stories and other visual images which will help explain whats happening and capture the journey. If you have something you would like to share, please contact us on In the meantime, we have uploaded some snaps of highlights so far here.

What's Next 

The Core Team meet 3rd Feb, planning for BBC Radio Programme 20th Feb, planning for event in Bracknell in March, ongoing connecting with people. 

You can download our full newsletter here.

Follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates @BrightBerks2017

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