We recently held a gathering at our Reading Centre to showcase the recent works undertaken to improve the building and to share our aspirations for the future. We were delighted to be joined by Matt Rodda MP, our Patron Naomi Khoo, Deputy Lieutenant of Berkshire, Chris Barrett DL and other loyal supporters of our work in Reading.
Introducing the event, Catherine McLeod MBE shared our passion for true inclusion for children with SEND and brought those in attendance up to speed on our work. With champagne donated by Laithwaites and canapes, guests were invited to have a personal tour of the building to gain a greater understanding of what we do on a daily basis and see where the children learn and play.
Work that has already been undertaken includes a complete internal redecoration by Valspar Paint, making the rooms fresher, brighter and calmer for children. We were also fortunate to receive funds from Osborne Clark, Mobbs Memorial Trust and Peter Harrison Foundation to refurbish the tired kitchen. With a pledge of funds from the Earley Charity to refurbish the downstairs bathroom for the children, we are well on our way to improving the building for those who receive vital support there.
Catherine McLeod MBE said “We have come along way to achieving a brighter look for our Reading centre, but have a few vital areas we still want to improve. In recognition of the important role we play in supporting families we want to completely overhaul and enlarge our family area, to enable a warm and inviting area for relatives to meet and receive the support they need. It is also vital that we remodel our staff room to create a welcoming area for staff to take much needed breaks and to support our commitment to their well-being. Currently they don’t have enough space to eat lunch and sometimes even eat in their cars if the centre is busy. Lastly, we must renovate the disabled toilet in the centre to make sure it is fit for purpose. As it is our 35th anniversary this year, we are appealing to supporters to help us fund these changes and show our Reading centre the love it deserves!”
The event was well received and it was a delight to see so many of our supporters gather in one space. We look forward to building on those relationships and turning our aspirations for the building a reality over the course of the forthcoming year.