Mayor of Reading visits Alana House

The Mayor of Reading visited PACT’s Alana House women's community project to get an update on its work and to hear about its future plans, which include the launch of a new community cafe project.

Cllr Debs Edwards attended Alana House’s sewing group last week and chatted to some of the women taking part. She also met volunteers and staff, who talked to her about recent projects as well as the current work to refurbish the centre’s drop-in room and kitchen ahead of next month’s launch of the community cafe project.

Alana House, which has its main base in Reading but also covers West Berkshire, Bracknell, Wokingham, Maidenhead and Windsor, supports vulnerable women by empowering them to take control of their lives, make informed decisions and improve their life chances. In 2018, 225 women accessed Alana House for groups, courses, drop-ins and one-to-one support.

Alana House, which celebrates its ninth birthday next month, has twice won a prestigious national Howard League for Penal Reform Award, acknowledging the positive impact Alana House has on the women it supports and their wider communities.

Cllr Edwards, a long-term supporter of Alana House, said she had really enjoyed her visit.

She added: “It is so important that there are places like Alana House where vulnerable women can get the help and support they need to change their lives around.

“It was really lovely to talk to some of the Alana House ladies and also to hear about the project’s exciting plans for the new community cafe project. I wish all involved all the very best with this new project and look forward to continuing to support Alana House going forwards.”

Natausha van Vliet, Chief Operating Officer at PACT, said: “We really appreciate the support Cllr Edwards has given Alana House and it was great to welcome her back and update her on our work and future plans. It was also nice to be able to introduce her to some of the women we are currently supporting, and they really enjoyed meeting her. We hope to welcome Cllr Edwards back soon for a cup of coffee!”