Reflections on Reading

Our mission at Ethical Reading is to creating positive change in Reading.

In an earlier blog we mentioned some of the statistics that compare Reading with other places to live and work, comparing Reading with other urban areas in the UK. Statistics reflect all sorts of things – the sample taken, the questions asked, and the measurements used. They showed Reading to be part of a prosperous south east, ranking high on creativity.

How does Reading feel to the people who live and work there?. At a recent meeting in Reading, a show of hands suggested that one in six of the people in the room were born in Reading. What has attracted other people to live in Reading since it is a place of many migrants?

A lady from Greece who teaches at the University told me, “It has such a great community”.

A young Indian entrepreneur with a business in Reading commented, “there is a creative buzz here”.

Reading has grown because it is successful, with the advantages of a conurbation with good connections without some of the disadvantages of London.  It has a few businesses with household names, and many start ups and small companies, professional services firms and consultants.

One reason for setting up Ethical Reading here is the plethora of young businesses staffed by millennials want to live and work in an ethical environment.

And a short anecdote illustrating an aspect of the Reading culture.

I found an old £10 note while clearing out a cupboard. They are only exchangeable at banks through your bank account since the end of March. My bank is First Direct, online banking with its only physical location in Leeds. I went into a branch of Santander bank in the centre of Reading. The lady on duty thought a moment and said to a colleague, “You have an account here – if you feed it into your bank account and then take out £10 we can fix this – would that be OK?” So she did! An example of not ‘the computer says no’ but ‘the human says yes’!

Our vision at Ethical Reading is that society can be positively transformed by

Individuals like the lady at Santander

  • and organisations of all sorts – private, public, third sector
  • with deeply rooted ethical behaviour
  • who are strongly engaged with their community

So we are building a community of organisations and people in Reading to make an impact.

We believe that you eat an elephant a bite at a time. So our programme of meetups brings like-minded people together to discuss ethical issues related to ethical issues for people in their workplace and the community. The first have been on Living Wage, Mental Health, Ethics and AI, Bullying and Fairness in the Workplace. They are held at the London Road campus of the University of Reading every fourth Tuesday of the month, from 7 to 9pm, and are free.  Please sign up via our events page.

Along with Brighter Berkshire we have also set up the Brighter and Ethical Workplaces project, to help improve the mental health environment of Reading’s workplaces.

If you share our vision, please become a member! And/or email us on [email protected] to see how to help.


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