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Cheque presented to charities in Reading

Picture credited to Reading Borough Council

Almost £10,000 has been awarded to four charities in Reading by the town's former Mayor.

Councillor Debs Edwards presented a cheque to Launchpad Reading, YMCA Reading, Berkshire West Your Way and Berkshire Womens’ Aid in a special ceremony yesterday (Tuesday 10th September).

The money was raised during Councillor Edwards' time in the role.

She officially handed over to Cllr Paul Woodward in May.

Fundraising initiatives during Cllr Edward’s time as Mayor included the sale of charity Christmas cards and proceeds from the sale of tickets from the Mayor’s Let’s Sing Competition in March, as well as sponsored teams taking part in the 2019 Sage Reading Half Marathon in March and a charity quiz and silent auction at Reading Town Hall in April.

Cllr Deb Edwards said:

“I am absolutely thrilled by the generous amount we’ve raised for my chosen charities and would like to thank everyone who supported our fundraising activities throughout the year.

“The local community, businesses, Reading Borough Council staff, family and friends have been amazing! Reading is a thriving town but there are many people facing tough times who receive amazing help and support from the fantastic voluntary sector we have here.

“I have had the honour of working with a number of great charities and community groups who use their skills, knowledge and compassion to help others.

“So many good causes will benefit from this fund.”

Sophie Adele Stokes, Launchpad Fundraiser, said:

“We are so grateful to Councillor Debs Edwards for choosing Launchpad as one of her charities.

“We are very proud that Debs was the first Reading Mayor to take part in our Big Sleep Out.

“No one should have to endure sleeping on the streets, which is why Launchpad helps vulnerable people in Reading tackle their housing-related problems, obtain and sustain a long-term home and lead full and independent lives.

“It’s with events like Big Sleep Out and the generosity of our supporters that we are able to continue our work to prevent homelessness in Reading.”

Arlene Kersley, Chief Executive of YMCA Reading, said:

“YMCA Reading are so pleased to be recognised by Councillor Debs Edwards in this way. We have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Mayor’s Fund and are grateful to have had this opportunity to shine a light on the good work we do with young people in Reading.

“This money will help us to improve our sport facilities so that our young residents and the wider Reading Community will have better access to healthy activities.”

Caz Hedges, Project Manager of Together for Mental Wellbeing’s Berkshire West Your Way service, said:

“We were delighted that Together for Mental Wellbeing’s Berkshire West Your Way service was chosen as one of the Mayor’s Charities of the Year.

“On behalf of the people experiencing mental health issues who we work alongside, we’d like to thank everyone who donated and supported us.

“Every penny raised enables us to reach more people experiencing mental distress and work with them on their journey towards greater wellbeing.”

Andrea West, Chief Executive of Berkshire Women’s Aid, said:

“Berkshire Women’s Aid is grateful to have been selected as one of the Mayor’s charities.

“Cllr Edwards is a long standing supporter of the charity and as well as the generous money raised, the awareness raising she has enabled over the year has ensured that more victims know that there is non-judgemental support out there for them when they feel ready to talk about it.”

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