In 1988, we began supporting vulnerable people in Reading who were facing hardship.
Since then, we’ve worked hard to alleviate poverty, sickness and distress in Reading. This is a real labour of love and often involves a tough fight with the DWP, but we’re good at what we do – and we rarely lose a case!
The vast majority of the people who come to us for help have complex needs. We regularly communicate with our clients over a number of months. This allows us to form professional relationships with them. We get to understand them pretty well: and this is why we are so much more than an advice charity.
Our catchment area is Reading Borough. We are unable to assist anyone who lives outside of the borough. If we had more staff, we could work further afield: We would very much like, for example to secure funding from Wokingham Borough Council to allow us to employ an Outreach worker to support the people of Woodley and Earley; most of whom consider themselves to live in Reading.
In 2010, we employed 17 members of staff and helped vulnerable people across Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Since then, central government grant funding to Reading Borough Council (which was worth £57 Million in 2010) has completely disappeared.
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 rely on us.