LOCAL CHOIR REQUIRED FOR A PLATINUM JUBILEE CELEBRATION IN WOODLEY ON THE EVENING OF 2ND JUNE
Woodley Town Council is taking part in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacon event, when we will be lighting a Beacon in Woodford Park on the evening of Thursday 2nd June (9:45pm). This is an international event, with Beacons being lit simultaneously across the UK and the Commonwealth.
A ‘Song for the Commonwealth’ has been written as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Community groups and choirs are being encouraged to sing this song at 9:45pm on the evening of the 2nd June to coincide with the lighting of Beacons Commonwealth.
We are looking for a local choir to sing this in the park as the Beacon is lit on the evening of 2nd June.
The skate park in Woodford Park will be closed from 7am to 10am on Saturday 30th April. This is to enable the weekly Park Run to take place while the new play area installation works are being carried out. The skate park will be open as usual from 10am. Thank you for your understanding!
We have launched a competition to win a place at the Top Table with the Mayor and other dignitaries at our Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday 5th June (12.00-16.00) in the town centre and be part of a permanent display to commemorate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The competition is open to all children 12 years of age and under, with three categories of winners: 5 years and under, 6 – 8 years old, 9 – 12 years old.
We are asking for stones to be decorated in a Jubilee theme – crowns, flags, castles, queens, and coins – making them as bright and beautiful as possible! Each stone will be permanently set in the Council’s commemorative memorial around our Jubilee Tree in Woodford Park to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The tree has been planted as part of the Queen’s Canopy. See article HERE.
Some of the local schools have been supplied with stones and forms, however, the competition is open to any child 12 years and under who lives in Woodley or attends a Woodley school.
Form and stones
Forms and stones can be collected from the Council offices, although children are welcome to use their own stones (we have a limited stock of stones).You can also download the form HERE.
The decorated stone (name/age on the back) needs to be returned with the completed form in a clear bag* by Friday 20th May 2022.
*ALL bags will be recycled
The competition is only open to children living in or attending a school in Woodley, age of 12 years old or under. Each qualifying stone must be decorated in a Jubilee theme and we can only accept one entry per child. Please note that the stones will not be returned and will be permanently set in Woodford Park around the Council’s Jubilee Tree, which has been planted as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy to commemorate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. Please return the completed form with the decorated stone in a clear plastic bag (the bag will be recycled). Please write your child’s name and age on the back of the stone. All stones must be accompanied with a completed form.
The tree is part of a nationwide Queen’s Green Canopy initiative to focus on planting sustainably and creating a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation, which will benefit future generations
The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, which invites people from across the United Kingdom to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’.
We are delighted to be joining QGC, participating to enhance our environment, while also honouring The Queen.
A Prunus Cerasifera Nigra tree – or more commonly known as a Purple leaved Cherry plum tree – was planted by Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel, in Woodford Park near where the new play area will be.
The tree will form part of a seated area within the sensory garden, once the play area has been built.
It will be surrounded by purple xx plants to add texture, colour and scent.
The tree will also be surrounded by Jubilee themed pebbles decorated by local children, set in resin, creating a permanent commemorative tribute that will also be a legacy to the children of Woodley.
“I am honoured to plant this tree on behalf of the people of Woodley to commemorate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and to thank her for her tireless dedication to our country,” says Woodley Town Mayor.
“I am delighted at the location of the tree. It will create a beautiful seating area in the new sensory garden, which will be a wonderful addition to Woodford Park.”
The tree will be listed on the QGC map; a digital record of the Jubilee tree planting projects across the United Kingdom.
Local children aged under 12 years old will be invited to decorate Jubilee themed stones to surround the tree. All contributed stones will be used and there will be a competition for three winners and their families to join the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and other dignitaries at the top table at Woodley’s Big Jubilee Lunch in the town centre on Sunday 5th June. The initiative is in association with some of Woodley’s schools, however, all local children age 12 years or under are welcome to enter. Full details of the competition are available on our website and social media pages.
“I am very excited by this competition and I will also be painting my own stone to be part of this fantastic memorial. I hope the local children will enjoy seeing their stones set permanently for many years to come,” says Janet.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the team at Woodley Town Council for arranging this. Our grounds team work very hard to create beautiful and well-kept green spaces and the thought and care that has gone into the Jubilee Tree is praiseworthy,” adds Janet.
Eight local heroes were awarded for their exceptional contribution to Woodley’s Community, along with recognition for the 2020 award winners.
The Covid pandemic may have restricted the Council’s Awards ceremony taking place for the past two years, however, it did not stop the continued community spirit and kindness of Woodley’s residents.
