---------------- Summer Review 2016 ----------------

Welcome to our summer review for 2016.
Things flourish in the summer and this year
was no exception.

Today Magazine is pleased to have had the opportunity to interview and photograph Brian Tevreden, Technical Director of Reading FC for our cover feature.

Readibus’ latest campaign highlights positive images of local people with disabilities and helps to show what can be achieved.

In our feature of Theatretrain we were able to interview Tiffany King the creative force behind the Reading franchise. Tiffany and her team support young people in finding their talent and entertaining family and friends.

2016 is the 50th anniversary of Barbados’ independence. The Barbados and Friends Association (Reading) have put on some events at Reading Museum and we speak to the organisers to find

out more. We’ve also had the privilege of interviewing Una Chandler who typifies that journey from a childhood in Barbados to establishing a life in Reading. Her journey of courage and faith includes becoming the first Black lay minister in her Methodist Chapter.

We review the audiobook version of ‘Before Happiness’ by Shawn Achor. His book can help you to think about the life you want and then show you how your thinking and doing can lead to success.

With Cianna’s Smile we have an opportunity to support a little girl with Sickle Cell anaemia, and help her family to educate schools and health care practitioners
whilst supporting families with the disease.

If you’re reminiscing about the summer Olympics and would like a taste of Brazil, then Reading’s very own local café ‘Pau Brasil’ would like to welcome you to check out their quirky building and Brazilian cuisine.

Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP

---------------------- Spring 2016 ----------------------

Reading Year of Culture 2016 continues to shine a spotlight on the town. We speak to Year of Culture producer Zsuzsi Lindsay to get a behind the scenes idea of what it’s all about.

With the mainstream media coverage, the term refugee is not always used accurately. That is what we find out when we interview Nick Harborne of Reading Refugee Support Group.

Our cover star is Paralympics basketball player and television presenter Ade Adepitan MBE. He is well known for his skills and talents but as a survivor of polio he has shown how it is possible to face and work with our challenges and create the life we want.

Tedx Reading speaker and coach Jenny Garrett talks about her experience of being mentored and mentoring others.

As one of the longest serving boxing referees Jeff Hinds has seen many tough bouts in his time. His refereeing has taken him from The 02 Arena to The Royal Albert Hall and live on American Television.

In a completely different aspect of the sport we find boxing promoter Marvin Bartley. He is a professional footballer who grew up in Reading and enjoys putting on boxing events. He is a wonderful mix of humility with ambition.

We provide some wonderful images from the annual Sikh Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan event. We also take a look at colour analysis with Caroline Shaw and discuss tattoos with Perri Leigh.

Check out our travel piece on luxurious Qatar before you plan your next break.

 Do let us know what you think of TODAY and engage with our twitter feed
@Today_Magazine and on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/todaymag


Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP

------------------ Autumn/Winter 2015 ------------------

At Today Magazine we share positive stories from our communities. Many people are making a difference through their efforts and it is good to recognise them.

There is a theme of courage running through the articles in this edition. The Sikh and other Indian soldiers who fought in World War 1 showed great courage despite being ill prepared for their fateful journey. In ‘Legacy of Valour’ Inderpal Singh has created a project and exhibition where they can be remembered.

As a survivor of the Paddington rail crash in 1999 Pam Warren has found the courage to deal with her traumatic experience and rebuild a full life. We can learn lessons from how this near death experience informs the life she lives now. Creativity is another way to show courage. Singer/songwriter Brother B, Animator Shannel and Artist Edva Connor all have this in abundance as they offer their work to the world.

The East Reading Festival was a lovely opportunity to celebrate community talents. The pictures show you how many people chose to come out and support local projects and performers. I thoroughly enjoyed the great weather, food, entertainment and community spirit.

This year we covered Africa Fashion Week London and the vibrancy and creativity leaps off the page.  If you are beginning to think of your next holiday then see our review of Malta with Fiona Carney, who has lived there for a couple of years.

For our book review we look at The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. In it she encourages us to stop chasing perfection. Why should we do this? The gifts of imperfection are courage, compassion and connection.

We hope you find Today Magazine informative, entertaining and a refreshing change.

We would love to hear from you so do contact us.



Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP


-------------- Spring/Summer Review 2015 --------------

Welcome to our spring/summer review. There have been many events highlighting the energy and diversity of the Thames Valley and we highlight some of these here.

Courtenay Griffiths QC was the keynote speaker at the Alliance for Cohesion & Racial Equality (ACRE) annual general meeting and shared knowledge and insights around the impact of legislation seeking to prevent terrorism.

Barbados and Friends Association held its first seminar on safeguarding children, which brought together Reading Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, Reading Children & Voluntary

Youth Services and ACRE. They are all concerned about the

safety and wellbeing of our children and the 70 participants requested follow-up activity. The children’s theme is picked up in celebrating the Mary Seacole Day Nursery and the significant role

it has had in the lives of many children and families. We also

spend some time with staff at the MAPP centre where Mary Seacole Day Nursery is based.

