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The Jo Cox Loneliness Commission

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


When Time Where What Contact
Saturday 16th December 5:00pm Reading Minster,

St Mary’s Gate, RG1 2XH

Christmas by Candlelight Tickets £5, under 16s go free

Book online or email

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)

Sue Craddock

07808 812841



Sunday 17th December 2pm Chiltern Edge School, Reades Lane, Sonning Common, RG4 9LN Carols for choir and audience £12 (under 21s £6)

Sue Craddock

07808 812841

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
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20th December


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

Please book

Dr. Ejaz Elahi 07958524746

0118 9269031 or

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




Salvation Army



Christmas Lunch

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


Please remember that GP surgeries will be closed over the festive weekends and the bank holidays:

Saturday 23rd December: CLOSED Saturday 30th December: CLOSED
Sunday 24th December:  CLOSED Sunday 31st December: CLOSED
Monday 25th December:  CLOSED Monday 1st January: CLOSED
Tuesday 26th December: CLOSED  


Oxford Road Pharmacy 0118 957 4999 – 270-274 Oxford Road, RG30 1AD

Open 12:00 – 18:00 25th December and from 08:00am to 20:00 31st December


Boots The Chemists 0118 958 7529 – The Oracle, RG1 2AH

Open 10:00 to 18:00 1st January


Boots The Chemist 0118 957 1135 – 47-48 Board Street Mall, RG1 2AE

Open 11:00 to 17:00 1st January


Most pharmacies offer a delivery service for regular customers who are unable to travel. For non-regular customers over the Christmas period we encourage people to call the pharmacy first to check the hours haven’t changed and that there is a pharmacist on duty.

























Community Christmas have information on events and volunteering opportunities in Reading and around the country.

Have yourself a MIND-ful little Christmas


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.


  1. Be honest with people-don’t be afraid to cancel plans if you’re not feeling up to it.


  1. 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.



  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.



  1. If you are worried about how you are feeling, talk to someone you trust or call the Samaritans 116 123 .


  1. 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!


  1. Take some time out after Christmas to do something you really want to do, and treat yourself, even if it’s just something small.


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