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.
We provide support for up to 400 people living across West Berkshire whose lives are affected by mental health issues. We 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 5 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. High-speed broadband and laptops are available for members to use.
The charity work tirelessly to help members improve their lives, wellbeing, confidence, and self-esteem through volunteering and training opportunities, access to projects, a range of activities, and peer support from a dedicated team of volunteers.
We help service users overcome stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and isolation so they can enjoy a quality of life others take for granted. We offer advice on a range of issues such as finance, housing, benefits, and employment and are able to refer members for specialist counseling and support if their mental health deteriorates.
We are a uniquely members-led organisation where service users have a hand and say in the way our charity runs and elect their own management committee at an annual AGM.
Our longest-serving members offer basic mentoring and a one-to-one friendship scheme to new and more vulnerable service users which has been hugely successful.
We also work alongside several other local charities and community groups, including Recovery in Mind, Loose Ends, West Berkshire Homeless, and Newbury Soup Kitchen
Eight Bells receives a number of referrals from GPs, the Community Mental Health Team, West Berkshire Social Services, and other health professionals and organisations as well as private families and individuals.
A referral is not required though, members who would like to join are asked to fill in a confidential membership form.