Community Wellbeing - Latest Updates October - November 2022

Cost of living - Money matters

Many people struggle financially, sometimes this is because of a change in circumstances. If you are struggling, it’s important you get the help you need.

To find out how you can get help and support locally, please visit 

Topics covered include:

  • Struggling to pay your rent
  • Help with energy costs
  • Help with food costs
  • Struggling with your mortgage payments
  • Money advice
  • ...and more

Free Home Improvements to help save Energy

Residents on a low income can apply now for free home improvements to help them save energy. A range of energy saving improvements can be fitted that require homeowners to pay nothing at all, either before or after the work has been done. Find out more: or read the attached flier.

Help with heating costs and Winter Watch

If you struggle to keep warm in winter you may be eligible for benefits, discounts and/or energy efficiency improvements to help with heating costs - find out more by clicking here

Winter Watch is run by the Council and a number of local voluntary and health services to make sure you do not suffer from cold in your home during the winter months - click here for more information or call 0118 937 3747

Winter Wellbeing - Staying Warm

Cold weather can make some health problems worse and even lead to serious complications, especially if you are 65 or older, or if you have a long-term health condition. If a spell of severe cold weather is expected, we’ll try to give you as much warning as possible. But in the meantime, if you want advice about protecting your health from the cold please click on the links below. If you are worried about your health or that of somebody you know, ring NHS 111

Top tips for keeping warm and well this winter (

Warm Spaces in West Reading


WEDNESDAYS IN TERM TIME, Café Alive, 3-4.30pm, teas, coffees, soft drinks, home-made cakes and children’s activities; for all ages, run by the three churches in Southcote.


After school Warm Hub for Families IS open 5 days a week from 3.30pm to 6pm, during term time. This will provide a warm place where children will have space to play, do homework, and have something warm to eat. It is supported by churches in West Reading working together under the banner of Torch. 


We cater for people of all ages! All are welcome to our warm, friendly, Oasis Cafe, where we provide a range of light-refreshments from 10.00 - 15.00 every Friday.


Tuesday 10:00 - 13:30 (Coffee morning/lunch club)

Wednesday 13:30 - 15:00 (CAMEO/Chatter Craft).


St Catherine's currently offers Warm Spaces at the following times, open to all:

TUESDAY GET TOGETHER, 10-12, coffee and chat, free, all welcome

CAFE SIENA, THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS, 10-2, open for reasonable priced refreshments - real coffee, home-made cakes, snacks and lunches.

FRIDAY FRIENDS, 2-4 pm with a varied programme of entertainment - a speaker/board games/crafts, (especially for the elderly), £3, carers free, refreshments included.


St George's Tilehurst (St George’s Road, RG30 2RG) is open on Fridays from 12noon to 4pm.

St Mary Magdalen's Tilehurst (Kentwood Hill, RG31 6DR) is open on Wednesdays from 10.30-11.30am.


St Luke's will be open on Thursdays 10.30-4.00 for anyone to drop in for a hot drink in a warm place


Fridays 12.30pm to 3.00pm Soup and bread in a warm space.


The Morlais Room at St Michael’s will be open as a warm space from 12 noon till 5pm on Thursday afternoons starting on 24th November.  Soup and bread, hot drinks and biscuits will be available and there will be board games to play for anyone who fancies a bit of fun.  No charge, but donations appreciated.  All welcome.

We also host a regular Wednesday lunch group, cost £5 for two courses – please book in advance on 0118 942 7331.  Lunch starts at 12.30pm.  It is followed at 2pm by a “Knit and Natter” group, to which all are very welcome.


Weller Centre Warm space Café is open week days 9.30-12 offering hot drinks, cold drinks and biscuits from 20p. Pay if you can.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service ‘Winter Wise’ fire safety guidance

Unconventional heating methods within the home increase risk of serious fire-related incidents. 

By taking simple steps you can help to protect yourself from accidental fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Always unplug electric heaters when going to bed or leaving the property.
  • Keep heaters away from flammable items, such as curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
  • Only use gas or paraffin heaters in well-ventilated areas and always have in place a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Never use hot water bottles in the same bed as an electric blanket, even if switched off
  • Always unplug electric blankets before going to bed, unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use.
  • Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained. This should be done by a registered and competent person.
  • Be careful when using open fires to keep warm – make sure you always use a fireguard to protect against flying sparks.
  • Make sure hot embers are under control and properly extinguished before going to bed or leaving the property.
  • Do not sit too close to any open fires, gas fires or halogen heaters if using emollient products as both paraffin and non-paraffin products can act as an accelerant when absorbed into clothing and exposed to naked flames or other heat sources.
  • If using a hot water bottle, check the date of manufacture on it. If it is three or more years old then replace it with a new one.

For further cold weather advice, visit the RBFRS website.

Winter Wellbeing - Flu Vaccinations

Flu is a highly infectious disease, it can be unpredictable in terms of spread each year and has symptoms that come on very quickly.  Healthy people usually recover within a week or so but, for some, the disease can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death. We also still have COVID 19 with us, putting additional pressure on us as individuals and on the NHS. If you're eligible for the free flu vaccine, it's likely you can get the coronavirus (COVID-19) seasonal booster.

If you haven’t already, you can get your flu jab from your GP or local Pharmacy and for your COVID-19 boosters contact the National Booking System

Could you or someone you know benefit from care technology

The Council’s Adult Social Care Team can advise on technology that can complement support from carers, families and friends.

Technology and home modification can include;

Carer's Rights Day 2022 - Thursday 24th November

Know your rights as a family carer.

