As this tough year comes to a close, we know that some Reading residents will be anxious about securing basic needs and providing for their families. The One Reading Community Hub will be live during the holidays and can be contacted on 0808 1894325 (free phone). In addition, there are community organisations and partners across Reading that will continue to supply food and other essentials over Christmas. There is a guide to these below. Supplies are limited, so we encourage you to call ahead for your clients.
Dee Caf, Montague House, 12 Spey Road, Tilehurst RG30 4DG
- This eco community cafe in the heart of the Dee Park Estate offers a community fridge which is free to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays at 3:15pm, serving hot food and fresh fruit, veg, tins, pasta etc.
- During the holiday, the cafe is hosting a community Christmas celebration on Wednesday 23 December at 12.30pm with free Christmas food, music and gifts.
- The cafe will be closed on 24-28 December, and 31 December-2 January.
- Contact 07738 689 557 with questions.
New Beginnings, Queens Arms, Great Knollys Street, Central Reading RG1 7HL
- New Beginnings is dedicated to prevention and relief of poverty. Currently this charity operates a community fridge, clothing and toiletries service weekdays 6pm-7pm.
- Over Christmas, there will be gifts and stockings distributed to vulnerable families, as well as Christmas hampers. Pre-booking was required for these offers by 10 December.
- Hot meals at lunchtime will be provided on Christmas Day for collection. Book in advance.
- The charity will be closed 24-28 December; open as usual 29-31 December; and closed on 1 January. Regular hours will recommence on 5 January.
- Contact 07421 998208 with questions or see www.deecaf.co.uk.
The Salvation Army, Anstey Road, Central Reading RG1 7JR
- The Salvation Army is offering Christmas hampers, Christmas lunch supermarket vouchers, and toys for children whose families are experiencing hard times this winter. Each offer is by referral.
- Please contact Richard Welch, Commanding Officer at The Salvation Army by mobile: 07810 789 553 or email at Richard.Welch@salvationarmy.org.uk.
The Weller Centre, 110 Amersham Road, Caversham RG4 5NA
- The Weller Centre, located on the Amersham Road Estate, aims to help anyone in need throughout Caversham with food, clothes, furniture, internet access, printing, and signposting.
- The centre covers RG4 postcode which includes Emmer Green, Lower Caversham, Caversham Park Village and Caversham Heights.
- Referrals can be received either by phone 0118 947 5828 or email at email@example.com. There is a direct contact link at www.wellercentre.co.uk or message the Facebook page “The Weller Centre”.
- The centre will close Christmas Eve afternoon but will be open abbreviated hours between Christmas and New Year. Staff will be on-site 9am-1pm from 29th through 31st December with someone on duty phone 8am-5pm every day at 07733 621 109.
Whitley Community Development Association, 252 Northumberland Avenue, Whitley RG2 7QA
- Whitley CDA operates a surplus food project for fresh food and the group has arranged Christmas Eve food parcel deliveries for local people.
- The Surplus Food tent will be open 23 December and 29 December from 11am-1pm.
- Normal service for the surplus food project and other support resumes Monday 4 January, this includes food, clothing, school uniforms, books and games, brokering links to partners for finance, debt and benefit support and more.
- Normal hours Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9.30am-3.30pm.
- Contact 0118 374 0052 with questions.
Wycliffe Baptist Church, Lower Back Hall, 233 King’s Road, RG1 4LS
- Wycliffe Baptist Church operates a Food Share programme every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Doors open at 8pm and close at 8.30pm.
- Parcels consist of fresh food, collected that evening from local shops, and should be used that day or the next day. Anyone can collect but priority is given to local families and those not collecting from other food hubs.
- For nearby residents who are isolating, this group will deliver parcels in East Reading.
- Holiday opening times are 24 December, 29 December, and 31 December.
- Normal programme resumes Tuesday 5 January.
- Phone or text through a referral by 3pm on the day at 07395242372.