News from Reading Neighbourhood Network – 20 October 2017

Welcome to the latest Reading Neighbourhood Network newsletter, where you will find all the latest news and events from our members. All our news and much more can be found on our website at

News articles
  • Partner in renewable energy with RCES

    18 October 2017

    Reading Community Energy Society is a not for profit community based social enterprise founded in 2016 to establish community owned renewable energy facilities in the Reading area.

    Following its successful first year of operation, RCES is extending its portfolio of buildings to cover a radius of 10 miles from the centre of Reading and is seeking owners and users of suitable buildings to have renewable energy facilities installed on their buildings at no cost.

    Building owners and users will benefit through:
    -RCES purchasing and installing the renewable energy facility at no cost to the building owner
    -The building owner/tenant will be able to purchase electricity generated at a preferential price
    -Demonstrably supporting the uptake of low carbon technologies

    For more details or an informal discussion, please email John Malone at – or Tony Hoskins at

  • Gypsy and Traveller Provision Consultation

    12 October 2017

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    As part of the Council’s Local Plan process, an up to date Gypsy and Traveller, Travelling Showperson and Houseboat Dweller Accommodation Assessment was completed in September 2017. It shows there is a need for 10-17 permanent pitches for gypsies and travellers and for transit provision of 5 pitches in the town. It also shows a need for 2 additional plots for travelling showpeople.

    The Council has looked carefully at the scope to meet these needs within its boundaries, and has produced a Gypsy and Traveller Provision Consultation Document. This proposes a transit site at land at Cow Lane and Richfield Avenue, and also contains information on the process for considering other sites within Reading.

    The Document is open for consultation. Consultation will last until 17:00 on Tuesday 24 October 2017. Please send your written comments to the Council by e-mail to or to Planning Policy Team, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU.

    For more information and to view the Consultation Document itself see

  • Winter Watch

    10 October 2017

    Winter Watch is run by the council and a number of local voluntary and health services to make sure you do not suffer from cold in your home during the winter months.

    Winter Watch is available to Reading residents who are on a low income and either over 60, have very young children, have a disability or health concerns.

    Winter Watch can help you by:

    – Carrying out a home energy check
    – Giving advice on your bills and energy provider
    – Telling you about grants to help you insulate your home
    – Carrying out minor repairs to stop draughts
    – Lending you a heater or dehumidifier.

    You can apply for Winter Watch help until 31 March by phoning 01189 373747.

  • Reading has over 64 Champions to End Loneliness and counting!

    5 October 2017

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Reading Champions to End Loneliness Campaign launched in July with our first workshop at Reading Central Library. On Monday 2 October, we then held a stall at The Oracle to raise awareness of the campaign, get more people to sign up and commit to taking small (and big!) actions to reduce loneliness in their communities.

    Over 250 people took information, many stopped to make pledges and we had some sign up to be Champions there and then! Many champions will look to understand more about the issues and think about who it may affect in their neighbourhoods so they can take small personal actions. Some are setting up their own projects and we are sharing a range of volunteering opportunities with our champions on a regular basis that will help reduce loneliness.

    If you have other opportunities that directly tackle loneliness and you would like us to share with the Champions to End Loneliness, let us know at Also if you are a community based organisation and you would like to host a Champions to End Loneliness workshop, or find out more, please get in touch.

  • 30 hours of free childcare available

    28 September 2017

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    Parents with a child who is three or four years old may now be entitled to an extra 15 hours a week of free childcare, so 30 hours in total. You must earn the equivalent of 16 hours a week at National Minimum or Living wage, and less than £100,000 per year, to take advantage of the new initiative. Parents can check their eligibility at

    All three and four-year-olds are currently entitled to 15 hours a week of free childcare, and this will continue in tandem with the new scheme. The government is also introducing a scheme called Tax-Free Childcare which can be applied for along with the extra 15 hours through a single online form.

    To find out which providers are going to be offering the free 30 hours childcare in Reading, please visit or email

Upcoming events
  • Wed
    19:30 - 22:30Grosvenor Casino (Reading South)

    Rose Kiln Lane, Reading RG2 0SN

    Calling all aspiring eggheads! Come and show us what you’re made of at our Quiz Night and raise funds for the League of Friends of the Royal Berkshire.

    The cost is £10 a head, with tables of 6 people. This includes a buffet and entertainment.

    There will also be a charity auction with many different items to bid for, including afternoon tea for 2, a hairdo voucher, 2 passes for racing and much more.

  • Tue
    12:30 - 14:30Pizza Hut

    Oracle Riverside, Reading RG1 2AG

    Relax and have an enjoyable meal with members of the Oxford Road Timebank Lunch Club. It's open to everyone and the club is held once a month to enjoy a meal in company.

    The club meets after the Board Games Social at the Library and it's always fun, with interesting conversation. Please come and join in.

  • Wed
    18:30 - 21:30Reading Voluntary Action

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

    RVA, RCVYS and St Barnabas Fellowship of Churches are holding a workshop for voluntary sector groups in Reading on the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS).

    What will the workshop cover?
    -Background and policy context
    -Regulated Activity and the role
    -Levels of DBS disclosure
    -Completing the DBS form
    -Organisational processes and the update service
    -Working with individuals with unspent convictions
    -Responsibilities and liabilities
    -Help, support and advice available

    Who should attend? This course is for anyone who works or volunteers for a voluntary and community group and is responsible for processing DBS checks, or supervises or manages others. It is also useful for Trustees and Managers of charity’s to gain an overview of the DBS system to inform their Safeguarding Procedures.