More locally we’ve interviewed the people behind the Coley food bank to find out how they came to set it up, how it works and how you can support them.  One of their customers spoke to us to share how much they mean to him.

We speak to Cathy Poole about the death of her beloved son Ryan and listen to her memories from that time as well as the impact of his death on their family. It is wonderful to meet people finding and living their passion through their business activities. Jimmy loves teaching people to drive and is able to do this through his driving school. Shaih loves fashion and has now set up her own label “Dont Judge”.

For our travel piece we go to Kuwait. As you will see from our pictures there is much more to Kuwait than desert, camels and souks. Whatever your plans, enjoy the remainder of summer.


Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP

----------- Autumn/Winter Review 2014/2015 -----------

Welcome to our Autumn/Winter edition. Afrovibes celebrates some fantastic theatre, dance and culture from South Africa and we bring you their highlights here. They select some of the best performers and stories, both historical and present day.

We also share images from the SWIPE project in Slough. For their “Remember the times” project they spoke to many older people who moved to Slough from the Caribbean in the 1960’s and 1970’s, to find out how they made a home there. It touches on their experiences of work, community and entertainment.

We have uncovered many newer talents launching their business and careers in the area. You can mend any body aches with Theo’s Osteopathy service and enjoy ‘Caribbean Crush’ dance classes with Niquelle. Local fashion designer Zehra lets us in behind the scenes and shows off some of her beautiful designs. Both Niquelle and Zehra are hard working, determined and creative young women with great self-belief. It is wonderful to see this and to encourage it.

We speak to Shanice about the sad and sudden death of her beloved boyfriend Aston. The sudden loss of a young person who was not unwell can be very hard to bear. She is very honest about the pain of losing someone you love.

With African Cuisine at Faith Kitchen restaurant and travel images from Peru you can access many cultures through the magazine. Rios’ piece on dialect reminds us that our language is also affected by many cultures. Have you stopped to wonder what influences the words you use and the way you express yourself?
You might be influenced by much more than you realise. We spend an evening with local heavyweight boxer Michael Sprott as he shares his story so far and his hopes for the future.

The Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality (ACRE) provides a platform for celebrating our communities. We share the pictures from their successful event to give you a flavour of the day.


Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP

------------------ Summer Review 2014 ------------------

Welcome to our review of summer 2014. In this edition we cover education, music, business, fashion, travel, art, dining and community. 

Our cover star is Denise Pearson: from 5 Star performances to going solo via Thriller Live and The Voice, Denise has covered the range. She has decades of experience yet her latest album ‘Imprint’ seems current. She gives us some insight into her life and work from growing up in Berkshire to touring with The Jacksons. She is a hardworking and impressive lady.

Reading Community Carnival reminds us of the colourful spectacle that is carnival, with its Caribbean inspired music, food and dance. Many local people and organisations were involved and the pictures give you a flavour of the day.

For many, serving their community is a local calling but for one Berkshire resident, Karen Roach, this meant travelling to South Africa. She shares with us what her life is like now, the people she

serves regularly and how it fits in to her greater sense of her life’s purpose. 

Our business articles on Diversity, and Berkshire Black Business reminds us of the importance of being visible and successful for our communities and ourselves. The Asian Women of Achievement Awards demonstrates this. We also include beautiful images of children’s fashion and appreciate the expressive art of face painting. There’s time too to explore the fantastic music  of Lu Cozma. 

If you fancy a taste of India then you could read our review of the recently relaunched Karma Restaurant, situated by the river in Caversham. This serves tasty Indian food, cooked traditionally. Further afield we explore holidaying in Thailand in our piece Temples and Bicycles.

Do take a look at our book review ‘The Imposter Syndrome’ which is based on lots of research and explores why gifted and talented people may lack the confidence to make progress in their lives. First you can see if this sounds like you and then you can decide what to do next.

Do let us know what you think of TODAY and engage with our twitter feed 

@Today_Magazine and on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/todaymag


Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP

------------------ Spring Edition 2014 ------------------

Welcome to our spring edition of TODAY magazine.
I enjoy this time of year with brighter evenings and extended days along with the Easter holidays. It seems we are all springing back into life.

Our cover star is the dynamic philanthropist, psychotherapist, author and speaker Camila Batmanghelidjh. She has dedicated her life to improving the lives of disadvantaged children and has been doing so for almost 20 years. The fact that she is still classed as a refugee and has dyslexia has not stood in her way. She is driven by her commitment and passion for this purpose.

