NORMALLY, it’s a massive event that attracts thousands of visitors – but Covid-19 had other ideas.
But the show did go on. Just virtually.
The annual South Reading Churches Fun Day is a free event held in Whitley and organisers this year turned it into a garden party.
They asked residents to enjoy a virtual afternoon of fun, cake, games and chilling to the vibes of RG2 Radio.
Richard Walker and MC Napthali, both Whitley residents, compered the Funday.
Activities included a quiz, a presentation naming Whitley Heroes and a zumba session.
The awards were presents by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Dr Peter Durrant who honoured our two heroes chosen by the community – Carol Woolford and Paul Littleboy.
He also joined in the Zumba with us outside St Agnes Church.
Organisers said that it was a true community event and that the virtual format enabled many who wouldn’t ordinarily have been able to participate to do.
This included residents of Life Care care home, who enjoyed cake and decorated the lounge of the home.
Staff members said: “(Lockdown meant) residents were stuck in bedrooms for two months and socially distancing, this is the first time they’ve been able to have fun.
“They are happy and elated and it’s going to do so much for their cognition, and they’re going to talk about this for weeks.”
One of the special guests was the deputy mayor of Reading, Cllr Rachel Eden.
She was full of praise for the event: “I thought it was wonderful the way you all put it together. Please pass on my thanks to everyone else.”
Claire Bankole, from the charity SYC, helped release news of a new logo.
“In the midst of all the excitement, the Funday was the first ‘airing’ of a new Whitley Logo designed by young Fin, a local year six student and winner of the logo competition that took place earlier this year,” she said.
“Hopefully you will notice it around the community in various places.”
The event saw 135 people take part and 258 devices were tuned into the RG2 radio broadcasts, more than 100 fun day packs were shared and there were hundreds of homemade cakes distributed.