We are sad to hear of the passing of one of Reading’s great community champions. Roger Williams was a well-loved figure in Reading’s voluntary sector, and a tireless campaigner for tenant participation and neighbourhood involvement.
Roger’s energy and willingness to help always seemed to be boundless, at times even when he was unwell, and we have lost count of the number of organisations that he helped over the years – as a trustee and making use of his career in accountancy to help with the books, act as treasurer and conduct audits. Organisations that Roger gave long-term help to include Reading Neighbourhood Network as treasurer for several years and its predecessor RFTRA, the East Reading Festival, and East Reading Adventure Playground Association (ERAPA).
With the coronavirus lockdown Roger had recently been undertaking new projects with a particular interest in heritage and local history. He had been working with the Conservation Area Advisory Committee on an updated appraisal for the Eldon Square area of the town and had started his own local history project on the Earley area.
Roger was a big man with a big heart, and it really can be said that he embodied the spirit and passion of volunteering in our town. The local voluntary sector will miss him greatly.
Roger died peacefully at home on Friday 9 October aged 76. Our thoughts are with his brothers Ed, who lives in Canada, and David, who lives in Kent, and their families.
Roger’s family have set up a page in his memory at rogerlancasterwilliams.muchloved.com where donations can be made. These will be shared between Reading Voluntary Action, who will pass on all donations to Reading Civic Society, and Faith Christian Group, which runs the Readifood food bank. The memorial page also gives details of the funeral and how to watch via video link.