Support in the community

10 min read

On this page:

Help with claiming benefits and filling forms:

Watch our video on help with claiming forms and benefits.

Mental heath and wellbeing

Watch our video on mental health and wellbeing.

Support for immigrants and minority ethnic groups

  • The Indian Community Association is a vibrant and accessible community organisation providing a wide range of services for people of all ages and backgrounds. They offer after school club activities, cultural awareness classes, support for older people, volunteering and training placements. Contact or call 0118 961 7713
  • Jamiat Ahl-E-Hadith aids Asian people in education of mother tongue, and social welfare. They offer Muslim praying facilities, and a community library. Contact or call 0118 901 2404
  • Jacquah Foundation promotes, educates, and disseminates information on health and lifestyle issues within the ethnic minority and immigrant communities in the UK, which includes information for pregnant women. Contact or call 07508824369
  • Pakistan Community Centre provides social, cultural, religious and educational support for the Pakistani Community, which includes form filling and immigration information. Contact or call 0118 926 9031
  • Reading Community and Learning Centre is a charity that helps ethnic minority women and their families living in the Reading area. Most service users are migrants who speak little or no English, and have limited experience outside their home. RCLC provides free and informal non accredited English conversation classes, reading and writing, IT, sewing, health and beauty, confidence building, and employability classes. Contact or call 0118 959 5455
  • Reading Refugee Support Group helps refugees and people seeking asylum with legal advice, practical help, education, social activities, amongst other things. Contact or call 020 3943 9901
  • The Red Cross offers support for refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable migrants in urgent need. The help available can include food parcels and vouchers, clothes, toiletries, baby items, benefits and career advice, adjusting to life in the UK, and getting to know a new area. Email or call 0808 196 3651
  • South Sudanese Association is a community organisation which supports people in Reading from South Sudan, including integrating into life in Reading. They are planning to run English lessons soon. Contact or call 0118 946 3034

Watch our video on support for immigrants and ethnic minority groups.

Support for women in the community

Alana House is a community project run by PACT that uses a holistic approach to support and empower women. They offer a confidential, women-only, non-judgemental space and welcome all women who feel they need help and support.

AH aims to help women take control of your life by making informed decisions, and can provide information, support and advice with the following:

  • Accommodation
  • Attitudes, thinking and behaviour
  • Children, families and relationships
  • Domestic abuse, domestic violence and rape
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Education, training and employment
  • Finance, benefits and debt
  • Health and well-being
  • Sex working/prostitution

 Contact or call 0118 921 7640.

Watch our video on support for women in the community.

Support for adults with dyslexia

It may be helpful for you, and your landlord/letting agent, if you explain you are dyslexic. We have provided information for landlords on the Click Before You Evict web pages,  which we hope will help them better understand how it affects people , but of course how it affects individuals varies considerably. Therefore you, or someone you trust, may want to advise them and suggest ways they can better communicate with you.

Adult Dyslexia Centre Berkshire offers full diagnostic sessions, and they will produce a report with suggestions. They also offer English classes which are taught in the classroom, or remotely. The course includes strategies for coping with dyslexia, and using IT effectively. Therefore improving daily life, and career prospects.

Contact or call 07921 022589.

Watch our video on support for adults with dyslexia.

Support for children and young people with mental health and emotional difficulties

Video about children with mental health issues.

Support for alcohol and drug issues

Change Grow Live (CGL) provides advice and support to anyone struggling with substance misuse issues in the Reading area, including detox services, health assessments, and peer led activities.

Drop in at 127 Oxford Road, Reading or call 0118 955 7333

Watch our video on support for alcohol and drug issues.

Support for families and single parents

  • The Family Information Service is available to any family member taking care of a young person 0-19 years old (or up to 25 if they have special needs) They provide information, support and advice on things such as childcare, health and wellbeing, and parenting. Contact FIS on Facebook or call 0118 937 3777
  • New Beginnings is a registered charity that has transformed the Queens Arms pub into a community café. On Wednesdays and Fridays they run Fridge for the Community between 12.30 and 1.30pm where you can collect free food, and free clothing, including school uniform. Other services include an after school club on a Wednesday, free hot meals, and craft activities, toys, and games are on offer for children to enjoy. Their address is 24 Great Knollys Street, Reading
  • First Days is a charity providing everyday essentials to families who need them, by distributing school uniforms, new baby essentials, travel items, toiletries, safety equipment, furniture, toys and books. A professional working with your family can make a referral.
  • Home Start Reading offers support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children. Parents may be going through bereavement or post-natal depression, coping with a disability, an illness, or social isolation, amongst other things. Contact or call 0118 956 8800

Watch our video on support for families and single parents.

Support for hoarders

The following websites provide information and advice for hoarders and their families, including clearing services.