We celebrate other triumphs too when we explore the lives of theatre director Paulette Randall and Olympic athlete Dalton Grant. Paulette has dedicated her life to the theatre and her talents were rewarded when Danny Boyle asked her to support him in directing the opening ceremony for London 2012. We speak about this, race and her journey in the theatre. Dalton Grant was part of the bid team that won the games for London. He opens up about his humble beginnings in Hackney, giving back, sacrifice, family and motivation.

We celebrate with Slough’s David Mascowe launching his own record label West Stone Records. He is looking to release positive music, nurture new talent and be an example of a successful black record label in the U.K. Cianna’s Smile is another local initiative aimed at raising awareness of sickle cell anaemia. Find out how you can support Cianna’s mum in gaining charity status this year.

Like many people I also indulge in a bit of spring-cleaning at this time of year, mostly the constant decluttering. We review Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, which helps us to look at our approach to our lives and our relationships.


Finally, if you can’t wait to really feel the sun on your skin then you can always take a trip to the Isle of Spice. The sights and tastes of the Caribbean island of Grenada should get you in the mood for summer or you can plan a get-away now.


Do let us know what you think of TODAY and engage with our twitter feed @Today_ Magazine and on our Facebook page - todaymag



Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP


------------------ Special Edition 2013 ------------------

Welcome to our special edition of Today Magazine profiling political women of colour who are making their mark in the world and are passionate about their opportunity to serve. Many of the women have been first at what they do including MP’s in the UK, such as Dianne Abbott MP. Each leader uses her role to inspire others to make a positive difference in our world.

Our cover features the talented American First Lady Michelle Obama. She campaigned alongside her husband to present their family to the electorate. As a highly successful attorney and campaigner she is as qualified to be President and has found many ways to serve her country. She is passionate about health and fitness, equipping people to eat better, exercise more and access better health advice. 

We have included two other international political women, namely the iconic Winnie Mandela of South Africa who played a crucial role in the transformation of her country and Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson who was again elected in 2012. 

I will end with an extract from First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech to the Democratic National Convention in September 2012: “ Barack and I were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable – their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves.”

We hope you enjoy and take inspiration from this issue – please do let us know!



Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP


------------------ Autumn Edition 2013 ------------------

 Welcome to our Autumn edition of Today Magazine. October is a very busy month with World Mental Health Day and Black History Month being celebrated. 


Our cover star, former British and World Boxing Champion Frank Bruno MBE captures both of these themes. As a boxer Frank Bruno has experienced many highs in his career. However his retirement has been followed by many lows, particularly in 2003 when he was taken away by police under the Mental Health Act (1983). Frank was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder and we can read his interview with mental health expert Hàri Sewell. It is a reminder that we all need to look after our mental health. 


World Mental Health Day is a reminder to do so by leading a balanced life, regardless of our age. All the advice is about healthy living to include diet, exercise, relaxation, maintaining good relationships and being part of a supportive network. It is good to see that the young people in our Vox Pop are already looking after their mental health. We spend time with the internationally celebrated author Merle Collins as she releases her first biography on the first female governor general in the Commonwealth. Diane Abbott MP   

celebrates the heights achieved by several Black students and we were pleased to witness their poise and optimism as they received their awards. We hear so much of black underachievement it is great to focus on the successes to get a more balanced view.


We also celebrate achievement by interviewing House of Loulee designer Lucy Lee who has created a fantastic children’s clothing range from very humble beginnings. Tony Charles of Mi-MEDIA shares his route to success and his desire to do this for others. Both are examples of hard work and dedication. M.E. sufferer and marathon runner Karen Roach is an example of how we can give our best and care for others, even if we have been terribly unwell. She is making a difference to the lives of many.


If you are dreaming of some winter sun then see our travel feature on Kenya.




Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP

------------------ Summer Edition 2013 ------------------

After the late spring and unpredictable weather it’s been great to have many sunny days – summer is finally here. In this edition we have included many items that can help us relax and unwind, from enjoying live local musicians at Bridges Bar and Grill to watching Lenny Henry on stage (theatre review) to looking after our diet and exercise with Fitfish.

You may have noticed our very special cover, Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York. Her story is one of success, failure and then success. From having a high profile marriage to the Duke of York and being friends with Princess Diana she lost everything when her marriage fell apart. Remarkably she would find the inner resources to pick herself up and turn her life around to become a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist in her own right.

Our magazine is bursting with many role models who have found a way to use their passion and talents to create something that others can enjoy. Adrian Grant created the Michael Jackson magazine, Of The Wall, before creating theatre productions such as Thriller live. Jeff Hinds shares his passion for calypso music

in his annual AJ’s Calypso Tent. Cecily Mwaniki has used her passion for supporting women to set up Utulivu group, to write books on empowerment and to create new services through CM network. Gary Small uses his many skills in performing arts and creativity to expand from a music career to designing and mentoring through Ezra Connections. 