Hosted by local celebrity Matt Allwright – host of Watchdog, The One Show and Rogue Traders – the Town Council was delighted to once again honour and celebrate nominated local heroes, including those nominated for the cancelled 2020 Awards.
Matt – a former Woodley resident – was delighted to host the event and celebrate the kindness, generosity and selflessness of those receiving an award.
“Woodley is where I come from. I’m proud to say that I spent the first 12 years of my life hanging around Woodford Park. Now I get to come back and celebrate the remarkable Woodleyites who are making the world a better place. What a privilege,” he said.
Attendees of the event were welcomed with a drink’s reception, followed by the Awards ceremony in the Alan Cornish Theatre, including video footage of each recipient and their nominees.
Matt delighted the crowd with Woodley anecdotes and revealed that his requested fee for hosting the Awards was to share a bag of chips in Woodford Park with the Mayor.
The 2020 winners, who unfortunately missed out on their Awards ceremony due to the Covid pandemic, were firstly honoured with a standing ovation.
Mandy and Allan Dodd were awarded for their work running The Woodford Singers Choir for over 24 years.
Alistair Todd was nominated for his involvement with the Woodley Volunteer Centre for over 20 years; three years as chairman.
Philip Barry was nominated for his contribution as a member of the Woodley & Earley Lions Club for over 15 years.
Sam Milligan was awarded the Mayor’s Award by then Mayor Cllr Kay Gilder for his outstanding contribution to the children and youth in Woodley for the past 26 years. Kay mentioned in her speech that Sam had started out supporting young people in Woodley in a converted van and grew a team of support workers to form Just Around the Corner (JAC). She commended Sam’s ongoing support and help and willingness to always give his time.
Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel, then awarded each of the 2022 recipients with an engraved glass plaque, following their video footage, congratulating them individually on their award.
Sue Woodcock was nominated for her endless support for the Me2 Club, especially her enthusiasm and positivity.
One of her nominators, Shaun Polley, Chief Executive of Me2 Club, said of Sue: “She has a genuine passion for helping to improve the lives of children and young people.”
Sue was delighted with her Award and said: “It was a truly special evening from start to finish, and the efforts and dedication of my fellow recipients show what a strong, caring community Woodley is.”
Peter Quemard was nominated for his ongoing support training young footballers, particularly goalkeepers, including continued training via Zoom during the lockdowns.
“With his enthusiasm and willingness to help people, he has been the go-to person for anyone needing assistance with their teams and in addition to the Goalkeeper coaching is now also managing an U10 team plating in the BYDL league,” said Mr Ferris, one of Peter’s nominators.
Peter was very proud to receive the award: “I felt very proud to be chosen by the community to receive this award. It helps show people in our community that the work and effort you put into it will be rewarded. It was a great night and went so smoothly. The individual videos were a great addition. We spent the evening mixing with other winners to see how we in the football world can help other groups and this will bond our community together further. Thanks for a wonderful evening. Well done Woodley Town Council for all your hard work.”
Peter Armand was nominated for his kindness and care, distributing Metro newspapers after work to those who were shielding and also keeping his eye out for any neighbours in need.
Yvonne Glass, one of Peter’s nominators and recipient of his kindness said: “The papers have been a lifeline. Peter is such a cheerful visitor. He always rings the bell and checks how things are.”
Speaking of his award, Peter said: “I was very surprised to receive an award for something I thought was so insignificant. Delivering a free paper at the start of the Covid pandemic when people were reluctant to leave their homes and asking if they required anything from the shop did not take long each day. However, for some people, the daily crossword was something to look forward to. It also gave me some exercise!”
Ann Smith was nominated for editing and being instrumental in the publication of ‘A History of Woodley’, which was co-written by the local Wokingham, Woodley and Reading U3A groups.
“Ann’s continuation of the book during the difficult circumstances of the Covid pandemic is to be applauded. This was an amazing task for one person to coordinate and it is her commitment and perseverance that has resulted in such a valuable resource for the people of Woodley,” said nominator Jane Waddell.
Anne was honoured to receive the Award: “The event was very well organised and it was wonderful to watch the videos and see the other award recipients and why they had been nominated. I was honoured to be nominated along with the people who had done much more than I had, such as delivering food parcels and other good deeds during the pandemic. However, it was the first time I had won an award since I passed my cycling proficiency when I was 11, so it means a lot to me.”
Carolyn Wildman, who has volunteered with the Woodley Lunch Bunch since the first lockdown in March 2020, was nominated for her outstanding contribution to the scheme.
