DISCOUNTS, prize draws and goodie bags are all part of a special welcome for older and disabled residents during a Christmas shopping evening in the town centre on.
The festive event, organised by Reading Borough Council in partnership with The Oracle and the British Red Cross, aims to make shopping an easy and enjoyable experience for everyone.
This year the theme is ‘a Victorian Christmas’ and street performers Felix and Felix will be penny farthing stunt riding and juggling on Broad Street. Music comes from the Shinfield Players and Theatre Train, who will be singing Christmas carols and musical theatre favourites. The Salvation Army will also be lending the evening a festive air by playing inside Marks and Spencer.
Retailers throughout the town centre will be offering discounts or providing refreshments. Stores taking part this year include Timberland, Vision Express, Hotel Chocolat, Swarovski and The Fragrance Shop in The Oracle, as well as John Lewis, BHS, Clas Ohlson, Patisserie Valerie and many more.
Wheelchairs will be available for people to use on the night, which have been kindly donated by the Reading branch of the Red Cross and The Oracle. Volunteers from the Red Cross will be around during the Christmas shopping evening to help.
The Council has once again agreed that on this day the entry restrictions to St Mary's Butts, West Street and Friar Street - which usually end at- will end instead at specifically to allow blue badge holders to take full advantage of the special evening.
Cllr Rachel Eden, Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Chair of the Access and Disabilities Group said:
'I'm delighted that so many Reading stores are getting involved in this special evening by offering assistance and promotions. This is usually a lovely evening and helps to make Reading a better more welcoming place for anyone who needs extra support to enjoy their Christmas shopping and a great opportunity to get in the Christmas mood.”
Mayor of Reading, Cllr Tony Jones said:
“The special shopping evenings in the town centre are always really popular and I’m looking forward to attending this year.
“A big thank you needs to go to all the retailers and volunteers who support us with this event, and I would encourage people to come along and enjoy shopping in a fun, friendly atmosphere.”