Newsletter (original version)

  • Excited by social action and its potential?

    19 July 2018

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Would you like to play a vital role in shaping social action in Reading?

    RVA is currently seeking to appoint 2 experienced, talented and committed people to strengthen our Board of Trustees.

    We are looking for trustees who are excited by social action and who:
    -Demonstrate an interest and commitment to the work of Reading Voluntary Action
    -Are clear thinkers and good communicators
    -Understand and are willing to enforce the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
    -Have a strong commitment to improving the lives of the people of Reading

    If you are interested in finding out more contact advice@rva.org.uk for an information pack and details of our ‘getting to know you’ event.

    Continue reading →

  • Consultation on New Secondary School in Reading

    18 July 2018

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    Parents and members of the public are being invited to take part in a consultation on proposals for a new secondary school in Reading.

    The Council selected a preferred location for a new 6-form entry secondary school last month to cope with the on-going growth in demand for school places in the town.

    Land at Richfield Avenue, west of Rivermead Leisure Centre and bordering Thameside Promenade, has been chosen as the preferred site for the new 900-place free school to open in September 2021.

    A formal consultation on the plans will be the first step towards identifying a provider for the new school and the Council applying for Department for Education (DfE) funding under its Wave 13 Free Schools programme.

    Members of the public are being asked what key features they would be looking for in a new secondary school, what the curriculum should focus on, what characteristics would be the most important, options for admission criteria and the preferred type of academy to run the school.

    The consultation document are available online at: https://consult.reading.gov.uk and the deadline for responses is 31 August 2018.

    Continue reading →

  • Open for Applications: Big Lottery Building Connections

    17 July 2018

    Earlier this month the government announced it would be allocating £11 million to charities through its Building Connections initiative to tackle loneliness and isolation. Part of this funding is now open for applications through the Big Lottery. The closing date for applications is 12:00 on 24 August and the funding will be announced in December 2018.

    Big Lottery – The Big Lottery confirms that almost £9 million will be distributed through them and they will support projects already working to prevent or reduce loneliness to increase their impact.

    Grants of between £30,000 and £100,000 will be available for projects which reach out to people of all ages who feel lonely or isolated, and encourage them to take part in activities, helping them to feel more connected. To find out more and apply, see the Big Lottery website.

    Co-op Foundation – The remaining £2 million will be distributed by the Co-op Foundation, the UK’s leading funder of projects tackling youth loneliness. Grants of up to £80,000 will be available for youth organisations already helping young people avoid long-term loneliness.

    Successful applicants will receive funding to explore youth loneliness in greater depth, test youth-led innovations within their current services, and share learning as part of the Co-op Foundation’s national Belong network of youth partners.

    Applications to this youth-focused strand of the Building Connections Fund will open in August 2018. Guidance and criteria are available on the Co-op Foundation website.

    Continue reading →

  • Berkshire Community Foundation – symposium registration now open

    5 July 2018

    News from: Berkshire Community Foundation

    Berkshire Community Foundation’s annual Symposium will take place this year on Monday 8 October at the Green Park Conference Centre, Reading. You are invited to register for your free place at www.eventbrite.co.uk.

    Due to the high demand of previous years the number of available places has been increased to 150. However, we already have over half the spaces reserved so please register soon to guarantee your spot.

    We look forward to welcoming you on the day.

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  • Have your say: proposed flood defences for the Thames

    4 July 2018

    North Reading and Lower Caversham have been flooded a number of times in recent years. In 2012 and 2014, homes and businesses in low lying areas of Caversham were flooded and in 2003, many houses were surrounded by floodwater and a number of roads were closed to vehicles.

    The Environment Agency is investigating how to reduce flooding from the River Thames in north Reading and Lower Caversham. A number of options have been identified, all of which need further investigation to decide which, if any, could be taken forward.

    The Environment Agency would like to hear your views on the options they have been investigating as well as general feedback to help make sure they have considered all possible options before developing a design.

    Full details and the online consultation are at https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/thames/reading-and-caversham-flood-reduction-options. The deadline for responses is Friday 26 July 2018.

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  • Save the date: Reading’s second Disability Awareness Day

    28 June 2018

    The Physical Disability and Sensory Needs Partnership Network (PDSN) is hosting Reading’s second Disability Awareness Day on Wednesday 8 August 2018. The event will celebrate the diversity of Reading residents and visitors who may have a physical disability, sensory need or neurological condition.

