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Report - Disability Awareness Day 2018 - Wednesday 8th August!

The Weller Community Centre in Amersham Road, Caversham was adorned with balloon arrangements and played host Reading’s second Disability Awareness Day

The event was held to celebrate the diversity of Reading residents and visitors who may have a physical disability, sensory need or neurological condition and was themed around culture, wellbeing and leisure.

Mayor of Reading, Councillor Debs Edwards opened the event and cut a specially decorated cake. 

There was the opportunity for attendees to try out Mindfulness, singing, some simple sign language, enjoy a manicure or hand massage and Tai Chi.  The event was concluded with an arousing performance from Rona Topaz, disabled singer and songwriter.

Over 10 volunteers including Reading Borough Council, Reading Voluntary Action staff, the Weller Centre plus others recruited via Reading Voluntary Action all gave up their time to ensure that everyone could participate fully.

There were 22 information stands and we estimate around 120 people or more came through the door.  There was entertainment for adults and children as well as interactive disability awareness sessions.

Those participating were provided with refreshments sponsored by Tesco and Readings Rotary Club.

The event was organised by Reading’s Physical Disability and Sensory Needs Network (PDSN) that is made up of local service users and representatives from voluntary and statutory sector organisations.  The PDSN provides a forum where members can express their views and have their voices heard. 

 Disabled Reading resident and Chair of the PDSN, Simone Illger, explained:

“The Day is vital to raising awareness of the existence of the Network and what its role is, which is why we were so pleased to have so many people attending this event.  There is no one place where people can go to find out about support and services for disabled people and their carers, so events like this are essential.

After the first Disability Awareness Day last year, it’s vital that we provide an opportunity for people with a physical or neurological impairment, long term health condition or sensory need can come together to celebrate what we bring to the community. 

Reading has so many services, voluntary organisations and charities which exist to enable disabled people to live a full and independent live.  This was the chance for us to come together alongside carers and family members to meet and learn from one another.

I’m confident that with the success of this second event the Disability Awareness Day will become an annual event that we can look forward to.”

For more information about the event or to be added to the mailing list to receive information about future disability events, please contact Nina Crispin at or call 0118 937 2383 

 Some of the contributors on the day:

  • The Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre
  • Reading Fibromyalgia
  • Guide Dogs - app for crossing the road
  • The Stroke Association
  • Thames Valley Police
  • Arthritis Matters
  • Reading Deaf Centre
  • Carers Hub/Reading Crossroads
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • New Directions
  • REMAP Berkshire - bespoke daily living aids
  • Unlock your Wellbeing
  • Readibus
  • My Care My Home - financial advice for care and support
  • United Response
  • Get Berkshire Active
  • Mindfulness
  • A2 Dominion
  • Compass Recovery College
  • Family Information Service
  • Healthwatch Reading
  • Wellbeing Team / Sensory Needs (RBC)

Some of the activities on offer were:

  • Seated Tai chi
  • Mindfulness session
  • Messy Club
  • Pampering and hand massage
  • Basic Sign Language (Reading Deaf Centre)
  • Singing for pleasure (Rona Topaz)

To find out a bit more about what is PDSN, please click here.