News from Reading Neighbourhood Network – 23 August 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
  • East Reading Festival 2018: get involved!

    10 August 2017

    News from: East Reading Festival

    We want to make our 10th annual East Reading Festival bigger and better than ever! All East Reading communities and residents are invited for this free event on Sunday 17 June 2018 in Palmer Park. Save the date and watch this space for further information.

    The first meeting of our new committee will be on Tuesday 3 October 2017, 20:00 at 10 Duke Street, Reading RG1 4RU.

    We are going to need volunteers needed to help organise elements of this festival – please contact Matthew Foster by email at if you are interested.

  • Funding opportunity – Active Communities now open!

    9 August 2017

    Local groups and organisations with great ideas to make their communities even better places to live are now invited to apply for funding to turn their ideas into reality.

    Active Communities is a funding programme for community groups and not-for-profit organisations, with an income of less than £350,000 a year or an average of £350,000 over two years.

    The HealthConfirm programme is open for applications in Wokingham, West Berkshire, Reading, Windsor and Maidenhead, Slough and Bracknell Forest. The deadline for applications is 6 September at 13:00.

    Find out more about the two stage process and download the online application form from the website at

  • Free food for charities!

    27 July 2017

    FareShare is a charity aimed at relieving food poverty and reducing food waste in the UK. It does this by rescuing good-quality surplus food that would otherwise have gone to waste and sending it to over 2000 charity and community groups across the United Kingdom.

    They work with all sectors of the supply chain – producers, manufacturers and retailers – and will only redistribute food inside its best before and use by date.

    FareShare are currently matching up the three Aldi stores in Reading with groups that could benefit.

    If you are interested please contact Michael Kind by email at

  • Big Lottery Fund updates guidance for Awards for All

    20 July 2017

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    The Big Lottery Fund has simplified the guidance notes for its small grants programme Awards for All, including fewer restrictions and new priorities.

    Awards for All offers grants of between £300 and £10,000 to voluntary and community organisations, schools and statutory bodies in order to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. To be eligible for funding, projects must now meet at least one of the following three priorities:

    -Bringing people together and building strong relationships in and across communities
    -Improving the places and spaces that matter to communities
    -Enabling more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage

    Communities should be involved in the design, development and delivery of projects. Examples of eligible costs include training costs, volunteer expenses, staff costs, small capital projects, transport, one-off events, equipment, utilities and other running costs.

    Priority may be given to applications from smaller organisations. Details and instructions on how to apply at

  • Narrowing the Gap II – save the dates

    18 July 2017

    Reading Borough Council is inviting voluntary and community groups to two sessions to help shape a new commissioning framework for local services. This framework will set out funding opportunities from June 2018 when the current ‘Narrowing the Gap’ funding arrangements come to an end.

    The final set of themes will be determined after the consultation, but the Council will be considering what services will meet local need around tackling poverty, building supportive communities, promoting health and wellbeing, and reducing calls on statutory care services.

    The two half-day consultation events will be at the council’s offices on Plaza West, on the afternoons of 17 August and 26 September. Further details will be advertised shortly.

    If you would like to register your interest now, please email

  • Still time to help shape RNN’s future! Survey deadline 31 July

    14 July 2017

    By David Neale, Reading Neighbourhood Network

    After more than four years it’s time for a review of Reading Neighbourhood Network’s structure and how it operates.

    We are now going through a period of much change, with council budget reductions and many calls on the local voluntary sector for help. We are fortunate to have enough funding to continue, but right now we don’t have enough engagement and support to be sustainable in the long term.

    We’d like to find out what you would like to see from RNN and how it can be sustainably structured for the future.

    If you are interested in providing support for our organisation we would also be really pleased to hear from you. Support doesn’t mean necessarily joining the committee – just helping us with our work to keep Reading’s neighbourhood groups connected and thriving. Please put your contact details on the survey form or email us at if you can help.

    We hope you will be able to find a few minutes to complete this short survey. Please feel free to share this article and forward the link to the survey to anyone you know that might be interested too.

    Here is the link to the survey: The deadline for responses is 31 July – we look forward to hearing from you!

    Take the survey

  • Reading-on-Thames Festival launches

    12 July 2017

    News from: Reading UK CIC

    Reading UK CIC is delighted to announce that the inaugural Reading-on-Thames Festival will take place between 9 and 17 September 2017.

    This new arts and cultural festival aims to put Reading’s waterways back at the heart of the town as the backdrop and inspiration for an inspiring eight-day arts programme from national and local cultural groups.

    International outdoor arts super stars, Walk The Plank, will bring their creative floating genius to Reading for the first time with a spectacular finale, River Stories, on the Thames on Saturday 16 September. They will be creating a special pyro-tech theatrical event which will use as its inspiration the rich tapestry of stories of the River Thames and its cultural and historical significance to the town.

    The Reading-on-Thames Festival programme will also include Playground Victories in Broad Street 9-10 September, What’s the point of rivers, anyway? 11–17 September, Abbey on Wheels will be popping up at Caversham Court Gardens to tell the history of the Abbey Quarter and conservation of Reading Abbey on 16 September and many more.