    Disabled people, their families, carers, voluntary organisations and other service providers will have the opportunity to gather and be part of what promises to be a fun-filled and informative day. The free event will take place from 11:00 to 14:00 at the Weller Centre, 110 Amersham Road, Caversham, Reading, RG4 5NA.

    Plans for the day include free refreshments, information stalls, performances, entertainment for adults and children as well as interactive disability awareness sessions. There will be activities for people of all ages including Seated Tai Chi, Pampering Club and Messy Play.

    Organisations participating in the event include: The Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, Reading Fibromyalgia, Thames Valley Police, Arthritis Matters, Able World: Aids Mobility, Reading Deaf Centre, Carers Hub, Reading Crossroads, New Directions, REMAP Berkshire (bespoke daily living aids), Unlock your Wellbeing, Readibus, My Care My Home (financial advice for care and support), United Response, and Compass Recovery College.

    To find out more about the day please contact 01189 372383 or email pdsn@reading.gov.uk.

    Continue reading →

  • Passionate about community? Take a look at our September launch

    27 June 2018

    Launching this autumn, a new project from RVA…

    Are you passionate about a cause in Reading, have links to particular community group and skills to share? Would you like to help a community group to improve their governance and how they operate, without becoming a trustee?

    Join the Social Action Mentors:
    -Receive basic good governance training from the RVA Advice Worker
    -Put this into practice by mentoring your community group
    -Be part of a network of Social Action Mentors in Reading
    -Great for your personal and professional development!

    At the launch event on Tuesday 11 September you will have the opportunity to find out more, receive some initial training and meet other Social Action Mentors.

    Please book through www.eventbrite.co.uk.

    Continue reading →

  • ‘Building Connections Fund’ to open in July 2018

    26 June 2018

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    The Prime Minister announced this week that charities and community groups will get £20 million of new funding to help isolated people and those suffering from loneliness.

    The funding will go towards supporting and expanding programmes that bring people together and are proving to benefit communities and includes a new £11 million Building Connections Fund. This fund will be used to help make the most of local spaces, such as by opening them up for community use, and helping businesses and local services working to combat isolation. It will also support groups to understand the impact of their work and share best practice about how to prevent loneliness.

    Funding applications for the Building Connections Fund will open from July 2018 with grants available until the end of December 2020.

    For more information see the government press release at https://www.gov.uk/government/news.

    Continue reading →

  • Struggling communities to be given a lifeline by new fundraising campaign

    25 June 2018

    News from: Berkshire Community Foundation

    Berkshire is seen by many as epitomising the South East, a prosperous and successful county. But behind this image is another Berkshire, one with hidden deprivation. Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF) is putting a spotlight on this hidden Berkshire with the launch of their new campaign: Vital for Berkshire.

    People across Berkshire are struggling to cope with a range of issues including a safe home, good health and secure employment – the effects of which are disastrous for our community.
    -Almost a quarter of children in Reading are living in poverty
    -More than 162,000 working days were lost to work related stress, depression and anxiety in 2015-16. Many firms have no support systems in place

    These are just a couple of shocking statistics from life in our county. Vital for Berkshire will go beyond the statistics to uncover areas where local communities are struggling. A safe home, good health and secure employment are interdependent and underpin well-being – a key message from Berkshire’s Vital Signs 2017.

    Gerry Lejeune, Chief Executive of BCF, said:

    Vital for Berkshire will raise funds and awareness to address the needs of Berkshire. This support is a lifeline for people with nowhere else to turn. This campaign will be the main focus of our granting over the next two years.

    To find out more and make a donation please visit www.berkshirecf.org/giving/vital4berkshire.

    Continue reading →

  • Police Property Act Fund open for applications

    21 June 2018

    The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, and the Chief Constable, Francis Habgood, have opened a new grant round of the Police Property Act Fund.

    Last year £92,950 was distributed to 28 different organisations in addressing Police and Crime Plan priorities and the PCC and Chief Constable expect to allocate around £100,000 in this grant round.

    Applications are now invited from local voluntary and community groups who can contribute towards two of the PCC’s strategic objectives in his Police and Crime Plan priorities, which are:
    -Reducing re-offending
    -Serious organised crime and terrorism

    Some examples of projects that may be considered include those that aim to reduce exploitation of young people through gang membership, reduce or prevent violent crime, rehabilitate offenders or prevent exploitation by organised criminals. However, all applications will be required to submit clear evidence of how their project or activity already contributes towards achieving the key aim indicated.

