Many of us within the Reading community and beyond are still shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible incident that occurred in Forbury Gardens on 20 June, in which three people sadly died. But Reading continues to stand together, and is committed to supporting its community. 

CONNECTED takes a look at some of the ways the Reading community, led by Reading Borough Council and supported by the University of Reading, is continuing to help the town and its community through the aftermath of the tragedy.

Supporting the community

The Council is encouraging anyone who needs support to seek it. In Reading, there are a range of services and local support groups available for those affected – bereavement support and mental health support are just some of the services that are here to help those who need it. Find out more about the support available.

The University is also offering support to staff and students through their dedicated employee assistance programme and their Student Welfare Team.

We will remember

Reading Borough Council is committed to working with the community and the families of the victims to mark what has happened – to make sure we always remember those who sadly died, and everyone affected by the tragic events.

On 27 June 2020, Reading Borough Council together with the whole community of Reading, held a vigil to remember the three men who died and stand in solidarity with all those who have been affected. The vigil included speeches and readings from the Mayor of Reading, the Bishop of Reading and the Leader of Reading Borough Council, as well as the lighting of candles of remembrance.

The vigil was livestreamed on the Council’s Facebook page to enable people to pay their respects virtually, and people were asked to light a candle at home to show their support. You can watch the virtual vigil below.

The Council has also set up an online Book of Condolence where you can pay tribute to those who sadly died, those who were injured, and give messages of support to their families.

Fundraising for #ReadingTogether

At times like these, it is natural for people to want to come together and help those affected by such a horrific incident – and that is why Reading Borough Council recently set up a Crowdfunder appeal to raise funds.

All funds raised will be used to support the families of those who sadly died –  James Furlong, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and David Wails – those who were injured, and anyone who has been affected by the incident, as well as providing other support for the people of Reading.

Some of these funds will also be put towards creating a permanent memorial where people can pay their respects to the victims of the tragic events.

You can find out more by visiting the Council’s dedicated #ReadingTogether website.