Tonia Crossman, nominated Carolyn, said: “Carolyn thoroughly deserves recognition for her excellent community work that stretches nearly two years now and is still going strong. She is extremely dedicated and determined to keep the initiative running and to use her words – she doesn’t want to let the families down.”
Juliet Sherratt, who co-founded Woodley Lunch Bunch during the first lockdown in March 2020, was also nominated for her outstanding contribution to the scheme.
Sheena Matthews nominated Juliet for: “Prevention of ‘holiday hunger’ by setting up and sustaining the Lunch Bunch. For mobilising colleagues, volunteers and suppliers. For providing meals and activity packs during school holidays to over 140 children.”
“I was thrilled to receive the award and that all our committee could be there on Friday night, as I feel it is an award for all us. We had a lovely evening and enjoyed meeting Matt Allwright – that was a nice surprise!” said Juliet.
Ronnie Goodberry was nominated for coordinating the Covid 19 Facebook Group and particularly for always going out of his way to help others.
Emma Vowell, one of Ronnie’s nominators said: “Where the group goes and what we continue to action for the local community this could not be done without Ronnie’s tireless energy, motivation, and concerns and support for the local community.”
Jackie Goodberry was nominated for her stalwart and ongoing support to Ronnie and the whole of the Covid 19 Facebook Group.
“A true example of a dedicated citizen supporting others in her community,” said Noreen Calnan, one of Jackie’s nominators.
The Mayor also chose to award Ronnie Goodberry the Mayor’s Award for his tireless support, drive and determination to always go above and beyond to help.
“Ronnie’s generosity and drive to support the community of Woodley is humbling and inspiring. He has tirelessly worked to support residents throughout the pandemic and still continues to do so. Not to mention also recently extending this to Ukraine. Thanks must also go to his wife, Jackie. You are both an amazing team. Your kindness, compassion and support will never be forgotten,” the Mayor said in her speech.
Ronnie was very surprised to also receive the Mayor’s Award. Speaking on behalf of himself and his wife, he said: “Myself and Jackie were both highly honoured to receive the Woodley Citizens’ Award, but it came as a complete surprise that the Mayor had also chosen me to receive the Mayor’s special recognition award for 2022. I see what I do as just doing my bit for our community when it is needed. The generosity and kindness of the Woodley residents is a timely reminder of how communities come together when it’s truly needed. On a personal note, the ceremony was run to perfection, organised by Woodley Town Council’s friendly staff who made things run very smoothly and effortlessly. A big thank you from us.”
The Awards Ceremony was followed by a buffet reception in the Carnival and Maxwell Halls at the Oakwood Centre, including a raffle to raise money for the Mayor’s Charity – Macmillan Cancer Support. The raffle raised £259 on the night and thanks go to the companies who generously donated gifts: Home & Gifts, House of cards, Woodley Pets, Crumbs, Fiona Parry Boutique and Woodford Park Leisure Centre.
Cllr Janet Sartorel, Woodley Town Mayor, said it was a privilege to attend the annual Awards Ceremony.
“My special thanks go to the Council officers and staff for the huge amount of work done to make it such a wonderful evening. I am sure that the people of Woodley are proud to have so many unsung heroes in the community. Each award presented to the nominees is a small token of acknowledgement and thanks for the time and effort given by them to those who are not so fortunate. They were all very well deserved.”
The Council would like to thank Matt Allwright for hosting the event and bringing pizzazz to the ceremony.
We’d also like say a special thank you to Francesca Reed, a Year 12 student at Waingel’s College, who took photos on the night. She was very professional, a great credit to the school and took some fabulous photos.
Videos of each of the 2022 Award winners can be viewed on our YouTube Channel. Please search for Woodley Town Council.
On Thursday 5 May, Wokingham Borough residents will go to the polls in the local elections to have their say on who represents them on Wokingham Borough Council.
In order to vote, residents must be on the electoral register. With the deadline to register fast approaching, Wokingham Borough Council is urging people who are not registered at their current address to make sure they are registered in time.
The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Thursday 14 April. It takes just five minutes to apply online.
There are several ways to have your say – you can vote in person at a polling station, by post and by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, which is known as a proxy vote.
The deadline to apply for a new postal or postal proxy vote – along with any changes to existing postal or proxy votes – is 5pm on Tuesday 19 April. The last day to apply for a proxy vote is Tuesday 26 April at 5pm. It’s easy to apply and you can find out how by visiting the council’s election webpages.
On polling day, residents will be able to vote from 7am to 10pm and the count will be conducted at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre in Earley on Friday 6 May.
