Our news is collected from our network of members, and is updated regularly. We also present information and articles from other sources that might be relevant to your kind of group.
News from: Reading Voluntary Action – There have been reports of a new scam where a person receives a text saying they need to book a vaccination appointment and it takes them to a fake NHS form which then asks for their bank details to prove their identity. The NHS will never ask for banking information. There is a texting scam leaflet from the Government Counter Fraud Function which lists the top four Covid-19 text message scams as:-
After a successful pilot across West Berkshire and responding to best meet the needs of the local community, Berkshire Youth are delighted to announce the next evolution of the West Berkshire Youth Hub. Their award-winning hub has now been extended across the whole of Berkshire. They hope that the renamed ‘Berkshire Youth Hubs’ will prove just as popular and beneficial for those in the rest of the county.
Seven voluntary and community organisations are to share a £20,000 NHS England grant aimed at supporting the mental health of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and Refugee communities over the winter. Berkshire West CCG secured the funding and has worked closely with key partners to devise the best ways of allocating the money. Reading Voluntary Action, Involve (Wokingham) and Volunteer Centre West Berkshire have administered and will host the grant.
The Vital for Berkshire – Coronavirus Fund is open for grant applications until Monday 8 February 2021 at 10:00. They will be allocating funds to local charities, community and voluntary groups impacted by and working to help people affected by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis in Berkshire. Grants up to a maximum of £10,000 will be considered, subject to funding availability. For further information please see the BCF website at www.berkshirecf.org.
The Charity Commission has updated its guidance for charities as a result of lockdown 3 as follows: -Trustees should hold their trustee meetings online or via telephone, where possible during lockdown. -AGMs can continue to be held online (the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 has been extended until 30 March 2020). Further support -If you would like specific advice for your charity, contact email@example.com.
Do you know someone in your area who is a community hero? To mark Census 2021 in March next year, a competition has launched to find the nation’s unsung community heroes. 22 people across England and Wales, one for each census that has taken place, will have their community spirit and efforts commemorated with a unique purple plaque.
Many people are family carers and support someone who relies on them to collect shopping, prescriptions and other essential items. Reading Mencap have produced “The Reading Family Carers Card” which is available to carers for FREE and it will identify you as a family carer in order to help shorten the time you might have to spend queueing for a shop, a pharmacy or even a health appointment. It is supported by Reading Borough Council.
Reading is one of 68 areas of England to receive a share of a £95 million government fund having secured High Street Heritage Action Zone status for three conservation areas in the centre of the town. As a result, Reading will receive up to £806,500 for the implementation of a four-year programme agreed with Historic England. In advance of the wider cultural programme, Historic England offered several pilot grants to initiate and test projects to engage communities.
Friends of the Elderly provide grants of up to £400 to older people living on low incomes. These grants can only be accessed via a third-party Referral Agent who knows you in a professional or community capacity. They currently have four grant streams open Home essentials, Digital Connection, Financial support and Essential living cost. For further information and how to apply: https://www.fote.org.uk/our-charity-work/grants-2/
Organisations in Berkshire who work with people who may be struggling with their energy bills, for all sorts of reasons – debts, loss of job, because they are vulnerable or elderly or living in cold homes – can make a referral to Citizens Advice Reading for energy vouchers. Citizens Advice Reading is reaching out through Berkshire Community Foundation to extend their reach to all organisations who have frontline teams, working with eligible clients, who can be referred through to them.