    The Reading-on-Thames Festival is being produced by Zsuzsi Lindsay on behalf of Reading UK CIC, full programme at

Upcoming events
  • Sun
    12:00 - 19:00Prospect Park

    Reading RG30 2ND

    The 2017 Tilehurst Festival will be at Prospect Park on Sunday 27 August. Once again it's free to enter. The whole family will be able to enjoy a spectacular mix of fun entertainment including a fairground, a bigger stage, showcasing a cracking range of top live local bands and the return of some of your favourites.

    There will be a huge range of multi-ethnic food stalls with multiple Real Ales, plus wine and spirits in the beer pavilion and with the old faithful's, arts and crafts, bigger games, sideshows, a family picnic area, kids entertainers, bigger face painting for people with really big faces.

    Contact details:
    Phone: 07525 810751

  • Sat
    12:00 onwardsKing's Meadow Park

    Reading RG1 8BN

    Pride returns to Reading in all its glorious glory. The fourteenth Reading Pride Parade & Festival takes place on Saturday 2 September 2017 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

  • Sat
    11:00 - 15:00The Weller Centre

    Amersham Road, Reading RG4 5NA

    The Weller Centre will be officially opened on Saturday 9 September. There will be a DJ, Bouncy Castle, Facepainting, Basketball, Live demo's and lots of fun for all ages.

    The cafe will be open serving tea and cake and there will be hot food too.

    Please bring along photo's of the area to share on the Memories of Amersham Road stall. We would like to create a Visual history of the estate and would love to hear your stories.

  • Mon
    10:00 - 12:30Council Chamber

    Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU

    What are we doing to safeguard vulnerable adults in Reading? Come and find out:
    -How you can raise a concern if you are worried about a friend, neighbour or family member
    -What happens next
    -How the different agencies involved work together, in safeguarding adults locally

    We will hear about the role of the West of Berkshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

    More details and free registration at

  • Thu
    19:00 - 21:00Reading Police Station

    Castle Street, Reading RG1 7TH

    A Cyber Crime Prevention talk is being hosted at Reading police station on Thursday 14 September. Topics covered will include online scams, identify theft, safe online shopping, how to protect your devices and more. All questions you have are welcome on the night.

    Please email if you are interested in attending and you will be contacted with further information on the event. There is limited availability however there will be more dates available in the future.

  • Sun
    12:00 - 16:30Chalkboard Cafe

    Palmer Park, Wokingham Road, RG6 1LF

    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!

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

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

    Trustees play an essential role in our society, making our charity sector work. It’s a hugely rewarding role but it’s not always easy to get all the information you require to be sure you are carrying out your role as effectively as possible. This training will help give you an overview of what’s expected of trustees as well as providing a networking opportunity with your fellow trustees from the area.

    The areas covered will include:
    -Basic structure of a voluntary organisation
    -Trustee duties and liability
    -Trustee Roles
    -Choosing/understanding your organisation’s structure
    -Your constitution
    -Organisational policies

    The training is suitable for new and existing trustees and will also give a valuable introduction to anyone thinking of taking on the role. You will leave with an improved knowledge of what the position entails along with how to limit any liability you might face.

    The session is free but please register at to confirm your place.

    Please note that this training is very popular and we would therefore encourage you to reserve your place early. If you are unable to attend, please cancel your place as soon as possible so that others may attend.

  • Sat
    11:00 - 18:00Town Hall Square

    St Laurence's Church and the Market Place, Reading RG1 2DQ

    Reading's first Vegan Festival is a celebration of all things vegan and cruelty free. 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.

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

    We hope to have over 50 stall holders selling vegan and cruelty free food, clothing, cosmetics and other services. There will be a line up of talks and workshops to discuss issues, provide information and inspire a whole community of vegans and future vegans.

  • Tue
    13:00 - 15:00Elevate 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

  • Sat
    12:00 - 16:00Forbury Gardens

    Abbots Walk, Reading RG1 3EJ

    Hundreds of alloment holders and home-growers, along with voluntary groups and local producers will contribute to the meal which will be cooked by Reading College Hospitality and Catering students and served free to over 1,000 local people. The aim is to promote sustainable food production, educating people about the provenance and environmental impacts of food production.

    Forbury Gardens will be filled with fun activities, workshops and local food producers. Community groups will set out their stalls and music from local bands will keep the tempo going all afternoon.

    Find out more at

  • Tue
    18:00 - 20:00Reading Voluntary Action

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

    RVA are hosting a further Buildings Forum for Reading-based community and voluntary groups.

    Community buildings are valuable places for local people to meet, do things together and receive services. Many groups are facing the impact of tighter budgets. RVA are therefore hosting a session to explore how your group can continue to flourish and maintain a community presence through sharing buildings. It is also an opportunity to meet other groups, share your experiences of works well and to receive resources and updates.

    There are many benefits of considering sharing a community building, such as ensuring Reading’s community and voluntary groups maintain a presence in the community, reduced running costs and enabling you to share the space with a like-minded charitable organisation/creating a community hub.

    This session 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.

  • 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 front-line 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.

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