Reading Community Welfare Rights was established in 1988 to support vulnerable people in Reading who were facing hardship.
Our mission then, as now is to work hard to alleviate poverty, sickness and distress through advice and assistance to people about their rights to benefits. The vast majority of the people who come to us for help have complex needs.
Our catchment area is Reading Borough; and we are unable to assist anyone who lives outside of the borough. Our catchment area could be expanded to allow us to help more people if we had more staffing resource.
In 2010, we employed 17 members of staff and we helped vulnerable people across Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Since then, we have seen central government grant funding to Reading Borough Council, (which was worth £57 Million in 2010) completely Disappear. This cut 40% from our staffing budget as the majority of our funding comes from our local council.
Additionally, other very substantial grant funding from other sources came to an end, causing an even more significant drop in income.
We have therefore had to adapt and fundraise to meet the increasing demand from the communities in Reading who turn to us for help. We are committed to helping all those who need us. We are comprised of three teams: Trustees, paid staff and volunteers.