Today a report by the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission, co-chaired (following her murder) by Rachel Reeves, estimated that 9 million adults are lonely.
It’s a national crisis that has direct impacts not just on quality of life but also on mental and physical health. That’s why Reading’s Health and Wellbeing strategy has as one of it’s key priorities tackling loneliness and social isolation.
At Christmas loneliness can be particularly acute as people see images of the ‘perfect family’ and also may remember previous Christmases. On a very practical level the usual places where people might go to be with others might be closed – work, social clubs, even places of worship.
I know that many people in Reading, charities and the council want to help, and I hope we all make an effort to reach out to someone we think might be feeling lonely – and if you feel that way yourself reach out – you are not alone in feeling alone.
The council’s wellbeing team has also put together a listing of some of the things that are happening over Christmas and I’d encourage you to share it:
What’s on guide December 2017
|Saturday 16th December||5:00pm||Reading Minster,
St Mary’s Gate, RG1 2XH
|Christmas by Candlelight||Tickets £5, under 16s go free
|Saturday 16th December||8:00pm||21 South Street, Reading, RG1 4QU||Belshazzar’s Feast
Christmas themed show with folk, classical, jazz and humour
0118 960 6060
|Saturday 16th December||7:30pm||Chiltern Edge School, Reades Lane, Sonning Common, RG4 9LN||Carols for choir and audience||£12 (under 21s £6)
|Sunday 17th December||2pm||Chiltern Edge School, Reades Lane, Sonning Common, RG4 9LN||Carols for choir and audience||£12 (under 21s £6)
|Sunday 17th December||6pm||Reading Girls School, Northumberland Avenue, RG2 7PY||Carol Concert||Booking not required. No Children’s crèche available at this service|
|Sunday 17th December||10:30am||We Will Rock Yule||Reading Irish Community Centre||Donation- free parking available|
|Sunday 17th December||12:30pm-3:30pm||Southcote OAP lunch||Southcote Community Centre||£5-Tickets available at Southcote centre and Southcote churches|
|Monday 18th December||7:30pm||Caversham Court, Church Road||Christmas Carols||Booking not required. Hot chocolate and mince pies available to buy|
|2:00pm||Whitley Wood Community Centre, Swallowfield Drive||Family Christmas event. Games for children, cake decorating, refreshments||Open to everyone
|Thursday 21st December||9:30am-11am||Coffee Companions at
Monty’s Sandwich Café,
41 Addington Road, RG1 5PZ
|Treat yourself to a cuppa and meet others for a chat or just sit back and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.||No cost to join, just the cost of whatever is purchased|
|Thursday 21st December||1:00pm||Pakistani Community Centre, London Road, Reading, RG1 3PA||Christmas Lunch
Open multicultural/multi-faith event, everyone welcome
Dr. Ejaz Elahi 07958524746
0118 9269031 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Saturday 23rd December||5pm||Reading Minster||Candlelight 3 Choirs Concert||Tickets on sale from Cards for Good Causes in the Minster, Monday to Saturday 10 am – 4 pm (until 18 December) or you can email
Monday 25th December
|Please call for details
|Call to book
0118 958 3019
Parkside Nursing Home, Parkside Road, RG30 2DP, are running activities open to all in December. For more details please contact Paul Vincent: 0118 952 8910
Useful Information: GP Surgeries and Pharmacies
Community Christmas have information on events and volunteering opportunities in Reading and around the country. https://communitychristmas.org.uk
Have yourself a MIND-ful little Christmas https://www.mind.org.uk
Amidst the fun, Christmas can be stressful with pressure to socialise; temptation to overindulge, extra financial costs, and often the difficulty of being parted from loved ones.
Take some time out with the charity MIND’s top tips for surviving the festive season.
- Be honest with people-don’t be afraid to cancel plans if you’re not feeling up to it.
- If you have a tendency to take on too much, Christmas can make this even worse. If it’s becoming too much stop and try to relax.
- It’s a full moon on Christmas day and that won’t happen again for 19 years. Take some time to pause and enjoy it.
- Try not to spend all your time inside eating and drinking! A brisk walk is a great way to spend time with loved ones or clear your head.
- Don’t compare your Christmas with the perfect Christmases on TV. Remember that you will be measuring your experience against something that’s not real.
- If you are worried about how you are feeling, talk to someone you trust or call the Samaritans 116 123 .
- Remember your ear plugs if you’re in a busy house with family & friends- you don’t want to wake up every time one of them pops to the loo!
- Take some time out after Christmas to do something you really want to do, and treat yourself, even if it’s just something small.