A Charity and Community Hub for Reading
Next to Wesley church stands a building, 84 Queen’s Road (84QR). It was built in the 1890s and was the minister’s manse until the 1960s. After that it was used as offices, then was unoccupied for a time. The first floor was brought back into use in 2011 for church offices, and later a couple of local charities moved in, but the building was still underused.
We had a vision to create a charity and community hub based in this building.
This built upon what was happening there already. The charities who use the office space wanted to develop their activities, and there were other small local charities interested in having space.
So we created some more offices on the top floor of 84QR, which are now fully occupied.
On the ground floor, we had bigger ambitions:
- Accessible toilets.
- A new kitchen.
- Overhaul of the third reception room as a smaller meeting place furnished with café-style tables and chairs for refreshments and easy conversation.
- Full access, with a ramped approach to the front door and new toilets for the disabled.
- The creation of a large, informal meeting room from two rooms. It would have comfortable seating for 50 to 60, soft furnishings, and AV equipment for seminars.
This development will provide space in which our charity partners can have formal and informal meetings. For some, there will be opportunity to provide work experience in running the place.
And there will be community hub programmes, dovetailing into the activities of the charities, such as:
1. A community lunch club with focus on the lonely.
2. Craft activity and ‘knit and natter’ groups.
3. Meeting and social opportunities for our local community.
It is our vision that this 84QR hub will be interlinked with the worship, mission and other activities of the whole church.
It cost money – about £130,000. Coronavirus set us back a bit, but we are on course.
For more information about the project, and to support it, contact us at email@example.com.
The Earley Charity supports phase 2
The Earley Charity made a grant to support phase 2 of the 84QR development. This enabled us to proceed with the development of the kitchen and dining-room, for which we are very grateful.