Support for victims of domestic abuse  

  • Thames Valley Police Call 999 in an emergency. If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can use the textphone service 18000 or text on 999 if you have registered with the emergency SMS service. In non emergency cases and for general advice call 101. If you are deaf or hard of hearing use the textphone service on 18001 101.
  • Berkshire Womens Aid helps victims of domestic abuse and violence in the following ways:
    • a confidential helpline
    • facilitating a move into a refuge (a safe place to stay)
    • programmes and group sessions to support survivors and aid recovery
    • 1:1 sessions and group work for children and young people affected by abuse
    • Outreach and IDVA support across Reading, Wokingham, and Bracknell. This work includes helping a victim plan and manage risk, advocacy at court hearings and at multi-agency meetings, signposting to relevant support services, and confidence building sessions. Helpline: 0118 950 4003
  • Karma Nirvana is an award winning national charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. They offer the following services:
    • Face to face support for victims and survivors
    • Assistance accessing relevant services/organisations
    • Someone to speak to professionals on your behalf
    • Someone to guide professionals so specific risks are understood and handed correctly. Helpline: 0800 5999247
  • Mankind Initiative provides an information, support and signposting service for men suffering from domestic abuse and violence from their wife, partner (including same sex) or husband. This can range from insults and bullying, to being physically hurt. Helpline 01823 334244

Watch our video on support for victims of domestic abuse.

Support for adults and children with autism, and their carers

  • Berkshire NHS Trusts’ Autism Assessment Team will assess a child suspected of being on the autistic spectrum. If the initial screening does not suggest autism you will still be signposted to other relevant services for support. Referrals must be made by a professional that knows the child or young person. For example, nursery nurses, teachers, health visitors, etc. A referral can be made via the link above.
  • Autism Berkshire provides help and support for anyone living with autism in the county. Their work includes providing information and advice through a helpline, events, workshops, outreach work, and advice through publications and newsletters. They also run accessible social and leisure activities for children and adults. Email or call 0118 959 4594
  • Autism at Kingwood provides services for adults with autism, including outreach support for those living with others or on their own. Contact Kingwood on Facebook or call  0118 931 1937
  • Parenting Special Children offers a series of workshops and courses for parents and carers who have children or young people pre and post assessment for autism. Contact or call 0118 9863532

Watch our video on support for adults and children with autism.

Support for children and adults with special educational needs, disabilities and long term chronic conditions

There are a number of local organisations providing free, confidential, and up to date information and advice for parents of children with special educational needs, a long term illness, or a disability. Support is also available throughout the borough for adults with additional needs, disabilities and long term chronic conditions.

Home Start Reading offers support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children. Parents may be going through bereavement or post-natal depression, coping with a disability, an illness, or social isolation, amongst other things. Contact or call 0118 956 8800.

Alafia (Acre Family Support Team) supports black and minority ethnic families with a child aged between 0 – 25 years with disabilities and additional needs. Email: or call 0118 951 0279

Berkshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre provides support to anyone with is Multiple Sclerosis, whether newly diagnosed and reaching out for the first time, or whether having lived with the condition for some time. Email: or call 0118 901 6000

Berkshire Phab Centre is a drop-in centre for people with and without disabilities and long-term health problems.  It promotes independence and combats social exclusion. During the week, it is open to adults aged 18 and over, and on Saturday mornings the Phab youth club caters for 9-18 year olds. The centre encourages members to explore their own interests and skills and make decisions for themselves.  They don’t have a set programme of activities, so members can choose what they want to do on the day, which includes arts and crafts, IT, gardening, cookery, and using their fully-equipped sensory room. Email or call 0118 916 8413

CommuniCare is for all other Carers in Reading Information & Advice and Carer’s Assessments, 233 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 4LS, Tel: 0118 926 3941 Email:

Age UK Reading offers support to those caring for someone aged 50+. Walford Hall, Carey Street, Reading RG1 7JS Tel: 0118 950 2480 Email:

ENRYCH Berkshire works with individual people, regardless of their disability, to enable them to enjoy hobbies, interests and activities of their choosing, and to develop their skills and knowledge through learning opportunities. Email: or call 0118 929 1675

Reading Deaf Centre (RDC) is a charitable organisation. They support and promote the interests and welfare of D/deaf, hearing impaired, deaf-blind people and deaf carers Email or call 0118 9594969

Reading Association for the Blind provides the sight impaired opportunities to take part in activities they may otherwise not be able to, and endeavours to reduce social isolation. Email or call 0118 957 2960

Reading Mencap provides and information for people with a learning disability and their carers. This includes a home visiting Family Support Service. Email or call 0118 966 2518

The SEND Local Offer is a resources that exists to help you find information about local services, support, activities, and events for children and young people aged 0-25 who have special educations needs and disabilities.

Watch our video on support for disabilities.

Other services

  • Launchpad is Reading’s leading homelessness prevention charity, providing vital information and support for individuals, couples and families who don’t have a stable place to live or are at risk of losing their home.
  • Communicare offers non judgemental, free advice on a range of different topics including housing and benefits.
  • Citizens Advice offers free, confidential and open to everyone in the community. Our volunteers are trained to advise on virtually any issue, including:
    • welfare benefits
    • money and credit problems
    • employment
    • consumer rights
    • energy
    • housing
    • neighbourhood disputes
    • education and healthcare
    • immigration and residency queries
    • human rights
    • family and personal issues.
      Advice line: Freephone 0808 278 7819
      Textphone: 0800 144 88 84
Last updated on 29/05/2024