As Chair of the Access and Disabilities Group, I’m always keen to make sure that we make our town as welcoming a place for people of all ages and abilities. Sadly in recent years a lot of time of this group has been taken up with ways to mitigate government attacks on disabled people but we also do a number of things that help to make Reading a more friendly town.
Reading Special Shopping Evening is one particularly lovely annual event, that I don’t think many other towns do. In the run up to Christmas it is invaluable for many elderly and disabled people as a special chance to enjoy our town centre with a bit of extra help and a lot of extra fun.
Reading is a friendly town, and this is another way our community comes together to make our town welcoming to everyone. It is also a great opportunity to get in the Christmas mood and so if you are based in Reading do come along, enjoy the entertainment and shopping in a fun, friendly atmosphere, meet the Elves and get in the Christmas spirit.
A big thank you to our town centre shops and to the volunteers who are going to make this happen.
Extract from Council press release:
DISCOUNTS galore, personal shopping, mince pies and mulled wine are all part of a special welcome for older and disabled residents during a Christmas shopping evening in the town centre on Monday 4th December from 5pm -7pm
The festive event, organised by Reading Borough Council and supported by the Oracle Shopping Centre and the British Red Cross, aims to make shopping an easy and enjoyable experience for everyone.
With Reading’s own talented older person’s choir ‘Moving On’ performing by Broad Street’s Christmas tree and lights, as well as a duo of Elves with their Goodometer (checking to see if we have all been good in the run up to Christmas); there will certainly be lots of festive cheer to go round! Reading’s Theatre Train will also be singing and dancing to festive songs inside The Oracle.
Many retailers throughout the town centre will be offering discounts or providing refreshments. Stores taking part so far this year include John Lewis, Clas Ohlson, Monsoon / Monsoon Accessorize, Giraffe, Paper Chase, Clarks, The Lemon Grove Gallery, TM Lewin, Crew Clothing, Fuel Juice Bar and Phase 8.
M&S is offering refreshments as well as a personal shopper service, whilst Goldsmiths have a prize draw on offer to win a £100 gift card, as well as free gift wrapping service.
Bel and Dragon will also be on Broad Street offering free samples of hot chocolate and mulled wine to keep everyone warm.
Wheelchairs and mobility scooters will be available for people to use on the night, which have been kindly donated by The Oracle’s shop mobility scheme, as well as The British Red Cross, who will also be supplying volunteers in addition to a whole team from Reading Football Club, who will be assisting shoppers on the night with their Christmas shopping and providing essential support to those who need it.
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 5pm, specifically to allow blue badge holders to take full advantage of the special evening.
Anyone who would like to go along to the Christmas shopping evening may wish to book the Readibus service on (0118) 931 0000.
For further information on the Special Shopping evening, please call 0118 937 2395 or visit www.reading.gov.uk/whatson