International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3rd December 2016)


Information taken from: Helping You Stay Independent Guide 2016/17 


DisabledGo – The Bracknell Forest Access Guides

DisabledGo provides access guides to over 500 venues and services in Bracknell Forest. The guides allow people of all abilities to know what facilities are available at these locations. These guides are normally available via the computer but printed copies can be made available on request.

If you would like more information Tel: 01438 842710 email: or visit

Accessible taxis

Most taxis in Bracknell Forest are fully wheelchair accessible and have features to make travelling easier for people with disabilities. These include induction loops and intermediate steps. When you are booking a vehicle, make sure you let the operator know of any special requirements you have so they can send the appropriate vehicle and driver. A list of firms and drivers who have stated they are available for wheelchair booking can be found at:



Bracknell Shopmobility

Bracknell Shopmobility provides a mobility service to local residents and visitors who have difficulty walking. The service has a wide range of manual and powered wheelchairs and scooters to enable easier access to facilities and shops in the town centre. They are based on the ground floor of Princess Square.

People do not need to be registered disabled to use them but they do need to register to use the service for the first time. Please allow 15 minutes to complete the registration form and to receive instruction on the safe use of the vehicle. Please bring with you proof of identity confirming your name and address e.g. Utility bill, driving license, passport. For more information please contact:

Telephone: 01344 861316

Disabled Persons Railcard

 If someone has a disability that makes travelling by train difficult they may be eligible for the Disabled Persons Railcard.

People may qualify if they:

  • Receive disability-related benefits
  • Are registered as deaf or use a hearing aid
  • Have a visual impairment
  • Have epilepsy

The Railcard allows them to get a third off most rail fares across Britain. An adult companion travelling with them gets the same discount.

There is no subsidy on your first railcard. However, when you renew it for the first time, please call Bracknell Forest Council on 01344 352000 to apply for a voucher for a subsidised Disabled Person’s Railcard.

To apply, please contact:

Telephone: 0845 605 0525
Minicom/ textphone: 0845 601 0132.

Keep Mobile


Keep Mobile is a voluntary organisation that provides transport for older people and disabled people as well as organised day trips out.

Keep Mobile’s mission is to help people in the Wokingham and Bracknell Forest Council areas who are unable to use ordinary transport, due to their disability and/or age, to get out and about and have as much of an independent life as is possible with regard to transport.

Keep Mobile operate a fleet of accessible mini-buses all of which have adaptable seating arrangements to suit varying needs and are equipped with passenger lifts.

Membership is open to anyone living in the areas covered by either Bracknell Forest or Wokingham Borough Councils, who is disabled (whatever age) and elderly people over the age of 70. Self-certification is all that is needed, there is normally no independent evidence required.

Telephone: 0845 544 0850

Travelling by bus

 The Traveline website provides information about bus routes and timetables in Bracknell Forest.

Telephone: 0871 2002233

Voluntary car schemes in Bracknell Forest

There are voluntary car schemes in Bracknell Forest to support people needing to get to hospital appointments. This service is primarily for those who are older, less mobile or who cannot access public transport but can still walk unaided. A charge or donation is requested to cover the cost of the driver’s expenses. 48 hours notice is required. Please contact the following organisations to request support:

Bracknell Forest Voluntary Car Service available Mon – Fri 9:30am – 12 noon
Telephone: 01344 426320

Bullbrook Good Neighbours
Telephone: 01344 429838

Crowthorne Good Neighbours Scheme
Telephone: 01344 761001 

Technology to help you live at home

Technology has made a lot of advances in recent years with things such as televisions, computers and mobile phones to name but a few. There are also a lot of different types of assistive technology to help people with a wide-range of conditions to live at home, while remaining independent and safe. It can provide peace of mind as well as freeing up the time of friends and family carers.

This technology can range from equipment such as:

  • Walking frames
  • Bathing equipment
  • Grab rails
  • Pillow elevator
  • Talking kitchen scales

There are also a range of sensors, for instance, a bed sensor can be used to detect when a person gets out of bed at night and if they do not return within a certain period, an alarm would be raised, as the person may have fallen. The bed sensor can be combined with a light sensor so that when the person gets out of bed the light turns on so they can see where they are going.