Alongside all this evolution there are some things that remain the same. Various studies continue to show that a significant minority of black boys from single parent homes struggle to reach their potential without intervention. The team at the Mapp centre are hoping to change this through their new Link-Me project offering mentoring, engagement, referral and care.

Whatever you do over the summer don’t let it pass by without noticing it.
The Power of Now (book review) can help you to find some space in your life to be fully present and not distracted by the next thing.


Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP

------------------- Spring Edition 2013 -------------------

Welcome to the spring edition of Today Magazine.
It’s been a very cold wet winter and now we are through to longer, brighter and warmer days.

We have a wonderful range of interviews and features with interesting and influential people in the local area. These role models are all learning and developing their skills and talents for the benefit of our community.

We meet Mel Stevens who through a horrendous and rare medical occurrence broke her back whist giving birth. This devastating experience has not floored her. Instead, she has found a strength and support to reorganise her life and discover different ways of coping. Along the way she has worked with her local authority to change the way that they support new parents with physical and emotional challenges.

Our contributor Ayshea Newsam interviewed our cover star Nadia Shepherd. Nadia shares her career in the music business and the joys she’s experienced so far. She also has ambitions to

manage groups and try new things such as presenting and acting.

We also cover fashion with Damson Belle, theatre with Love Sax and All That Jazz and film making with Mark Straker. These very talented individuals share their latest projects with us. Alongside this we celebrate the fantastic Trinidad Carnival 2013 with its colour and vibrancy.

In this time of great need we profile local charities that are making a difference in the lives of others. CIRWC offers a place of respite and support to all women. Berkshire Women’s Aid and Amirah Foundation give advice and support to women (and men) who are experiencing domestic violence.

We hope these articles inspire and encourage you. We are always happy to receive your comments and feedback, so do get in touch via email mail@todaymag.co.uk. 


Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP

------------------ Autumn Edition 2012 ------------------

What a summer it’s been, with the Olympics and Paralympics taking up our attention. The world came to London and London was ready. Whether you were looking forward to the Olympics or not you couldn’t help but notice it was going on. Many of us might have found ourselves supporting more than one country for medals. I was supporting Team GB and hoping that Grenada will get at least one medal – I was not disappointed. The Caribbean on the whole did very well in these games and we take a look at that in this issue. For this cover we have chosen the very talented actor Mr. Rudolph Walker OBE. We have been given an exclusive interview with Mr. Walker where he was very candid about his experiences as one of the highest profile black actors of his generation in the U.K. I hope you will get as much pleasure in reading the piece as I got from my interview with Mr. Walker. He currently appears in a long running BBC soap opera.

There is drama too in the work of local group 2Heavy Productions. We discover more about the work of this theatre group by speaking to Steve Macaulay, actor, writer, director and creator of 2Heavy 

Productions. As the group grows from strength to strength there are opportunities for young people and adults to get involved, whether on stage or behind the scenes. They have several projects in the pipeline and we look at what the group has done and where it is heading. With both Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago celebrating 50 years of independence from Britain 2012 has been a year for marking jubilees.

Their Olympic triumphs are the icing on an already rich cake. We have also interviewed local ground-breakers Louise Chandler, Polly Falconer and Simon Parris. These have all made positive contributions to the lives of local people. We celebrate with Tamuka Muchapondwa who made history this year by becoming the first Amateur Boxing Champion from Reading since 1978. So this our second issue, is packed with goodies both local and global. We are always happy to receive your comments and feedback so do feel free to get in touch.




Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP

------------------ Launch Edition 2012 ------------------

Welcome to the first edition of TODAY magazine. TODAY is a quality magazine, presenting information, features and entertaining stories from our communities. It also provides an opportunity to become more involved in your community through local events, prizes and competitions. Within these pages you will discover role models who have fresh ideas that can improve our lives. They will share how they are finding new ways to bring these thoughts into reality. Many are creative, tenacious and very inspiring.

In this first issue we focus on “Project Postcode”, Actor Winston Ellis (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Writer/Producer Mark Straker (Positive Strides) have set up this initiative. They are passionate about their industry and passionate about young people. Their desire to make a difference have led them to set up this project to support young people in their dreams, give them an opportunity to develop skills, and present them with mentors who have the relevant knowledge and experience. Through the process they will have a chance to network with and support each other on their lifelong journey towards success.

We have also been privileged to spend time with local hero, former British Heavyweight Champion Michael Sprott. He lets us into his life and shares key personal highs and lows. We also cover stories around health, fashion and cuisine so there is something for everyone. We hope you will enjoy our magazine and look forward to getting your feedback. 

This is YOUR magazine so let us have your news and views. Send your emails to mail@todaymag.co.uk


Shirley Anstis MA, B.Sc, MBACP