Seven days of free health and fitness activities for residents

bfcResidents are invited to enjoy a week of free health and wellbeing events in the borough between 14 and 20 November as Bracknell Forest Council and its partners’ award winning Self Care Week returns.

Volunteers will take to Princess Square to provide shoppers with health and wellbeing advice throughout the week. Tailored ‘self-prescriptions’ will be offered, signposting people to local organisations and activities to help residents improve their overall health such as help to quit smoking, falls prevention and free leisure centre activities.

Look out for the street doctors offering on the spot health checks along with advice on managing your blood pressure and weight.  The street doctors will be at different locations in Bracknell Forest throughout Self Care Week.

Get into the rhythm of keeping fit and mentally stimulated with free health walks and Tai-Chi sessions created with you in mind. Other activities include Parkrun, beginner exercise sessions and educational events.

Talking Therapies group, part of Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, will also be on hand to help residents manage their mental wellbeing, answering questions and providing advice.

Residents are encouraged to get involved with the range of activities to help them look after their physical and mental wellbeing while keeping fit this November.

Cllr Dale Birch, Bracknell Forest Council’s executive member for adult services, health and housing, said: “Self care is extremely important in enabling people to remain independent. It’s a range of actions people take for themselves and their families, helping them to stay fit and have good physical and mental health.

“Our Self Care Week is designed to help people make time to look after themselves, try out a new fitness activity and get the information they need to equip them for treating minor ailments and managing long term conditions themselves.

“Self Care Week 2015 was a huge success and we hope even more residents take advantage of the range of activities and information events on offer this year to help them remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible.”

Self Care Week will also involve children and vulnerable groups of the community; seated exercise plans will be sent to sheltered housing complexes, residential homes and nursing homes to encourage residents to participate in exercise together.

Schools are encouraged to get involved through a poster competition which will be running across the borough with some fantastic prizes, including family tickets to The Look Out, generously donated by partners and providers supporting the event.

Dr Martin Kittel, director and self care lead for Bracknell and Ascot Clinical Commissioning Group and Forest End GP, said: “A great many A&E attendances, hospital admissions and even GP appointments are avoidable if people improve their self care and conditions get diagnosed earlier rather than later. Self care doesn’t mean that you’re on your own, or that the necessary support or services won’t be there for you when you need them. Talking to your GP and other healthcare workers, including pharmacists, can help, but there is a lot you can also do yourself.”

A full list of events, street doctor locations and details on how to book a place on one of the sessions can be found at www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/selfcare or by calling 01344 352765.

You can support Self Care Week by volunteering your time to help spread the word on self care. Volunteers are needed to talk to shoppers in Princess Square with slots running from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 12.30pm to 2.30pm between Monday, 14 November and Friday, 18 November. If you would like to volunteer, please give call 01344 352765 or email: ASCHH.CommissioningTeam@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.

Get updates on Self Care Week by searching #BFSelfcare on Twitter and Facebook.