Faith in the Community Wokingham Borough

Encouraging Christians in Wokingham Borough to Engage with their Communities

Tag: wokingham borough (page 2 of 2)

Encourage Newsletter July 2016 Foodbanks

Welcome to your monthly Encourage newsletter from Faith in the Community Wokingham Borough.  This is your resource; to tell the community what you are doing and to find out what might be useful for people you are supporting. Share this on your website, within your own communications and across the social media networks AND keep sending us your good news.

Each month Encourage will have focus on one area of need being tackled in our community. This month… Foodbanks.

Every day people across Wokingham Borough go hungry; people on a low income or made redundant or ill; the young and the older, families and people on their own; people just like you. The economic crisis and government cuts have seen a big increase in the number of people needing help. Foodbanks provide …..


Yeldall Manor

This is the second of a series of articles about christian charities across Wokingham Borough.  Why not help Yeldall Manor rehabilitate more people by sharing this across Facebook, on Twitter, on your website and with your networks by email.

Yeldall Manor is a rehabilitation centre, which for nearly 40 years has been helping men overcome their drug and alcohol addictions and return to society to live new lives; drug, alcohol and crime free.


The Yeldall Manor First-Stage Programme is a rehabilitation programme, lasting 12-24 weeks, which combines counselling, group sessions and work in the house/grounds. At Yeldall Manor, residents find a place where the staff and other residents welcome and accept them. We try to be like a family and, like good parents, offer both love and discipline. Because the life of an addict is very chaotic, days in rehab are quite structured to help them bring order back into their lives.

Yeldall Manor is a Christian organisation, as we believe that the best means of achieving rehabilitation is through discipleship to Jesus Christ. However, residents do not have to be Christian to join the programme, and we never insist, or force such a commitment upon anyone.  Work is an important part of the programme – helping in the grounds, maintenance of the house or the kitchen. Some of our residents haven’t held down a job before, so they have to learn to take orders (sometimes from staff younger than themselves), to do jobs that they may not enjoy and to work as a team, as well as learning new skills (like horticulture, chain-sawing or cooking).

Counselling and group sessions provide the ‘therapy’ in the programme and help our residents face up to problems in their lives, which have often been ‘hidden’ by the drinking or drug-taking; many suffered childhood abuse or other traumas which need to be gently addressed.

Following successful completion of this programme, all residents have the opportunity to join the 18-24 week Yeldall Lodge Second-Stage Programme. This helps residents prepare for life outside Yeldall, with voluntary work, training courses and separate supported accommodation.  Residents live in one of two self-contained flats in the 10-bed Lodge, which is a separate building on the Yeldall Manor site. Throughout this programme residents learn to live more independently and are responsible for their own cooking, cleaning and washing.  Residents receive help with finding voluntary work placements, which they attend two days a week in order to gain further work experience and help prepare them for permanent work once they complete the programme. We also provide groups in areas such as relapse prevention, life skills, budgeting, relationship building, healthy eating and nutrition.

On completing the Second-Stage, residents have the opportunity to benefit from the Yeldall Third-Stage Programme, which can offer supported housing and/or voluntary work/training with our Grounds Maintenance Services as the men start to resettle back into the community. At this stage and beyond, our ex-residents receive on-going support from our Aftercare team.


Rehabilitation is not easy, but it is effective. During our latest monitoring period, of those that completed both programmes between six and eighteen months ago, currently over 90% continue to live drug/alcohol-free and most are working in either a paid or a voluntary capacity.


How you can help Yeldall Manor

There are three main ways you can help Yedall Manor with their work; you can volunteer your time and talents, donate money and pray.  You can find all about these at their website.

Community Navigator Scheme Launch

Community Navigator Launch Events poster Jul16 (002)

Supporting and Empowering People to Engage in Self-care, Independence and Well-being across the Borough of Wokingham

On Tuesday 12th July at Bradbury Centre in Wokingham and on Tuesday 19th July at St Nicolas Church in Earley Involve Wokingham will be launching the Community Navigator Scheme.

Community Navigators are local volunteers who help people find their way to activities, services or organisations which they would enjoy, find useful or benefit from within the local community. This is an information giving and signposting project.

The Community Navigator scheme is for anyone of any age from the Wokingham Borough. You may be a young parent looking for peer support and different activities in your area, you may be a working age individual wanting to find out about local sports or music clubs and groups or you could be an elderly person looking to find support with managing a health condition or looking for new social networks to join. See the example scenario below.  Navigators are recruited, trained and supported by a volunteer co-ordinator at involve and are based at GP surgeries and community venues across the Borough of Wokingham.

People can access the service through a referral. This may be from a GP, social worker, family member or a self-referral. A time slot is booked with a Navigator who will explore a range of options in the community for the individual to engage with and will encourage them to attend groups, activities and services that can help them meet their needs.  Navigators are not counsellors or experts at dealing with particular issues and they are not going to solve a person’s problems for them – but they will help and guide the individual to discover “what’s on in their community”.