These products can be bought or hired from many suppliers, however you maybe eligible to have minor adaptations up to £1,000 funded by the Council. If you would like more information contact Adult Social Care on 01344 351500.



Forestcare is Bracknell Forest Council’s Emergency Response Control Centre. The primary function of Forestcare is to demonstrate, install and monitor lifeline alarms and other associated telecare equipment including a range of linked sensors. The purpose of telecare equipment is to keep you safe & independent in your own home – you can come through to the control centre at the push of a button if you require help, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Key Holder

If you activate your lifeline alarm and require assistance, we will contact your key holders in the first instance if it’s not an emergency. If you don’t have any family or friends near-by, Forestcare can act as your key holder. We can then attend if you require assistance in a non-emergency situation (we would contact the emergency services if required).

Key Safe

An additional service offered is the supply & installation of a key safe. This is located on an external wall of your property. If you have a fall and cannot get to the front door, your key holders or the emergency services can use the key safe to gain access to your home.

Care Calls

Forestcare also provides a number of other services including a care call service where they phone you (on a regular basis). There could be a number of reasons why they might call you. It may be just to check that you are ok, remind you of an appointment or confirm you have taken your medication.

GPS Tracking Devices

We can now offer GPS tracking devices. These are in-effect mobile lifeline alarms which you can use when you are out and about. They use roaming mobile sim cards meaning you can put a call through to us wherever you are. Alternatively, if you activate your device the alert can be sent through to your family / friends as long as they have a ‘smart’ device (phone / laptop / tablet). They are then able to see where you are using the GPS technology. We can also set-up these devices with a ‘geo fence’. This means we can set-up a designated area in which the user is free to move. However, if the wearer leaves the designated area an alert call will automatically be raised.

For more information on all our services & prices please contact us on:

Tel: 01344 786599

Bracknell Forest Handyman Service

People who are eligible for support from the Council can access the Bracknell Forest Handyperson Service. This service is paid for by the Council and can be used to make small changes to your home such as fixing grab-rails.

If you would like more information, please contact Bracknell Forest Council on 01344 352000 or call Age UK Berkshire on 01189 594242.

Website details:

Disabled Facilities Grant

If you experience difficulties getting around your home, for example having trouble getting up the stairs, you may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant. This grant helps towards the cost of making changes which are reasonable and practical to meet your needs and enable you to continue to live in your home. To access the grant you would need to ask for an assessment of your needs and your finances.

You can claim this grant if you, or someone living in your property, are disabled and:

  • You, or the person on whose behalf you are applying, either own or rent (including licensees) the property.
  • You can certify that you, or the person on whose behalf you are applying, intend to occupy the property as your/their only or main residence throughout the grant period – currently five years.
  • You are financially eligible to claim the Disabled Facilities Grant.

If you would like more information, please contact Bracknell Forest Council on 01344 351500

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy helps people to live as independently as possible and assists those with disabilities to carry out activities essential for daily living, with the aim of maintaining or improving independence.

Examples of activities essential for daily living include:

  • Managing personal care, such as getting to the bathroom and getting on/off toilet
  • Moving safely around the home, getting in/out of bed
  • Managing steps and stairs
  • Accessing property
  • Ability to prepare meals
  • Participation in work, education, training or recreation

Following an assessment, you may be eligible to receive support from an occupational therapist. If you would like more information on this service, please contact Adult Social Care on 01344 351500 or Email

Sensory Needs Clinic

The aims of the Sensory Needs Clinic are to promote independence and safety as well as providing short term programmes of rehabilitation to allow someone to manage activities essential for daily living. The service is to provide support for people with their sight or hearing impairments.

An assessment is made to find out how your particular eye-sight or hearing condition affects your day to day life. If you are eligible, items of equipment may be provided and/or help may be given to adapt your home or you may be provided with a direct payment you can use for support either in the home or getting about.

In addition to these services, weekly Sensory Needs Clinics are held on an appointment only basis. At these clinics you can speak to an occupational therapist and try out equipment that might help you. Other support is available to help with issues like dealing with letters, bills and e-mails, sorting out benefits and/or communicating with others. If specialist sensory assessments or rehabilitation services are required these can be arranged by us with our specialist provider services.

