Better Care Funds

£122,000 in Grants Awarded to Support Adult Health and Wellbeing

  • Ten organisations share £122,000 to support the physical and mental health of Reading residents
  • People assisted through community projects on behalf of Council’s Adult Social Care service

Ten organisations have been awarded grants totalling £122,000 to run projects to help residents with their health and wellbeing.

The Better Care Fund grants are part of the Council’s Adult Social Care service’s commitment to support and empower people to remain as independent as possible.

The grants have been distributed by the Council’s Adult Social Care service to improve the health and wellbeing of adults in the town. This includes tackling immediate and long-term health issues as well as loneliness and mental health.

The projects include cooking lessons for men with diabetes and new or young mothers, combatting isolation and hoarding, training volunteers in dementia awareness, in situ support for young adults admitted to hospital showing risky behaviours, creative art therapy for people suffering dementia in care homes, and support for those suffering domestic abuse.

The grants have been made possible through the Better Care Fund managed by the Council and the NHS Integrated Care Board.

Councillor Paul Gittings, Lead Member for Adult Social Care, said:

“Many residents will benefit from this funding as we want to get targeted support and assistance to residents at the right time.

This could be when individuals are at hospital due to a serious situation and a trained person is there to advise and help access services; or help residents manage their physical health through cooking classes; or gain skills like sewing and gardening. There is also help for people who are lonely and need support with their mental health.

“All these projects and initiatives get to the heart of the resident’s requirements so their health and wellbeing is as good as it can be for as long as possible.

“It is also really fantastic that there are so many organisations whose roles and aims are to support our residents.”

Sarah Webster, Integrated Care Board Director for Berkshire West, said: “We know these projects will make a difference to people’s wellbeing and support them to stay healthy.

“The groups which have received grants work closely with our communities to offer services meeting local needs. It is positive we have been able to support them in this way.”

The projects will be regularly reviewed to monitor the impacts they are having on residents. Referrals to the projects are required through the Joy App managed by Reading Voluntary Action, apart from the hospital-based service where you will be referred directly.

Full list of Better Care Fund recipients:

Coffee and Craft (Facebook): Baking sessions for diabetic widowers and single men, young and new mums, and adults. Sessions will also cover mental health and suicide prevention, while also encouraging friendship groups.

Reading Gateway Church, Parish Nurse ( Combatting loneliness and improving health and wellbeing, supporting those with mental health issues with health advice, and signposting additional assistance.

Mencap, Family Health Advisor ( or 0118 966 2518): Aim to help clients maintain and improve their physical and mental health by providing information, advice, casework and practical support.

Get Berkshire Active ( A reconditioning programme which aims to improve the fitness and strength of older people identified by Age UK Berkshire and social prescribers and referred to Get Berkshire Active.

ACRE, Community Wellbeing Hub (CWH) Partnership ( Partnership with independent organisations ACRE, Utulivu Women’s Group and supported by Mojatu Media, to work collaboratively and provide concerted community support through light exercises, cultural storytelling, cooking and sharing meals, sewing and dressmaking, community garden and day trips to places of interest.

RVA, Training for Wellbeing Practitioners ( or 0118 9372273): The project will deliver an 18-month long programme of 12 face-to-face training and awareness sessions (comprising 240 places) to wellbeing practitioners across Reading’s voluntary and community sector, which will include dementia awareness, equality, diversity and inclusion, menopause, learning disabilities, neurodiversity, among others.

Mustard Tree (The Mustard Tree): Providing support for rising numbers of young people aged up to 25 years admitted to the Emergency Department at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, who are clearly identified and admitted due to violence, substance abuse or misuse, mental health, or risk-taking behaviour.

Daybreak Family Group Conference ( or 02380 696644): A 12-month-long pilot programme of family group conferences to support an individual’s care plan and to form part of the wider package of care delivered by existing multi-disciplinary teams.

Together for Mental Health ( or 0203 962 8201): A new community project providing drop-in sessions in community halls and Reading’s walk-in clinic. They will also offer creative art therapy sessions for the elderly suffering from dementia inside care homes and in sheltered housing and facilitate an evening social wellbeing workshop.

Parents & Children Together, Alana House (PACT ( Support more victims of domestic abuse through expanding a pilot project with the Royal Berkshire Hospital where all departments refer those who they believe are experiencing domestic abuse. They then attend the hospital to provide in-person support. This results in empowering the victim to refer themselves saving hospital staff time whilst also resulting in the patient not being re-traumatised through re-telling their story to multiple people.

For more information about all services available in the area visit Reading Services Guide.