Grub Club looks for a new home

THE GRUB Club has helped hundreds of households through the pandemic — and now they need help finding a new home. The Norreys-based food hub, which launched last summer to help families entitled to free school meals, extended its support to anyone hit badly by the crisis. Operating out of Norreys Church, the club has distributed more than 1,250 food parcels to residents over the past 16 weeks using donations from Reading wholesaler Brakes, Wokingham’s COOK, as well as supermarkets Lidl, Waitro

Cooking, learning and crafts all in one.

Did you know the flamingo is own pink because of its diet? Louise Fennell from Wokingham believes cooking and crafts are what help us glow, and she’s sharing this message with her new educational website named after the exotic bird itself. Launched at the start of lockdown, The Cultured Flamingo is a free information hub for families who love adding fun to their learning. The website and social media pages feature recipes and creative activities from a range of countries and cultures. Ms Fen

You have escaped lockdown, but can you escape from Bracknell?

The countdown has begun for the opening of a Bracknell escape room experience. Puzzalogical Escape Rooms, based on Easthampstead Works, will unlock its doors for the first time on Sunday, August 1. The new immersive experience will feature three rooms filled with different games and puzzles which contestants will have one hour to solve. Co-founder of the business, Debbie Gibbons said: “We’re really looking forward to opening and welcoming our first teams to the venue. “My husband Nathan and

Cheer Up Charlie! The theatre loving schoolboy who went from victim to national hero.

“The theatre is my tribe. It’s where I belong” An Arborfield schoolboy bullied for his love of musical theatre has won the hearts of the nation with his anti-bullying campaign, #CheerUpCharlie. Ten-year-old Charlie Kristensen, who was targeted for his love of singing and dancing, went viral last year as leading West End stars united to give him the boost he needed. The online attention responded to a tweet from Charlie’s music teacher Jacqueline Hughes who used her platform to request help fr

Vegan market to return this Sunday

Fudge, cakes and pastries are just some of the treats you can enjoy this Sunday, July 12 as Wokingham’s vegan market makes a much welcomed return. The monthly event will take place in Wokingham town centre after three months of closure due to the pandemic. There will be 18 stalls offering hot food, drinks and treats, as well as plants and eco-friendly homeware. Speaking ahead of Sunday’s re-opening, event manager Sarah Zeneli said: “We’re really excited to be back this Sunday. “There’s been

University of Reading pushes graduation ceremonies to next summer

The University of Reading has postponed its summer graduation ceremonies until July next year. The prestigious events, which take place on the University of Reading’s London Road campus, were originally rescheduled for December this year due to the pandemic. But students will now be waiting an extra seven months to don their gowns. In an email to students, Vice Chancellor Professor Robert Van de Noort said: “Following our previous decision to postpone our July 2020 Graduation ceremonies, we h

Wokingham wedding expert Debbie goes from helping brides to helping nurses

The pandemic has caused many to repurpose their skills and talents. But Debbie never predicted she’d be swapping wedding dresses for medical scrubs. Debbie Rees, from Wokingham’s Keep Hatch area, had her bridal shop dreams paused in March as the Covid-19 lockdown caused many local businesses to close. Having only launched the Rances Lane business last September, the Government measures led Debbie to furlough her new staff as dress enquiries and bookings grounded to a halt. It reopens this we

Get the pints in: Wokingham pubs reveal plans for reopening on Saturday

BAR TEAMS across Wokingham are prepared to welcome back customers this Saturday — with several social distancing changes in place. As the long awaited visit to the local edges closer, Wokingham.Today has spoken to landlords as they dust down the cobwebs and reopen their doors after three months of closure. Significant changes may include staggered entry times, booking systems, one way routes, queuing and reduced bar contact. Opening times and menus may change and toilets will be managed, with

Bamboozled! Who is Earley’s two-wheeled panda?

Giving Top Gear’s Stig a run for his money, the newest addition to Wokingham’s roads has got residents talking. The man in the Panda suit, also named Earley Panda, has spent the last two weeks cycling around the borough, always to be met with the same question – who are you? Covering areas including Earley, Woodley, Sonning and Reading town, the furry rider uses a GPS system to track his every route, sometimes matching them to memorable shapes such as turtles or jellyfish. Earley Panda has al

TAZ USHER: Hold on to those milestones

I’m 21, fresh out of university and ready to get my life going. The Coronavirus had other ideas. On March 13, I sat in my last lecture and had my last drink at the Students’ Union bar – without knowing it. When I’d waved goodbye to my friends that Friday I had expected to see them the following Monday ready for a week of coursework submissions and end of an era celebration. Our glasses are yet to clink. While I have many things to be grateful for during these strange times such as my health

Spencers Wood photographer hits fundraising target for Royal Berks- 5 times!