If you would like more information about support from the Sensory Needs Service or attending the clinic please contact adult social care on 01344 351500, Text: 07557 633412, Fax: 01344 353259 or Email

Year of Self Care


The Year of Self Care is about helping our residents take control of their health in 2016.  It is a chance for us to all get involved and achieve something amazing this year.

Each month there will be a different self care theme – you can see the list on the ‘Calendar’ page.  For example, in February we’ll be sending out information and advice on mental well-being, while in June we’ll be focusing on carer well-being. Keep an eye of this webpage and our @BFC_Health twitter feed.

We want to get more people, organisations and business involved in Self Care.  So, if you would like us to promote your event, service or initiative, just get in touch.  It doesn’t have to fit with the theme of the month – we will get your information out there at any time!

Also, get in touch if you’d like our help to set up and run a self care related event or project – just ask.  We are always happy to get involved and make it a success.

Bracknell Forest Self-Care Guide:

The Bracknell Forest Self-Care guide provides information, advice and links to services related to long-term conditions and lifestyle factors. Each chapter has a video which gives a summary of the key messages on each topic.

The Long-Term Conditions Guide gives you practical information and signposting to services to help you manage your condition. Guides can be found for; Arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Coronary Heart Disease, Dementia, Depression and anxiety, Diabetes, Falls, Hypertension and Stroke.

Lifestyle information is available on Alcohol, Diet and Nutrition, Physical Activity and Smoking.

All guides can be accessed through the Self-Care webpage:


This directory is for everyone who lives and works in and around Bracknell Forest. If you use adult social care, health care or other help and support services, if you fund your own support, or simply wish to find out more about what services and support are available in your local community, you can find all the information and advice in one place.

If you would like to find out about events and activities in the local community, you may also find the community directory helpful:

The Helping You Stay Independent Guide

The Helping You Stay Independent Guide lists activities, events and groups around Bracknell Forest that can support individuals to remain healthy and independent.

To view or download the Guide as a pdf please visit:


Did you know more than three million people in the UK work and also care for someone? Juggling work and care can be a challenge, but as a carer you have rights at work that can make this easier. There is support available to help you continue both working and caring. You have rights to request flexible working and to challenge decisions if you are not happy with the outcome. You may also have rights to various forms of time off. Your employer may offer other forms of support such as unpaid leave or telephone access to the person you are caring for during your working hours.

If you are an unpaid carer and appear to need support, you can ask for a carer’s assessment from Bracknell Forest Council to look at how you can be supported to carry on caring and look after your own wellbeing. The assessment will work out how you can be supported and whether you qualify for support from Bracknell Forest Council.

For more information:



HealthMakers is a group of volunteers with long term health conditions living in Bracknell and Ascot who:

  • Offer peer support to teach others how to manage their long term health conditions. So far our HealthMakers have made a difference to the lives of 50 people in Bracknell Forest
  • Deliver training to help others become HealthMakers and make a difference
  • Act as Patient Partners who work closely with local health services to improve patient care and quality of life

We know that patients with long term health conditions often face crisis with their health which can be frightening and can lead to a feeling of having lost control. We know that most patients want to have confidence in looking after themselves and in recognising the signs when they need help.

We are looking for people who want to make a difference for themselves and for others by becoming HealthMakers.

What will HealthMakers gain?

You’ll be trained in how to facilitate a self-management course and given all the content and knowledge needed to confidently deliver one, including:

  • Goal setting,
  • Anxiety management,
  • How to facilitate a course,
  • Public speaking,
  • Problem solving, and
  • Other optional modules

Once you’re trained, we’ll set your courses up so it fits with your availability but we do expect you to deliver at least two courses a year.

You’ll be able to claim expenses for your travel and any carer costs. If you’re a healthcare professional, we can cover any back fill costs and provide you with a certificate to evidence continued professional development (CPD).

We’re looking for people who:

  • Have experienced living with a long term health condition
  • Are willing to listen to and consider different view points
  • Can provide constructive and ongoing feedback to others
  • Can manage and plan your own time

If you would like more information please email, or visit the HealthMakers web page.

Health Campaigns

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

Other Campaigns

Our Work