“Let’s Make Reading Friendlier” Conference

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Reading’s BIG event to explore ways to alleviate loneliness and social isolation in our communities.

The focus of the event will be on taking action to create change at both a personal and organisational level.

The first half of the event will be for organisations across all sectors. The second half will be more targeted at members of the public, to enter into the conversation alongside local organisations.

3pm – 5pm – How organisations can work better together to address shared issues around loneliness. 

The focus is on people representing voluntary, public and private sector organisations with the aim of exploring innovative and collaborative approaches and information sharing around this common cause.

Workshop themes will be:

  • It’s everyone’s business: What role can businesses, cultural organisations and other public facing venues play in reducing loneliness?
  • Loneliness as a public health threat: How do health services and other sectors interact to address loneliness in light of evidence that highlighted the correlation between loneliness, health and mortality?
  • Reading as a transient town: What is the role of organisations in enabling people who are new to Reading and shorter-term residents to feel connected to the town? (people relocating for work / university students / short term work contracts / temporary resettlement etc)

5pm – 5:45pm – Market Place, Networking and Refreshments 

Open session where all organisations with relevant information to share around the themes of making Reading a more friendly, welcoming, less lonely place are invited to have a stall to promote what they are doing to encourage partnership working, awareness of services and recruitment of volunteers where appropriate.

5:45 – 7:30pm – Let’s Make Reading Friendlier – Public Event

Speakers and discussion groups about how members of the public can take action to reduce loneliness, find out about what is going on and chat with organisations to identify ways to make Reading a more friendly, less lonely place.

Workshop themes will be:

  • sense of belonging for everyone: How do different communities interact and feel accepted in Reading? What barriers do diverse groups face to feeling accepted and welcome and how can they be overcome?
  • Neighbourliness as the first step to reducing isolation in our communities:   How can we enable neighbourhoods to feel more friendly and connected? People often want to help each other out but don’t want to intrude – how do you ‘give permission’ to people to be neighbourly?
  • Young people and loneliness:   There’s a lot of recognition of loneliness in older age, but it is becoming more apparent that loneliness is an all-age issue. How does loneliness specifically impact young people: through school, further / higher education and entering the world of work?

7:30 – 8pm – Networking and Market Place

The full programme will be made available in the coming weeks, but please save the date and register to book your place here.

If you are representing an organisation and would like to attend the whole event (or afternoon only) please register here for attendance from 3pm.

If you want to attend as an individual or just want to attend the evening session (5pm – 8pm), please register here for attendance from 5pm.

Type of event
Event theme
Event date
21 February 2018
Start time
End time
0118 937 2054
Address line 1
Reading Town Hall
Line 2
Blagrave Street
Wheelchair accessible?