Our community journalists

We have a team of community journalists who are out and about covering events and collecting stories to promote volunteering and the work of the voluntary sector:

  • Saira Bentley-Holder
    Community Journalist

    Saira Bentley-Holder is excited to learn more about the wealth of work which the not-for-profit sector undertakes in Reading! As an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick, she is keen to put her writing skills to good use whilst raising awareness of the vast number of organisations serving the local community. In her current role in the charity sector, she regularly visits charities further afield in the South East and therefore she relishes this opportunity to give back to her home town.

  • Simone Illger
    Community Journalist

    Simone Illger has lived in Reading for the whole of her life. Her mobility and reach are affected as a consequence of damage caused by the drug Thalidomide that was used to counteract morning sickness in the 1950s and 60s. Not allowing her disability to stand in the way of an active and fulfilled life, Simone attended mainstream primary and secondary schools in Reading and went on to train and work as a secretary.

  • Zoe O’Kill
    Community Journalist

    Zoe O’Kill is an undergraduate student at the University of Reading studying Philosophy. In her role as Community Journalist for RVA, she is particularly interested in reporting on what local charities and groups do to support mental health and wellbeing. She aims to reach out to people and point them in the direction of volunteering opportunities, or groups and charities that can help them, ensuring¬†that people know they are not alone and that they have someone to talk.

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