    The course is FREE but please register at to confirm your place. If you are unable to attend, please cancel within 5 working days to enable someone else to attend. By booking a place on this course, your organisation is agreeing to pay £50 per place for non-attendance or late cancellation.

  • Wed
    18:30 - 20:30St. Saviour's Church Hall

    Berkeley Avenue, Reading RG1 6JT

    Reading SOUP's is back at a new venue for their rescheduled autumn session with the usual tasty mix of Community Projects, live music, art and freshly-made soup!

    How Reading SOUP works:
    – Pay £5 entry and get a warm bowl of soup
    – Listen to Community Projects pitch
    – Vote for your favourite Project
    – The Project with the most votes wins ALL of the door money

    There will also be LIVE MUSIC from a local act, as well as Art from Reading artists, and Freshly made, vegan-friendly Golf Ball Soup & Autumn Sweet Potato Soup.

    Find our more at:

  • Thu
    18:00 - 21:00Reading Voluntary Action

    Third Floor, Reading Central Library (rear doors), Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ

    RVA and RCVYS are working in partnership to deliver safeguarding training specifically aimed at trustees (including committee members) of charities and community groups in Reading (please note this is not training for frontline staff).

    Trustees hold the overall responsibility for the actions of their groups and it is essential to know your safeguarding responsibilities to give you the confidence to run your group effectively.

    By the end of the session you will be able to:
    -Demonstrate an awareness of the safeguarding issues that could emerge in your organisation.
    -Describe key principles and best practice in terms of your responsibilities to safeguard individuals involved with your organisation.
    -Identify resources to help you and your staff/volunteers to safeguard effectively.
    -Identify next steps for yourselves and your organisation in terms of meeting your safeguarding responsibilities.

    You will also have the opportunity to meet fellow trustees and managers from the local voluntary sector and share your best practice.

    The course is free but please register at to confirm your place. If you are unable to attend, please cancel within 5 working days to enable someone else to attend.

  • Sat
    12:00 – 16:30The Oasis Centre

    21 Baker St RG1 7XT

    Bring along your broken items and get help to repair them. The team of volunteers will be able to help repair a wide range of items including:
    -Computers (software and hardware problems)
    -Electronics and electrical items
    -Mechanical goods
    -Toys, furniture and other objects
    -Blunt and broken tools
    -Textiles and clothing

    Additionally, if you have something you are making or a craft project you are stuck with, why not bring it along and one of the repairers can give you a hand to get on the right track!

    Repair Cafe is a free event but donations are welcome to help keep it going. There’s also tea, coffee and cake!

  • Mon
    10:30 - 12:30Elevate Hub

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

    Join us for our regular Volunteer Coordinators’ Network meeting facilitated by Reading Voluntary Action.

    You will have a chance to contribute to the agenda ahead of time so that we can make sure your issue or concern can be given some attention, as well as having the opportunity to seek peer support in a confidential space from others in a similar role.

    The format is pretty informal RVA provides the tea and coffee. Feel free to bring your sandwich and eat with us if it helps your day along. You don’t need to stay for the whole event – we know everyone’s busy.

    Free registration at

  • Thu
    11:00 - 13:00The Weller Centre

    110 Amersham Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 5NA

    All 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 with little or no paid staff, it is important that volunteers receive basic safeguarding training.

    RVA are hosting this mini workshop, which has been designed with volunteers of community groups in mind.

    Course outcomes
    By the end of the course volunteers will be able to:
    -Describe circumstances that can make adults vulnerable to abuse
    -Recognise possible indicators of abuse
    -Respond in line with the safeguarding procedures if abuse is found or suspected
    -Report and record appropriately
    -Recognise your duty of care to safeguard adults
    -Understand the importance of professional boundaries and the consequences of breach

    The course is free but please register at to confirm your place. If you are unable to attend, please cancel within 5 working days to enable someone else to attend.

  • Tue
    16:30 - 18:30Reading Community Learning Centre

    94 London Street, Reading RG1 4SJ

    You are warmly invited to our 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 28 November 2017 at Reading Community Learning Centre.

    The AGM is a great opportunity to hear about our activities, see our premises and celebrate our achievements over the past 12 months. We’d also like to hear your views on our work as we plan for the year ahead.

    Members of Reading Community Learning Centre will be able to vote in the Trustee elections and other formal business. Membership is open to everyone. If you’re interested in becoming a member, please contact Aisha Malik (details below).

    Please confirm your attendance at our AGM by Friday 24 November 2017. You can reserve your place by contacting Aisha Malik, Centre Manager.

    Contact Details:
    Call: 01189 599009

  • Wed
    10:00 - 13:00Reading Voluntary Action

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

    Whether you are a new organisation, have recently grown, changed committee members or are in the process of change this practical session will help you understand and improve your budgeting process. This will be useful to trustees, including chairs and treasurers as well as Chief Execs. The session highlights the key roles in setting and benefiting from a sound budget.

    Aims of the workshop
    -To build understanding of the importance of budgeting
    -To build confidence and ability to build a budget
    -To leave the workshop having started the work to ensure a sound budget for the coming financial year

    Learning outcomes: The content covered will be tailored depending on the needs of delegates on the day. However typically attendees will:
    -Understand the basis on which budgets may be built
    -Understand how to identify fixed and variable costs
    -Be able to create a flexible budget
    -Consider the impact of uncertainty, risk and contingencies
    -Be able to explain their budget to key stakeholders

    The workshop will be open to up to 8 delegates. Post course support is available, with each organisation entitled to up to one hour’s email support to follow up issues covered on the course.

    The training is at our reduced rate of £40. There are a limited number of FREE places for RNN members using the usual promotional code - please contact us at if you need this code.

    Please register at

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