A Wokingham photographer began May on a mission to raise £250 for the Royal Berks charity. 82 photo shoots later, and she’s smashed her target fivefold. Carrie Naish from Carrie Naish Photography has been touring the borough as part of her Lockdown Front Door project in an effort to support those working on the frontline. Beginning the initiative as a small scale fundraiser in Spencers Wood, Carrie aimed to raise funds for the Royal Berkshire Hospital while helping neighbours create precious m

Call for school to adopt a decolonised curriculum

A WOKINGHAM secondary school is being urged to adapt its classes in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. More than 350 current and former pupils of The Emmbrook School have signed an appeal stating that the institution’s curriculum requires amendments. The document, in the form of a virtual open letter, was presented to the school by current students, alumni and pupil’s parents in an effort to show its headteacher Mr McSweeney that change is necessary. Signatories asked the school to

MP's role in tackling racism

Millions of protests have broken out across the globe as anger towards the killing of George Flloyd boils over. Black Lives Matter demonstrations began after a video of Mr Floyd’s death went viral. The shocking clip, showing how a Minneapolis police officer knelt on the unarmed black man’s neck until he stopped breathing, was filmed on May, 25 2020 and has since sparked world-wide outrage. Across the UK tens of thousands of protestors have gathered in opposition to racial injustice, resulting

Charity gives out a year's worth of advice

A YEAR’S worth of clients in just 12 weeks – that’s what the coronavirus pandemic has done to a help centre for Wokingham borough residents. Citizens Advice Wokingham says that it has helped more residents during the pandemic than it normally does in a year. Since March, the charity has partnered with Wokingham Borough Council and local charities to respond to the Covid-19 41crisis and has supported 2,257 people in that time. Chief executive of Citizens Advice Wokingham, Jake Morrison said: “

1/5 of Wokingham’s workforce furloughed due to pandemic

A fifth of Wokingham’s workforce has been furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic new figures reveal. Across the South East, 1,387,400 people are currently at home – 17,200 of them are in Wokingham borough. Meanwhile neighbouring town Bracknell has furloughed 15,000 and 19,800 have received wage support in Reading. The data, published by HM Revenue & Customs, calculates the number of people helped by the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Sup

Make a date with Marla and support our NHS heroes

Some people say a picture paints a thousand words, and this Wokingham creative is proving just that by taking photos to raise money for the NHS. Marla White – from the borough’s St Crispin’s area – has joined the national Photographers Without Frontiers initiative to express her gratitude to the NHS and their work throughout the pandemic. Launched by Ronan Ryle and internationally renowned photographer, Damian McGillicuddy, Photographers without Frontiers sees more than 100 photographers from

Bomb shelter unearthed at the bottom of Woodley garden

NORMALLY people find fairies at the bottom of their garden. Or even a compost heap. But a Woodley man has discovered a blast from the past. Brian Hunt, who lives on Reading Road, has unearthed a Second World War bomb shelter following an investigation into an unusual spot in his garden. He unearthed the historical relic earlier this month after years of suspecting something peculiar was beneath his lawn – he’s lived there since 1975. It’s not the only unusual find in his home: he’s previously

Times like these require the talents of Nicole

Nicole Allan – from Rickman Close – performed a 30-minute vocal and guitar set just before the weekly Clap For Carers. The garden busk was aimed at people missing live music and featured songs ranging from Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger and Foo Fighters’ Times Like These. Nicole said: “I wanted the songs to be happy and uplifting and strike confidence and hope in people. “Neighbours of all ages came out and sang along, some danced and some were so happy to be able to wave at their dearly missed

Man in van shares Dominic Cummings message with Wokingham

Boris Johnson may have wanted the nation to move on from the Dominic Cummings lockdown saga, but he probably didn’t expect one angry voter’s message to keep moving on. For a man in a van has taken to Wokingham’s roads to share his perspective on the controversy, caused by the Prime Minister’s advisor taking a 260-mile trip up to Durham with his sick family, and then taking a 60-mile round trip to ‘test his eyesight’ before driving back to London. Like many across the country, 72-year-old Colin

Woosehill couple use beans to boost contact on the frontline

A Woosehill company has donated its products to hospital staff in an effort to keep those on the frontline connected. Edge Beanbags– run by husband and wife Paul and Philippa Stephens- gave 30 of their techbed mini beanbags to Royal Surrey Hospital after receiving confirmation for the safety of their materials. The bespoke products, made from medical vinyl, allow smartphones to be positioned freely without the need for physical contact with the devices. Paul explains: “When lockdown hit we id
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