Andrew Moulton, electoral registration officer for Wokingham Borough Council, said: “Time is running out to make sure you can take part in these elections. They are an important opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in Wokingham Borough. If you’re not registered by 14 April, you won’t be able to vote.”
This year, borough council elections are scheduled in: Arborfield; Bulmershe and Whitegates; Coronation; Emmbrook; Evendons; Finchampstead North; Finchampstead South; Hawkedon; Hillside; Loddon; Maiden Erlegh; Norreys; Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe; Shinfield South; South Lake; Swallowfield; Winnersh; and Wokingham Without.
There will also be parish council elections for Arborfield & Newland, Swallowfield, Remenham and Wargrave.
Wokingham Borough Council and its partners are translating words into action in support of Ukrainian people suffering during its invasion by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Led by the Borough’s mayor Cllr Keith Baker MBE, councillors unanimously voiced their support for Ukraine and a commitment to welcoming its refugees when they met as a full council recently.
Cllr Baker invited Mike Polleck, a former chairman of the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre, to address the meeting while Fr Stan Gibzinski, a Catholic priest for the parish of Our Lady of Peace & Blessed Dominic Barberi in Earley, led a minute’s silence. Mr Polleck thanked the council for its support, which included allowing the use of one of its storage facilities within the borough when the centre was being overwhelmed with donations for Ukraine. This offered its volunteers a space to package and send them off.
United in condemnation and ready to help
After the meeting, Cllr Baker said: “It was important that all four groups within the council should speak with one voice condemning this violation of a totally independent nation. The horrors being perpetrated on men, women and children – especially the children – have not been seen in Europe since the Second World War. “Speeches from councillors were varied and covered a variety of topics but they all had a common theme which was: we abhor this unnecessary war, we grieve over so much loss of innocent life, especially children, and we stand united with the Ukrainian people as they fight Putin and his armies for the freedom that an independent country deserves.” The council is translating its moral support into action as hosts across the borough prepare to welcome significant numbers of refugees from Ukraine. The council and voluntary sector is ready to support them with financial and practical help and advice. Details are still emerging amid such a difficult and rapidly-changing situation but the council is already undertaking or preparing the following measures:
Providing an emergency £200 payment, which will help cover essentials, to each refugee arriving from Ukraine under the Homes for Ukraine scheme
Assigning a support worker to all hosts / refugees who will act as their advocate and advisor on issues ranging from school places and childcare to benefits and finding work
Helping the voluntary and community sector to coordinate its support for refugees and hosts
Signposting to health services and helping refugees register with GPs and other professionals
Providing an information and welcome pack for refugees with the basic information they may need to settle into the community
Identifying trauma counselling and other mental health support that may be needed
Administering a £350 ‘thank you’ payment to eligible hosts (subject to more detail being provided)
Matching children arriving with the best available school places or other education and helping younger children to find childcare or nursery places
Preparing a warm welcome
John Halsall, leader of the council (Conservative), said: “We don’t know how many refugees will come to the borough or how long they will stay, but we know many local people have registered to be hosts – and quite a few have already been contacted and have Ukrainians on their way to join them. “The council and our voluntary sector partners are working closely together to make sure we are ready to support those arriving and those who are so generously taking them in.”
Cllr Clive Jones, leader of the council’s Liberal Democrat group, said: “We have to offer a safe place for those fleeing this conflict, which is no fault of the Ukrainian people or their government. We must warmly welcome them and give them as much assistance as possible. “I’m very proud of the response of Wokingham residents to the various appeals to offer help to Ukraine and its people. It shows once again that we are a kind, caring and compassionate country.”
Cllr Rachel Burgess, leader of the council’s Labour group, said: “At this horrendous time, our solidarity lies with the Ukrainian people. Wokingham borough residents are ready to offer refugees sanctuary and the public response has been fantastic. “I hope the government will do more to enable refugees to enter the UK quickly and easily, as they flee Putin’s horrific war. We all stand united in our support for democracy over dictatorship and in our solidarity with Ukrainians – and, I hope, this solidarity extends to all refugees fleeing conflict or persecution. “
Cllr Jim Frewin, leader of the council’s Independent group, said: “I could not be more proud of this council, its officers, members, leaders and our Wokingham community, for standing up to support the Ukrainian people – a people who are not only fighting so bravely for their own freedom, but are fighting for our freedom as well. We should not forget that. “We thank them and salute them. May God bless and protect all of those involved in this unnecessary and unwanted conflict. Thank you, Ukraine!”
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