News from our Teams in Whitley & Wheatley – April/May 2017


Fusion Whitley (South Reading)

Festivals, Schools Work & Wonderful volunteers!
Fusion Whitley (Reading)

Easter Monday saw the third annual Easter Community Festival take place on Rabson Rec. Run by St Agnes, St Paul & St Barnabas in partnership with Fusion Y&C UK, we love being a part of a community celebration of the Easter message of forgiveness and hope. There were some spectacular Easter Bonnets made on the day, while a lot of yummy hot cross buns were eaten and some particularly exciting rounds of Tug O' War were played. The most thrilling thing to see was the way that many families of all shapes and sizes were able to connect with one another.

We continue to enjoy connecting with our local community through Schools Work at Reading Girl's School Discovery Club, JMA's Coffee and Cake for Staff, plus the Year 7 Community Lunches all in partnership with the schools work trust 'Learn4Life'. This month saw the exciting fruit of another one of our partnerships from back in November of 2016; Tulips and daffodils came into bloom on two roundabouts on the main street through the community! They were planted there by 4 high school students from JMA, 2 youth workers from Fusion, 2 from Learn4Life and 3 gardeners from Reading Borough Council!

Just last week was our monthly Community Dinner at The World Turned Upside Down Carvery where more than one person was stumped by a "guess who this child grew up to be" table quiz! It turns out young Christian Bale looked a lot like young Michael J Fox!

Finally, pictured above is Aneta, a local mother of two, who has been volunteering at the Fusion office for over a month now and has been doing an amazing job with our admin. We've also been joined by another volunteer named Alex who pops in each week to help us with our IT related tasks. He and our friend Paul Honor have really made a difference for our team! We're very thankful for our volunteers!

Skye Leon
Fusion Whitley (Reading)

Fusion Wheatley

"Fun in the Sun!"
Wheatley St George’s Funday 2017

This year was our 12th annual Community Festival and, once more, around 700 gathered in the spring sunshine to celebrate our community, meet old friends and hopefully make a few new ones too. Most were from Wheatley but one lady had driven from Witney with her children on the recommendation of her husband who’d been passing!

This year’s theme was Celebrating Diversity, both in our local community and wider afield too. This was reflected in our wide range of imaginative craft activities, including a huge map on which people were invited to place a star showing where their grandparents were born. At the end of the afternoon the map was covered with coloured stars, the furthest away being Hawaii. Children also contributed to collaborative artwork which was to be displayed at the primary school the following week.

The face painting and bouncy castle were as popular as ever and the centre games team served up some great activities, some – of course - very wet! There were tug of war competitions for children and adults once again and of course the ever-popular climbing wall. Many chose to just sit and chat in the sun, relaxing with a cup of tea and home-baked cake or headed for the BBQ.

Our friendly Dragon (of St George fame) returned to tell us the tale of St Jerome, who saw through the wild roaring of the lion to sense that it was in pain and who went on to heal the lion and become its friend. Perhaps a lesson for us all to look deeper for the underlying problem in situations we face.

As ever, sincere thanks must go to our many sponsors, including a significant grant from the Parish Council and generous contributions in so many ways from the local churches. A huge thank you to everyone who helped to make this event happen and, of course, to everyone who came along on the day and helped to create such a special occasion.

The theme of Celebrating Diversity and some of the craft activities were carried over into the following morning by children and adults alike as Wheatley Community Church held another successful Church in the Park, again in beautiful sunshine, exploring what God tells us about caring for those we meet day to day and using the prayers contributed by Saturday’s visitors.

Gordon Ewbank
Fusion Youth & Community

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