News from Whitley (South Reading)

We’ve been incredibly busy down in Whitley. So busy, in fact, that we didn’t manage to release a newsletter last month! We’re very sorry about that and are looking forward to share with you all what’s we’ve been up to.

First of all we’ve organised two receptions as a welcome and introduction to our recent make over as Shift Youth + Community. The first one took place on 15th of June. It was really nice, as we were joined by members of the local community, a number of people from council, including two who were helping with our gardening project, Re:start. We’ve received very positive and helpful feedback about our change. We also received lot of ideas of connections, people to speak to as we shared our vision to move forward.

On 27th of June we held our second reception at Coffee#1 in Woodley gathering our Church based friends and supporters. We celebrated the Shift and expressed our dreams for Reading. Our recent makeover and fresh new vision for the future were met with fabulous support and positive response, for which we are grateful. Above is a pic of the SYC Reading staffers with the Coffee #1 staff who hosted us and the lovely Beryl Winston who makes cakes for us all and provides Claire with a place to live!

In the meantime: Indy (SYC) and Andrea from Learn4Life are continuing to head to JMA every Thursday lunchtime to chat with Year 7s; the team and trustees are still working on a new constitution for the CIO; Claire’s planning her trip to Albania in the middle of August, to offer help in this year’s Foundations; and Jason, in Witham had exciting news to share too! He’s planning to stay with Witham BB as a missional staffer with SYC for another couple of years, for which we’re extremely happy!

This year’s South Reading Churches Fun Day took place on the 14th of July (pic below!). It was all hands on deck at Rabsons Rec. A gorgeous day! Aaron & Claire were on center games with the fabulous Des & an amazing team of young people from Reading Girls school & Reading Family Church. Anika was on the tots corner team. Vernon & Rich did a fantastic job MCing. Indy, Pete, Chris & Clayton worked from dawn till late in the evening! We got to honour Vernon Orr as it’s his last SRCFD as the local vicar before he retires in October. All in all a very special day honouring a fabulous community!! We were met with fabulous weather, great crowds and fantastic atmosphere! We’re grateful to all who came, spent with us for those few hours of community spirit and we hope you enjoyed as much as we did!

We’re in the middle of planning this year’s Kids Club, here in Whitley, which will take place 1st to 3rd of August, finishing on a high with St Paul’s Fun Day on the 4th. Come and join the fun!

Last, but not least – we have finally reached the end of the Re:start programme! After 16 weeks, we’ve pruned, planted, learnt lots, and had great fun. Although there have been struggles along the way, 2 of our students have progressed through the NOCN qualification, equivalent to a GCSE, and have made it to the finish. We are incredibly proud of them.

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