Brighter Berkshire is an initiative which evolved through many connected conversations about the growing issues linked with mental health in Berkshire.

It builds on the desire by many to do something proactive and allows absolutely anyone to get involved.

The core team of volunteers helping to drive the Brighter Berkshire initiative are all Berkshire people who:

  • have lived experience of mental health problems
  • have cared for people with mental health problems
  • work or have worked in mental health services
  • are passionate about mental health and wellbeing

Alison Foster

Chair of Healthwatch West Berkshire and founder of Brighter Berkshire

Alice Kunjappy-Clifton

Healthwatch Co-ordinator

Caroline Gratrix

Photographer, lead on arts for Brighter Berkshire.

Richard Benyon MP

MP for Newbury, providing cross party political leadership and engagement.

Polly Falconer

Mental Health Worker and Co-Host of  BBC Radio Berkshire monthly show

Lisa McNally

Consultant in Public Health, Bracknell Forest Council

Anne-Marie Gawen

Founder of Unlock Your Wellbeing CIC and Wokingham lead for Brighter Berkshire

Angela Ryan

Founder of Recovery in Mind co-host of  BBC Radio Berkshire monthly show

Dr Julie Wintrup

University lecturer in OT and lead on evaluation for Brighter Berkshire.

Cllr Stuart Carroll

Councillor in Windsor and Maidenhead Council – engaging the council and local community as well as influencing wider networks.

Nicky Jerrome

Musician and Co-Host of BBC Radio Berkshire monthly show and leading on all things music for Brighter Berkshire

Shamyla Naveed



We are going to make a long term difference to mental health in our community through:
  • Building the largest countywide network of diverse people, ideas and voluntary commitment to come together to improve mental health
  • Demonstrating that by coming together as a local community, we can all improve mental health and wellbeing of our population.
  • Develop a central online place for anyone in Berkshire to connect on mental health and wellbeing.
We are embracing and helping the community desire to make a real difference for people who need mental health support locally. We think it is possible that by coming together in a variety of creative ways under this theme over a year, it can really make a big difference.

We also believe there is a huge range of things we can all do to help ourselves by looking after our mental health in the same way we do our physical health. Being able to live in a community which understands the vital importance of good mental health to every single one of us is essential to this being successful.

There are many resources throughout the community, which if mobilised and connected can make a massive impact across the county.



We will help bring people, ideas and activity together locally to:

  • raise the profile of mental health
  • reduce stigma and
  • improve the support, opportunities and choices available to people who need it

We will do this through encouraging, facilitating and supporting lots of open conversations around mental health, do creative things to engage a wider range of people in mental health than ever and also help increase funds to local mental health charities who provide so much early support for people who need it.

Following the release of their recent Vital Signs report and the announcement that their 2017 focus is around mental health issues, we have partnered with Berkshire Community Foundation. We look forward to working with BCF to make a lasting difference and together we will help to deliver a legacy fund for local mental health charities.

We will share all the types of things happening which we hope will inspire others to participate to make the difference. We will work through pledges, events, information sharing and support by local media.



If you have an idea that you want to implement within your local area, would like to volunteer some of your time or would just like some more information you can use the form below to contact us.

You can find more ways to join the team on our Get Involved page.

Brighter Berkshire

Year of Mental Health 2017

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