These launch events are for everyone who might be interested in volunteering as community navigators as well as support workers and organisations who will be happy to accept referrals through the scheme.

Please come along to one of the launch events and spread the news through your community, let’s make sure this scheme can help as many people as possible across Wokingham Borough.


Just Around the Corner (JAC)

This is the first of a series of articles about christian charities across Wokingham Borough.  Why not help JAC become better known by sharing this across Facebook, on Twitter, on your website and with your networks by email.

Just Around the Corner (JAC) was founded in 1998 and the organisation works with disadvantaged young people to encourage them to make positive choices. Last year JAC, as a whole, delivered 2039 sessions to 11,954 young people.  Their incredible team of volunteers gave 8792 volunteer hours.  The JAC PAD in Wokingham town centre has worked with young people and adults suffering with anxiety, addiction and other problems, offering a drop in service and a market stall to help them socialise; this is being changed as Wokingham is developed.   They also have a community shop for those that are work ready to gain retail experience in a supported environment.  The final aspect of their work is on the streets to build relationships with young people as well as running emotional literacy groups in Schools.  Below are details JAC have provided about the different services.

Rehoboth Activity centre and stables
At our multi activity centre and stables we do intense therapeutic work with young people through Equine Assisted Learning , horticulture, pottery, arts & crafts & land management. Young people are referred as they are struggling in mainstream education or not accessing education at all. The reasons that they are referred for are varied and could be trauma, sexual and / or domestic abuse, self-harm, eating disorders, low self-esteem, post adoption issues, attachment disorders, emotional, social or behavioural issues etc. Some of our young people are unable to cope with mainstream Education and are with us full time, as it is the only place where they will engage and feel safe. Once they have finished the EAL programme – many young people continue to volunteer with us on supported placements and some complete accredited training courses with us (NVQ’s, Berkshire award, etc.)


Detached work
JAC have been involved in several community events and will be involved in re-developing some community land for young people under the A329 M – the suggestions have been to turn the area in to a parkour (free running area) skate park or BMX – or all three!

Schools work
JAC are still working hard in Maiden Erlegh, mentoring and running Schools groups

We are losing the JACPAD and the JAC SHOP in Wokingham Town Centre because of the redevelopment but for now we are still mentoring, training and developing young people through the Market Stall and the shop. Several young people have now gained employment and we are looking forward to seeing more lives changed before December.


This year we have been setting up Education for those young people that are with us almost full time. We have a fully qualified teacher who is working on functional skills in English and Maths with them and 3 of them sat an exam last week!  Some of them are also doing an NVQ in Horse care. For young people who have disengaged from Education or for whom main stream and other special school placements haven’t worked – it is incredible to see them achieving so much at JAC that will set them up for their future. 2 of our young people both got distinctions in their last NVQ unit on horse care.  JAC have now also raised enough funds to buy a horse box which will take the equine work to a new level.


JAC therapeutic programme
This has expanded and we are now offering: pottery, arts and crafts, welding, horticulture, small animals, goats, donkeys, horses, bees and much more.


How you can help JAC
There are three main ways you can help JAC with their work; you can volunteer your time and talents, donate money and pray.


1If you would like to receive this monthly prayer diary or get involved in any way then please email

And please support their Family Fun DAY on the 9th July – Saturday 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
With pony rides, meet the goats and donkeys, horse games, quiz, stalls, decorating horse shoes, raffle, refreshments and BBQ.


Earley and East Reading Churches at East Reading Festival

Last weekend Churches Together in Earley and East Reading (CTEER) came together to provide a church zone at the East Reading Festival in Palmer Park.  The festival is “a celebration of the diversity of the local community and aims to strengthen the connections between the people and organisations of the area.”  There were over 50 stalls and 3 performance stages at the free festival and the church zone was a key part of the festival which welcomed over 5000 visitors.

Copy of ERF Logo

A wide range of churches worked together at the East Reading Festival including Vineyard with the Healing on the Streets team, Wycliffe, Park United Reformed Church, Anderson Baptist Church including the Nepali congregation, Earley Christian Fellowship, Brookside, St Nicolas Church, Wesley Methodist and CAP (Christians against Poverty).  Here are some of the photos celebrating the presence, prayer and praise that blessed the festival and the community.


The puppets came along from Wycliffe



The Boys Brigade organised a game of football


There was worship by the Nepalese church


Home For Good and Christian Community Action were in attendance raising awareness of their charities


Messy Church was visited by many families and there was a tent available for specific prayer


Healing on the Streets were praying over anyone who wanted to be blessed with it


We are called to be in the world but not of the world; the presence of the churches together at East Reading Festival showed this in all it’s fullness.  We look forward to coming along again next year.

With thanks to Steve Blunden for the wonderful photos.