    The closing date for this round of applications is 12:00 on Monday 17 July 2018 and applications will be considered jointly by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the Chief Constable. More information and the application form can be found on the website at www.thamesvalley-pcc.gov.uk.

    Continue reading →

Upcoming events

  • Tue
    24
    Jul
    2018
    10:15 - 13:15Reading Central Library

    Third Floor, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ

    All charities, voluntary and community groups have a duty to keep their service users safe from harm. As most charities and community groups run through the hard work and dedication of volunteers, it is important that volunteers as well as paid staff receive basic safeguarding training.

    This course will cover

    • Basic information on Child Protection and Safeguarding Children and Young People
    • Types of abuse, including child trafficking, child sexual exploitation and FGM
    • How to recognise abuse: the signs and symptons
    • What to do when you recognise abuse: the referral process
    • The importance of a multi-agency approach in safeguarding children and young people
    • Safe practice

    Who should attend: Anyone who works or volunteers with a charity, community or voluntary sector group in Reading whose work or volunteering brings them into contact with children or young people in whatever circumstances, whether they are new to the role or require a refresher.

    The trainer: These sessions are hosted by RVA and will be delivered by approved Safeguarding Trainers, who have received training via Reading Borough Council, Safeguarding Children Services.

    Please book online at www.eventbrite.co.uk. The cost is £10 per person and includes refreshments and handouts.

  • Sun
    29
    Jul
    2018
    10:45 - 12:15The Reading Irish Centre

    96-104 Chatham Street, Reading RG1 7HT

    This month at the Sunday Assembly Reading we are going to be talking on the weighty subjects (which are often of no practical use) and the trivial (the important stuff that is real life).

    Philosophical Dating takes the format of Speeding Dating, but we're looking for intellectual enlightenment, experience sharing and having a laugh rather than romance. No background in philosophy is required in the slightest.

    Then add some great songs, sung with The Word Of Bob, and all the other fun things that make a Sunday Assembly. If the weather stays lovely we’ll picnic in Forbury Gardens after at about 13:15.

    Sunday Assembly Reading is free to attend and runs entirely on donations. The Assembly is a secular congregation that celebrates life, meeting once a month at The Reading Irish Centre and welcomes all ages and all backgrounds.

  • Sat
    04
    Aug
    2018
    10:00 StartColey Park Comunity Centre

    140 Wensley Road, Reading RG1 6DW

    Come and join us for Breastfeeding Berkshire’s sixth time hosting a Big Latch On for Reading!

    This year isn’t just about the Big Latch On though. We’re turning 5 years old too! You are invited to help us celebrate 5 years of mothers supporting mothers.

    You don’t need to be a Breastfeeding Berkshire member to come along to the event. We welcome former members, pregnant women and breastfeeding supporters as well as your families. Please invite anyone you think might be interested! We’d also like to extend a special invite to anyone who are ever helped admin or moderate the group.

    For the latest details please the event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/247881245968096/.

  • Sat
    04
    Aug
    2018
    11:00 - 21:30Abbey Rugby Football Club

    Peppard Road, Emmer Green, Reading RG4 8XA

    A music festival for adults and young people with additional needs. Our site is completely flat and wheelchair friendly. The music is not too loud with no flashing lights. We have a sensory area and chill out tent.

    The site is large, with plenty of room to move about and adjacent parking. We have all the usual festival things – food, drink, stalls, workshops and of course fantastic music and a DJ festival set to close.

    Bring a chair, tent, gazebo and settle down for a fantastic day!

  • Wed
    08
    Aug
    2018
    11:00 - 14:00The Weller Centre

    110 Amersham Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 5NA

    The Physical Disability and Sensory Needs Partnership Network (PDSN) is hosting Reading’s second Disability Awareness Day on Wednesday 8 August 2018. The event is open to all and will celebrate the diversity of Reading residents and visitors who may have a physical disability, sensory need or neurological condition.

    Disabled people, their families, carers, voluntary organisations and other service providers will have the opportunity to gather and be part of what promises to be a fun-filled and informative day. The free event will take place from 11:00 to 14:00 at the Weller Centre.

    The day will include free refreshments, information stalls, performances, entertainment for adults and children as well as interactive disability awareness sessions. There will be activities for people of all ages including Seated Tai Chi, Pampering Club and Messy Play.

