New leisure trust to run borough leisure centres

Leisure Focus has been created to run the borough’s leisure centres with the new charitable trust taking control of the borough’s sites from 1st August 2020.

The decision to create the trust has been made in partnership with Legacy Leisure, the current operator of the council’s leisure facilities.

Due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, both parties have agreed it was in the best interests of customers, staff and the wider community to transfer the operation, which will move across to Leisure Focus from 1 August 2020.

Russell O’Keefe, executive director, place, at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and trustee of Leisure Focus, says: “I am delighted that we have been able to set up a new leisure charitable trust, to continue the delivery of leisure services at our sites here in the Royal Borough.

 “They provide such an integral service for the health and wellbeing of residents. The trust is run by local people who are passionate about the local leisure facilities.

Read more: New Leisure Trust to Run RBWM Leisure Centres From August

Bracknell Open Learning Centre is currently closed, however, staff have been undertaking work to ensure the safety of colleagues and visitors when the centre re-opens.

Safety measures include a one-way system around the building with the use of hand sanitiser on entry and exit.  There will be no access to the first floor of the centre, but there will be ample signage to follow throughout the building to help with the one-way system on the ground floor. There will be a limited number of people permitted into the building and the appropriate social distancing measures will be in place. No refreshments will be available, although visitors will be welcome to bring their own. Regular cleaning will take place throughout the day.

The centre plans to open for limited bookings in August and a full Community Learning programme will be running from September. Keep an eye on  webpage and the Facebook page for more updates



World-renowned sporting venue Ascot Racecourse has unveiled the new COVID-secure measures it has implemented to ensure the faultless delivery of memorable occasions when meetings and events resume from September 2020, subject to government approval.

The robust safety procedures include segmenting its vast event spaces into smaller, self-sufficient venues, increased cleaning measures, temperature checks, staff training programmes and new catering services.
With 179 acres of grounds and first-class dining facilities across 8,000m², Ascot offers a secure and comfortable environment for corporate and social occasions, while adhering to social distancing regulations.
To provide complete confidence to bookers, the acclaimed venue has strategically split its 300 spaces into five exclusive zones, enabling events of any size to take place in secure surroundings, while avoiding cross-exposure with other guests on-site. The areas have been engineered to have their own separate entrance and exit plans, as well as dedicated teams, kitchen facilities and clear signage in place to control the safe movement of guests and staff within the venue.
Renowned for its first-class catering, Ascot has ensured the measures do not affect its guests’ experiences with the introduction of new food offerings. With a choice of individual Ascot picnics, a special ‘call to order’ collection service for the avoidance of queues and ‘grab and go’ stores at which guests can safely make their own choices, the award-winning internal catering team, 1711 by Ascot, has expertly crafted food experiences to complement any function.
Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer, Ascot Racecourse, said: “The health and wellbeing of our guests and team is our utmost priority. To ensure we can resume Events at Ascot safely and at the incredibly high standard for which we are known, we have devised each of these procedures in close consultation with industry experts and will be reviewing them regularly in accordance with Government advice. We are excited to welcome guests and delegates back to our versatile and secure venue as soon as we can.”
The epitome of British style and tradition, Ascot Racecourse can host a variety of functions, including bespoke private events, conferences, summer parties, away days, training days, meetings, product launches, exhibitions, weddings and exclusive Christmas parties.
To find out more information about Events at Ascot and the new measures in place, please click here.



Neighbourhood Watch is not just about looking out the window and being alert for any crime in the neighbourhood, it is much more than that. It serves as a valuable resource for crime prevention, in supporting the Police with things such as local home security surveys, installing crime prevention aids in homes for the vulnerable and elderly especially, helping those vulnerable and elderly residents with any other needs, and in drawing residents together in supporting one another.
The Windsor & Ascot NHW Association is making great strides in reactivating and expanding Neighbourhood Watch within the various parishes of Windsor & Ascot. Its Facebook page (@WindsorAscotNHW) is receiving multiple enquiries from interested residents and serves as a means to highlight local issues relating to crime and residents in need. New NHW schemes are continuously being set up with active Coordinators, and residents within those scheme areas can now benefit from the new initiatives being introduced by Neighbourhood Watch and Thames Valley Police.
To search for your nearest NHW scheme, or to set up a new scheme, visit and enter your postcode. 

Household waste and recycling centre update | 

RBWM will be returning to a weekly collection service for food, household waste and recycling, alongside the fortnightly garden waste collections for those who have a subscription, in five or six weeks.

After a discussion with  waste contractors, Serco, the Council has agreed that this change will take place in mid-August, with no specific date as yet.

There are still impacts on the service due to COVID-19 in terms of staffing and the amount of waste and recycling being collected, so the Borough will use the time between now and mid-August to prepare for a smooth change back to weekly collections and to communicate the changes to the service.


Thames Hospice     CLICK HERE for Just Giving


SECRET GARDENS FUNDRAISER TO RAISE MONEY FOR NEW HOSPICE | Step inside some of Berkshire’s finest gardens in new virtual tour

Thames Hospice are inviting local gardening enthusiasts and garden lovers to join them on their new ‘Secret Gardens’ virtual tour to raise money for their new hospice.

Secret Gardens is an exclusive virtual tour of eight local beautiful gardens and venues. For a suggested donation of £10 per person, people will be able to take a look inside some of the most stunning gardens in the local area which are rarely open to the public, including films taken in Taplow Court, Stanlake Park Wine Estate and Deepwood Stud Farm near Maidenhead.

Read more: Thames Hospice | Secret Gardens to Raise ££ For New Hospice

On Thursday 18th June 2020 Thames Hospice reopened its shop in North Ascot to a (socially distanced!) crowd of eager shoppers and supporters. The store had undergone a refit during closure, after all the charity’s shops where closed in March in accordance with the UK Government’s guidelines.

On Thursday 18th June at 12pm Thames Hospice Chief Executive Debbie Raven was joined by the Mayor of the Borough of Bracknell Forest Councillor Ash Merry, Mayoress Isabel Mattick and Ascot Councillor and former Mayor Dorothy Hayes to celebrate the reopening of the North Ascot store on Warren Row and welcome back returning customers.  

Julie Rowley, Director of Retail at Thames Hospice, said: We were thrilled with the amazing turn out at our North Ascot shop. Thank you so much to our special guests for supporting us. Councillor Dorothy Hayes originally opened the shop for us over 15 years ago, so it was very poignant and memorable to have all three Mayors, past and present, with us.

 “Thank you also to our wonderful loyal customers for making our first day of reopening a great success. It is fantastic to be back open for business raising vital income for the Hospice once again.”

The store in North Ascot is now open Monday – Saturday, 9am-5pm, with donations being accepted every day between the hours of 9.30am-12.30pm.

For further information on the Thames Hospice shop reopenings, please visit