Encourage Newsletter June 2016 Summer Holidays

Welcome to your monthly Encourage newsletter from Faith in the Community Wokingham Borough.  This is your resource; to tell the community what you are doing and to find out what might be useful for people you are supporting. Share this on your website, within your own communications and across the social media networks AND keep sending us your good news.

Each month Encourage will have focus on one area of need being tackled in our community. This month… Summer Holidays.

The summer holidays are approaching and we know that this is a time of both challenge and opportunity.  It is a challenge for parents who have to balance life, work and children; a challenge for grandparents who might be doing more childcare than normal and a challenge for the rest of the community who might see their normal activities stop for many week.

But we are all about opportunities to meet the needs of kids, parents, grandparents and everyone else in our communities; so here is a selection of what is going on through July and August this year……


Refugee Week 2016 in Wokingham Borough


20th to 26th June 2016 is Refugee Week and today we are highlighting some of the many different events which have been taking place across Wokingham Borough and the nearby areas.  The theme of this years Refugee Week is “Welcome” celebrating the welcome shown to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, and seek to encourage and inspire communities to continue to welcome new arrivals in the weeks, months and years to come.

The Refugee Week website writes about why “welcome” has been chosen as the theme this year
During the second half of 2015, the ‘refugee crisis’ was accompanied by incredible acts of welcome by communities and individuals across the UK and Europe.  Some were getting involved in refugee rights for the very first time, while others were continuing the volunteering and campaigning they are committed to all year round, year on year.


Wokingham Methodist Church organised a day of prayer and reflection with resources around the theme “Different pasts, Shared futures” on Saturday 16th July.

St Nicolas Earley collected items including towels, toiletries and children’s clothes which were made into Care Packs for expectant mothers, babies and families as part of the Samara’s Aid Appeal.  The cost of delivery to the refugees in the Middle East is being funded through the sales of Ice Cream Sundaes on Sunday 3rd July.

Palmer Park United Reformed Church held a day Refugee Week Cultural Event on Sunday 26th June including prayer stations, international foods and music and a chance to get to know different cultures.


Clare Hooper, from Wokingham Baptist Church is part of the steering group working with Wokingham Borough Council to work out how refugees can be supported locally and says that the process is moving along well with a suitable house being sought in the borough.  A summary of how this works is provided below by St John the Baptist Church in Crowthorne

In December 2015 a meeting of Wokingham District Council was chaired by Simon Price and subsequently addressed by: Daniel Hobbs from the Home Office, Deputy Head of the Government’s Resettlement Programme; Ray Millard, the partnership manager S.E. Strategic Partnership for Migration; Nick Hagbourne – Reading Refugee Support Group; and Zaimal Koroma – Reading Red Cross. They described their experiences in Reading. The Government has pledged to take in 20,000 refugees from the United Camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Life there is very basic although the Government has already spent billions in aid there.

Of the 20,000 promised, the first 200 came in September. It was expected that 1,000 would be resettled before Christmas. Daniel Hobbs is in charge of this resettlement programme together with the help of “a team made up of local government representatives”. Of the numbers seeking resettlement there were two levels of screening including medical screening done, first in the camps and again on reaching the U.K .but those selected would match up to the following criteria: women with children on their on their own; survivors of torture; those with particular medical needs; those with problems of sexual identity.

Each local authority is being asked to house five families. Five-bedroomed houses are being sought for which the rent and maintenance would be paid over a five-year period. Support from the Overseas Development Aid would be provided. After five years the resettled family can return or apply for resettlement. A case worker and translator would accompany each party of refugees. For practical reasons the authority is hoping to find accommodation within reasonable distance of work which does present difficulties. It is probable that Wokingham’s refugees will probably be placed in the Woodley/Earley area.

You can also read this report by The Wokingham Paper which was written about this important process.



In neighbouring Reading the Reading Refugee Support Group is hosting the bid to become a Town of Sanctuary for Refugees.  RRSG help refugees and asylum-seekers overcome the many challenges they face and help them to be independent, to access their rights and to encourage their self-esteem and confidence.  This week they hosted, at Reading Film Theatre, Nicky’s Family film which tells the nearly forgotten story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II.  This was followed by a Panel Discussion.

Last, but certainly not least, a Wokingham Borough resident, Rachel Bradley, has continued to inspire and encourage gossip girls (and guys) across Wokingham to donate items needed by refugees in The Jungle in Calais through the Gossip Girls in Action Facebook Group.  This group has over 1100 members who have already delivered clothing to refugees and are currently collecting food to be delivered at the same time as the colouring books and stationary items on the trip next month.  Please join this group if you would like to donate the following items:

Tea bags
Tinned pulses/beans (any variety other than baked)
Tinned tomatoes
Vegetable Oil


These are just a selection of the collections, prayers and discussions happening across Wokingham Borough to support refugees, if you know of something else then please comment to spread the word about the good news.




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