    A poster for the event can be downloaded here. To find out more about the day please contact 0118 937 2383 or email pdsn@reading.gov.uk.

  • Sat
    01
    Sep
    2018
    12:00 onwardsKing's Meadow Park

    Reading RG1 8BN

    Reading Pride's annual Parade & Festival returns for its fifteenth year on Saturday 1 September at Kings Meadow. The Festival kicks off when the Parade arrives at 12:00 with a full line-up of entertainment throughout the day along with a funfair, youth area, a wide range of food, drink and marketstalls.

    Pride is organised by the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and provides free fun for all the family. For more information see the website at readingpride.co.uk.

  • Sat
    08
    Sep
    2018
    14:00 - 17:00Caversham Court Gardens

    Church Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7AD

    Take a tour of the historic gardens and fine specimen trees and visit the listed 17th Century summer house to see an exhibition about Extraordinary Women of Caversham available on Saturday and Sunday.

    Guided tours of the beautiful gardens and the listed 17th Century summer house give a unique glimpse of the history of the house that once stood on this site, of the families who lived here and the history of Caversham and its links with Reading, across the Thames.

    Sensory tours for visually or hearing impaired people are available on request, led by experienced guides from the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens. The charity-run Tea Kiosk will be open on site.

  • Tue
    11
    Sep
    2018
    17:30 - 19:30Reading Voluntary Action

    Third Floor, Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ

    Are you passionate about a cause in Reading, have links to particular community group and skills to share? Would you like to help a community group to improve their governance and how they operate, without becoming a trustee?

    Join the Social Action Mentors:

    • Receive basic good governance training from the RVA Advice Worker
    • Put this into practice by mentoring your community group
    • Be part of a network of Social Action Mentors in Reading
    • Great for your personal and professional development!

    At this launch event you will have the opportunity to find out more, receive some initial training and meet other Social Action Mentors. Light refreshments from 17:30, with a 17:45 start.

    The event is free, but please register at www.eventbrite.co.uk to confirm your place.

  • Thu
    20
    Sep
    2018
    10:15 - 13:15Reading Voluntary Action

    Third Floor, Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ

    If you are new to the role of treasurer for a charity, if you would like a refresher of the role, or if you would simply like to find out more about being a treasurer, this course is for you. If you aren’t yet volunteering as a treasurer but would like to, RVA can then help place you with an organisation to put your new skills into practice

    Aims of the workshop

    • To build an understanding of the role of a treasurer in a small voluntary organization
    • To ensure the ability to deal with the specifics of the finances of a small voluntary organization
    • To give confidence about the issues that are likely to be faced by a treasurer of a small voluntary organisation

    Learning outcomes - The content covered will be tailored depending on the needs of delegates on the day. However typically attendees will:

    • Understand their financial responsibilities as trustees
    • Understand the particular requirements for the accounts of a small voluntary organisation
    • Be aware of corporate governance issues facing small voluntary organisations
    • Be ready to resolve issues with record keeping and know where to get help if they need it
    • Be able to determine if the organisation they volunteer with needs an audit or independent examination of their accounts

    The workshop will be open to up to 12 delegates. It will be aimed primarily at new volunteers who wish to act as treasurers in Reading’s voluntary sector, but will also be suitable for volunteers who are stepping up to the role of treasurer.

    The course is at our reduced rate of £50 for Reading based charities and community groups. There are a limited number of FREE places for RNN members using the usual promotional code - please contact us at info@rgneighbours.net if you need this code.

    Please register at www.eventbrite.co.uk.

  • Sat
    22
    Sep
    2018
    10:00 - 18:00Reading Town Hall and St Laurences Church

    Blagrave Street, Reading RG1 1QH

    Reading's Vegan Festival is a celebration of all things vegan. It's an opportunity for anyone who wants to find out more, to try food, hear inspirational and informative speakers, find out what a range of local and national charities do and find out more about the range of ethical and cruelty free products that are out there.

    Expect to see stalls selling vegan hot and cold food, makeup, perfume, clothing, tea and coffee. We are expanding our workshops and demos this year, plus we have the hugely popular face-painting and story time for all kids big and small.

    The festival festival will take place in the Town Hall, as well as St Laurences Church, and with a street food market in Market Place.

    The event is free so it's accessible for everyone, whether you're already vegan, curious about veganism or had never given it a thought in your life before!

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