Thousands turn out for Whitley fun day

Councillors Rachel Eden, Ashley Pearce and Matt Rodda

Thousands attended the South Reading Churches Fun Day at Rabson’s Rec in Whitley to sample a wide range of free activities for all the family.

The community event which keeps growing year on year, was organised by churches in the South Reading area and held at the Northumberland Road park on Saturday, July 9.

The Revd Vernon Orr, vicar at St Agnes Church in Northumberland Avenue, was on hand to show volunteers what needed to be done.

The completely free occasion was opened by Reading East MP Rob Wilson, and also attended by numerous local Councillors as well as Labour’s parliamentary candidates for Reading East and Reading West, Matt Rodda and Victoria Grouleff.

Vernon said: “It is the highlight of the year, it is so enjoyable and there is such a great atmosphere that the feelgood factor lasts for months.”

Events to entertain the kids included face painting and balloon modelling with many tiger faces walking around with dog shaped balloons.

Penalty shoot outs oragnised by Kickz and Reading FC saw many a shot bulge the net, whilst bouncy castles and rock climbing were also available for the more active. Parents could take a break with a free burger and hydrate with bottles of water.

All the while music was provided on stage to keep the party atmosphere going. Also in attendance were the Fire Brigade so kids could get sit in a working fire engine, and ReadiFood to highlight the plight of those in need of food parcels.

Other stalls included the Whitley Excellent Cluster and Reading Credit Union to highlight the good work they are doing. The sun shone throughout the three-hour event, with many kids spilling out into the play equipment whilst parents ate well deserved ice creams!

The event was again themed around Honour Whitley with thousands of purple wrist bands handed out on arrival by the army of volunteers that made the day run so smoothly for the 5,000 or so attendees.

Vernon added: “We just want to remind the community it is okay to feel good about itself.”

South Reading Churches’ Fun Day is sponsored by many organisations including the Earley Charity, the Englefield Trust, Business Moves Group, Indigo Planning, Goodman UK Ltd, John Madejski Academy, Thames Valley Housing Trust, Goodman UK Ltd, Berkeley Homes, Tesco and money raised by the churches themselves.

The churches organising the festival were Christ The King Roman Catholic Church, ECCI, Reading Family Church, Tyndale Baptist Church, RCCG Victory @ Reading, St Agnes Church, St Barnabas Church, St Paul’s Church, Whitley Methodist Church and The Well Church.