Reigned in but not off

It was hard to believe it was high summer, but the constant rain did nothing to dampen spirits at the recent Bracton Summer Festival.

Undaunted by the worst the weather could throw at them, Bracton Centre staff and service users executed a rapid change of plans and held the festival in the sports hall instead of the garden as planned.

Head Occupational Therapist at the Bracton Patsy Fung explained why the festival was being held instead of the usual Summer Fair: “The fair was really a fundraiser for the Friends of Henri de Bracton, but this year we decided to broaden it into a celebration of cultural diversity and wellbeing.”

In addition to the usual stalls selling a superb selection of handmade crafts, there were mouthwatering curries, Turkish delicacies and a stall selling freshly made churros  – a sort of Spanish donut that is traditionally eaten for breakfast together with a cup of thick hot chocolate.

Complementary therapies also made an appearance this year, with relaxing massages and nail painting and there were representatives on hand to talk about opportunities at the volunteer centre, Bexley and Family Health Isis, a community organisation supporting African and African-Caribbean people who have experienced some form of mental distress.

The arts were not neglected and a special marquee opening off the sports hall hosted a line up of djs playing 45 minute sets covering virtually the whole range of popular music – blues, rock, soul, reggae and funk. Also outside the hall was a special cinema showcasing films made by Bracton Centre service users.

Published on 5th August 2011