Useful local links
As well as receiving advice and support from Optalis, you can get useful information online, and get involved in local groups with a focus on older people and people with disabilities, and family members and friends who support them. These offer opportunities to share experiences and learn how other people in your situation have coped with different challenges.
Here are some links to online information and contact details for local groups you might find helpful:
Age UK is a national charity that wants to improve life for all older people through its research, campaigns, products and training. You can find information on all sorts of things on its website, including money matters, keeping healthy and adapting your home.
You can also get help and advice from Age UK Berkshire, based in Reading.
Tel: 0800 169 8787
Wokingham 50 Plus Forum
This group gives older people a chance to give their views on topics of local interest or concern. Members suggest speakers who are invited to come to their regular meetings at Acorn Community Centre and talk to older people about important local issues.
Tel: (0118) 979 6364
Minded for Families
Safe and reliable mental health advice for older people and those who care for them
Caring, Listening and Supporting Partnership (CLASP)
CLASP is a self-advocacy group that gives people with learning disabilities in Wokingham a voice about things that matter to them. Members support each other to speak up for their rights and live more independently.
CLASP runs a weekly café, a training group to raise awareness of learning disabilities, and a ‘hate crime’ reporting centre for people worried about telling the police about abuse. Its campaign group Take Notice looks at local issues like keeping safe on public transport and crossing busy roads around Wokingham.
Wokingham Learning Disability Partnership Board
This group works to make sure people with learning disabilities are part of their local community. It holds ‘big meetings’ every six weeks that anyone can come to and hear about what’s going on in Wokingham that might affect them. There are also other events and workshops on different topics, like ‘mate crime’ and housing.
What’s on in Wokingham 4 me? (WOW4ME)
This website has lots of information and links to other organisations to help people with disabilities find things to do close to where they live, including finding a job or learning opportunity, sports and leisure activities, and places to eat and drink.
Berkshire County Blind Society
The society helps adults with visual impairments live independently. As well as visiting people in their own homes and giving advice over the phone, it supports local clubs across Berkshire and organises social and sports events. You can visit its resource centre, which specialises in daily living aids and equipment for visually impaired people.
Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)
This national charity offers practical advice and information relating to housing, finance, work and technology to help people living with sight loss.
Crossroads Care Wokingham
This local charity is based at Wokingham Community Hospital. Its support workers visit carers at home (including overnight) when they need practical help or want take a break, relieving stress on families and enabling them to make a life of their own, outside caring.
ASD Family Help
This is a local voluntary group that gives free support and advice to people on the autistic spectrum and their families. It runs social activities, holds regular meetings for carers, can arrange evening and overnight breaks for family carers and help adults with autism develop life skills and find employment.
If you need help or support to make a complaint, you can contact Just Advocacy, who will provide assistance and support. Their contact details are:
Tel: 01276 28515
Wokingham Services Directory
This is an online and telephone-based guide to services, support, organisations and activities in the Wokingham area for adults, including vulnerable adults, and their families and carers. There is information on housing, transport, health, leisure opportunities and learning and development, as well as details of care services.
Tel: 0118 974 6772 (adults) or 0118 908 8466 (families)
Wokingham Ability Partnership (WAP)
The partnership aims to raise the profile of services for people with physical disabilities and sensory impairment, and to develop and improve these services to meet the needs of local people.
Tel: 07786 197626
Victims First has been launched to support victims of crime across the Thames Valley. Victims First can provide free support to any victim of any crime in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.