Eight Bells for Mental health

Who Are We?

Eight Bells is a friendly, member-led, voluntary group that provides friendship, support, and a listening ear to people experiencing mental health issues in Newbury, Thatcham, and surrounding areas. 

As a member-led group, there are great opportunities to get involved with the running of Eight Bells, from cooking lunch to being part of the management board. We believe in empowering our members, this creates a great atmosphere within the centre; people feel part of a community. People aren’t told what to do here, rather they are involved in deciding how things are done.

How we support you?

Eight Bells for Mental Health provides support for up to 400 people living across West Berkshire whose lives are affected by mental health issues. We strive to offer a safe, supportive and welcoming environment at our Drop-In Centre which is based close to Newbury Town Centre. Our friendly social sessions are open every Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 am to 4 pm and include activities such as Yoga, Meditation, Art Therapy, and Nature. 

Members are provided with a hot lunch every Monday, enjoy a variety of day trips out, and have a beautiful garden area to enjoy.

There is an increasing demand on our coordinator for advocacy and help with referrals for specialised mental health support, benefits, and housing.  This is a large and ever-increasing part of our coordinator's workload and includes supporting members with benefit assessments and interviews with housing services, helping people access the CMHT, as well as giving emotional support. We also have several trained peer supporters, who help with signposting members to appropriate services.

We also work alongside several other local charities and community groups, including Recovery in Mind, Loose Ends, West Berkshire Homeless, and Newbury Soup Kitchen

We also run the separate Eight Bells Community Strength project, funded by West Berkshire Council, supporting volunteers working in their local communities, to reduce social isolation and feelings of loneliness whilst empowering individuals and communities to connect and build skills.

Our drop-in sessions are:

Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays 9am to 4pm.

Hot lunches are served every Monday at 12.30pm - the cost is £3 for a two-course meal.

£1.50 for unlimited hot drinks at each session.

High-speed broadband and laptops are available for members to use.

Our Free Activities include:

Monday - 10.30am Seated Yoga and Meditation                                                                                                                                         

Monday - 1pm to 3pm Art Therapy                                                                                                                                         

Thursday -  Engaging with Nature at The Thatcham Discovery Centre - dates for new course TBC

Prize Bingo and Quizzes at every session 

Coordinator Kathryn is running 1-1 appointments for specific advocacy and support at The Meeting House, 1, Highfield Avenue, Newbury throughout the week. These must be booked in advance.

All Covid restrictions have now been lifted in accordance with Government guidelines, however, if anyone displays symptoms or has a positive test we kindly request they do not attend the Drop-In Centre for five days. 

Our phone and email address are manned during the following times:

Monday and Thursday 9am to 6pm
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am-5pm

Additional needs catered for:
Key words - separate with a comma: Mental Health, Member-led, Friendship, Support, Listening Ear