A charity in Berkshire that helps children with special needs has received a grant worth more than a third of a million pounds. Organisers say the Big Lottery funding will enable Swings and Smiles to continue running its Phoenix Resource Centre for the foreseeable future. More than 250 families have registered with the charity since it opened in June 2014. The centre has a purpose built soft play area, art room and sensory room and aims to provide an environment where children and young people with special needs and their family or carers can play together without the pressures often experienced in wider community settings.
The lottery funding is a significant boost for the charity's fundraising efforts and will contribute towards its running costs. The charity is also looking to find its own dedicated site in the future.
Sian Cook, Founder of Swings & Smiles said "I can't describe the pleasure we have seeing families visit us on a regular basis and watching the children and their parents benefit from their time with us. This is what I set out to achieve in 2007 and it is wonderful to see it come to fruition and to know we are helping to enrich their lives. Thanks to the Big Lottery Fund we now know we are able to continue to offer this essential service for years to come. Their endorsement gives us tremendous credibility and provides us with a secure platform on which to build for the future."
Drivers are facing more than a year of chaos in the centre of Newbury because of work to replace a key bridge.Read the full story ›
A man has died in a crash on the A339 in Newbury.
At around 7.40am this morning there was a collision involving a blue BMW 3 Series car.
The driver, a 29-year-old man, died at the scene.
His next of kin has been informed but formal identification is yet to take place.
The road was closed while emergency services attended the incident.
The twentieth anniversary of the 'Battle of the Newbury Bypass' is upon us.
Back in 1995 hundreds of protesters took to the trees and tunnels to try to stop the road being built. Two decades ago tomorrow work began on the route, angering eco warriors whose demonstrations made national headlines.
The one hundred million pound project was designed to ease traffic at one of the country's worst bottlenecks, but protesters believed the local habitat was to pay too heavy a price.
In a united front against terrorism people of all faiths were brought together in Berkshire today in light of the recent events in Paris.
One hundred and twenty nine people were killed when gunmen opened fire and set off bombs across the city last Friday.
The message as they marched silently through Newbury, that hatred will not divide. Mel Bloor reports.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted the terror attacks in Paris made him "doubt" the presence of God.
Justin Welby said he was left asking why the attacks happened, and where God was in the French victims' time of need. He said he reacted with "profound sadness" at the events, particularly because he and his wife had lived in Paris.
Asked if these attacks had caused him to doubt where God is, he said: "Oh gosh, yes," and admitted it put a "chink in his armour."
A bombing campaign against Islamic State was launched after the events, but the Archbishop warned against a potentially damaging instant reaction.
"Two injustices do not make justice. If we start randomly killing those who have not done wrong, that is not going to provide solutions. So governments have to be the means of justice.
"The Bible tells us that they are put there by God with the sword for justice, but they also have to lead us into a place where peace can be established. Religion is so powerful in the way humans behave that it has always been a tool used by the wicked to twist people into doing what they want them to do.
"But just because someone believes something deeply wrong does not mean that they are right in some way because they put God in it. The perversion of faith is one of the most desperate aspects of our world today."
A silent peace march is underway in Newbury to show solidarity follwoing the recent terror attacks in Paris.
A silent peace march will be held in Newbury today to show solidarity in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris.
Organised by community organisation All2gether, the march will take place this morning at the Clock Tower in Northbrook Street in the town centre.
The group have described it like 'a one minute silence that will last much longer.'
It comes just over a week since IS launched co-ordinated gun and bomb attacks in Paris, killing 130 people.
“A platform that brings all faiths and no faiths together, where communities collectively stand shoulder to shoulder condemning all terror where innocent victims pay the price. What happened in Paris is deplorable, and at this time we should also reflect on the millions of lives affected in political and economic wars in recent years. You are welcome to join us in this peaceful march sharing the belief that hatred will not divide us".
The walk will finish in Council Chambers on Market Street, where people can share thoughts in a comments book.
A man who's running 401 marathons in 401 consecutive days is coming to Newbury, where he'll be completing his 65th run.
Ben Smith, 33, has taken on the challenge to raise awareness of bullying after suffering himself as a child.
Ben battles with depression after suffering severe bullying in his younger years. He attempted to take his own life twice.
His marathon through Newbury will be supported by staff and students at Park House School where he will be leaving from. He will run around Greenham, Central Newbury and Bagnor.
A construction firm has been selected from five companies which submitted intial bids to build two new primary schools in Newbury.
West Berkshire Council chose Kier Construction in Newbury to carry out the projects.
The first school will be located in Theale, with an exact location to be confirmed. A preferred site has been chosen in the village, but West Berkshire Council said it is working with Theale Parish Council to have the new school ready for the start of the academic year in September 2017.
The second primary school is to be built on Newbury College land, and will be sponsored jointly by the college and Theale Church Of England Primary. It will be called Highwood Copse, and should open in September 2017.
“We are still working on the site details for Theale, but these two exciting projects will greatly enhance the education of local children well into the future.
“In addition to the planning consultation process, we will be holding public events at which evolving illustrative material will be exhibited so that the local people can comment and meet individuals involved in the project delivery.”