Reading as a town aims to be welcoming for all it’s citizens and visitors. There is a lot that can be better, and I often blog on these, but here’s a shameless plug for an event that I know a lot of people look forward too every year.
RETAILERS in Reading will extend a warm welcome to older and disabled people during a Christmas shopping evening in the town centre on Monday 2nd December.
The festive shopping event, organised by Reading Borough Council in partnership with The Oracle and the British Red Cross, aims to make shopping an easy and enjoyable experience for older and disabled residents.
Every year the Council invites town centre retailers to put on special offers, discounts, give-aways, refreshments and entertainment throughout the evening. Stores taking part this year include; Boots Opticians, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Thorntons, BHS, Clas Ohlson, Reading FC, the West Cornwall Pasty Company and many more.
This year’s special shopping evening will take place from 6pm-8pm. As well as activities organised in the stores, shoppers will be treated to a welcome reception at the Oracle’s Shopmobility Suite and performances by the Theatretrain stage school and the Barberettes, an a cappella singing group.
There will also be a chance to meet the ‘Christmas Belles’ wandering Broad Street on the night!
Wheelchairs will be available for people to use on the night, which have been kindly donated by the Reading branch of the Red Cross and The Oracle. Volunteers from the Red Cross will be around during the Christmas shopping evening to help.
The Council has once again agreed that on this day the entry restrictions to St Mary’s Butts, West Street and Friar Street – which usually end at 7pm – will end instead at 6pm specifically to allow blue badge holders to take full advantage of the special evening.
Cllr Pete Ruhemann, Chair of the Access and Disabilities Working Group said:
“The special shopping evenings in the town centre are always very popular. I am delighted that once again our retailers are welcoming and assisting older and disabled shoppers by supporting this event. With refreshments, entertainment and the fabulous display of Christmas lights, this is not just an opportunity to do Christmas shopping, but a fun, festive night out. I would encourage as many people as possible to come and take part.”
Anyone who would like to go along to the Christmas shopping evening may wish to book the Readibus service on (0118) 931 0000.