Come to the Wycliffe Church at Cemetery Junction from 10 am to 2 pm

The Reading & West Berks Carers Partnership are launching their new service on Carers Rights Day

Citizens Advice Reading will talk about carers’ rights, benefits and how to manage and deal with debts
Reading Borough Council’s Debt Advice Team will talk about money matters during the cost of living crisis
Local Charities will be there to help you and answer your questions
Learn about how the new Reading & West Berkshire Carers Partnership will be helping you over the next three years
Help us to learn about you and the challenges you face
Refreshments & snacks available

GBA Movement and Re-conditioning Sessions

Get Berkshire Active's chair-based sessions are perfect for gently rebuilding your strength, suppleness,
skill and stamina in friendly groups and good company. 

Call or email Kate to book or for more info:

Get Berkshire Active have also teamed-up with Age UK to deliver a programme of one-to-one sessions which take place in your home. The sessions can range from strength and balance fall prevention exercises, at home seated exercise, walk and talk sessions, seated exercise bike and gentle mobility exercises etc. 

On completion of the six sessions, you can either be referred to the Age UK out and about service (many people use this service to attend adult social groups, our seated exercise sessions, visit a garden centre etc), or the Age UK Befriending service and/or can be provided with information on Adult Social Care if needed.

Call or email Kate to book or for more info:

Welcome to Reading Coffee Morning!

Want to connect with others?

Want to learn more about living in Reading?

Pop into the friendly 'Welcome to Reading' coffee mornings at Central Library.

Booking not necessary.

Reading Central Library Abbey Square, King’s Road RG1 3BQ

Next session: 11am -1pm Saturday 21st January

Call: 0118 937 5950

Southcote Library Winter Sessions

The Reading Repertory Theatre will be hosting a special Christmas craft session to tie in with their production of A Christmas Carol. For children aged 4-10 on Saturday 17th of December at 10.30am, and on Thursday 22nd of December, at 2pm. Come along and make a Christmas tree or hanging decoration, there is no need to book just drop into any of these sessions. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

On Thursday 22nd of December, 9.45am, Rhymetime for under 5's will have a Christmas theme and all children are invited to take part in our Christmas Treasure Hunt running throughout December (just borrow three children's books to take part). 

The library’s regular Coffee Morning will also have a Christmas feel on Tuesday 20th of December at 10.30am (all adults welcome). 

Come into the library to collect:

All Yours period boxes. The boxes, to help with period poverty, are sealed, discreet and a little smaller than the size of a modest shoebox.  Typically, in an adult box, they provide a selection of different flow period pads. The boxes will be available at Southcote Library from week commencing 21st of November. Please see for more information on this project.

Loan a Chromebook with built in internet access. If you are local and would be interested in borrowing a Chromebook, please come into the library to register your interest and for more details.  

“Reading Libraries would like to say thank you to all our new and existing library users who have joined the library or come back after the Covid lockdowns. We really enjoy seeing you even if you're just popping in to pick up a pack of green food waste bags and want to wish you a very Happy Christmas. 

Berkshire Maestro Singing Cafe

All sessions include singing followed by a chat and refreshments.

Community for older people - weekly sessions

Berkshire Maestros Reading Music Centre RG30 4EZ
Thursdays 10:15am-11:00am

For further details on these sessions please email

Dementia friendly 'Memory Lane' - sessions run monthly on Fridays 10:30am-12:00pm

Berkshire Maestros Reading Music Centre, RG30 4EZ

For these sessions please pre book through Age UK and

Parkinson's Group - sessions run fortnightly on Fridays 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Our Lady of the Peace, Earley, Reading. RG6 7DA

For further details on these sessions please email

MAP Club - for 16+ people with SEND 

The MAP Club provides activities for 16+  people with SEND (physical, sensory, autism and LD) including a 2 course lunch, computer skills, sensory room, lifeskills, arts and crafts, games and a selection of indoor sports adapted to members’ needs. The group is supported by trained staff and provides a friendly, inviting and relaxing environment for members. 

On Wednesday’s there is a Disco

£5/session  or £20 for a full day Mon – Thursday

For more information tel: 0118 9860705 or email:

Map Club: 22-24 Mount Pleasant, Silver Street, Reading, RG1 2TD

Compass Recovery College - Jan - April 2023

We are pleased to share a very exciting new term of free mental health and wellbeing workshops for January – April 2023!

As ever, participants do not need a diagnosis to attend and can self-refer via the registration form on our website, by attending our monthly Information & Registration drop in at Broad Street Mall, or coming along to one of our weekly Coffee & Chat sessions at the Biscuit Factory.

Whether you are a returning participant or new to Compass Recovery College, there’s something for everyone. The wide range of workshops we offer are an educational route to recovery from mental health challenges and increasing positive wellbeing.

Everyone is welcome and everyone is a participant, whether affected directly or indirectly by mental ill health.  You do not need a referral or a diagnosis to attend. So, whether you are struggling yourself, or perhaps you are a carer, family member or professional who would like to know more about mental health and wellbeing, we can help.

Up-coming Sessions Include:

  • Wellbeing Welcome – 1 Online sessions – Wednesday 11th January 2023 – 12pm to 2pm
  • Yoga for Energy – 3 Online sessions – starting Monday 16th January 2023 – 4pm to 5pm
  • Colour Visions Art Group for Refugees – 7 sessions – starting Tuesday 17th January 2023 – 2pm to 4pm at Greyfriars Church
  • Habits & Routines for Positive Change – 1 Online session – Wednesday 25th January 2023 – 12pm to 1.30pm

You can register for free via our website.

To register and to find out about the range of free sessions that Compass offer:

Tel: 0118 937 3945 or Email:



Page last reviewed: 09/12/2022

Contact the Team

Family Information Service 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
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