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.
Find out how horticultural therapy and community gardening can help improve mental health and wellbeing. Being outside, surrounded by plants and nature, doing physical activity can all help us feel better about ourselves. The potential benefits for people experiencing mental health difficulties can be even more significant. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Reading Gardening Health and Wellbeing Network is offering professionals the opportunity to visit local gardening projects and see how they might help your clients.
From April 2019 the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme limit has increased from £20 to £30. This means charities and community amateur sports clubs can claim top-up payments on small donations. You do not need to know the identity of the donors or collect Gift Aid declarations for small donations. For more information about GASDS and how to claim, see the website at www.gov.uk/guidance/claiming-a-top-up-payment-on-small-charitable-donations.
Age UK Berkshire are delighted to announce the launch of a new Friendly Gardeners Group, which will start on the 26 April 2019 at the Friends Meeting House on Church Street. The group will meet every Friday morning for two hours until October 2019 and will be run by Christina (a qualified horticultural therapist) who will support the group with gardening as a means to improve health and wellbeing, as well as making friends.
The National Lottery Community Fund funding officer for Reading will be offering one-to-one sessions to Reading voluntary and community groups on Thursday 27 June 2019 at the RVA offices, on the Third Floor of the Central Library. At your one-to-one, you will have the have the opportunity to canvas your idea for funding, whether it is for an existing service or an idea about a new service or activity.
Anyone interested in reducing loneliness and social isolation is welcome at the next Befriending Forum on Thursday 16 May 2019 from 12:30 until 16:00 on the Third Floor of Reading Central Library. This forum will see the launch of the brand-new Ready Friends Toolkit. If you would like to find out more about this event and about the Ready Friends project, please have a look on the website at http://rva.org.uk/ready-friends, where you will find the agenda and registration details.
Three £1,000 prizes are up for grabs as Berkshire Community Foundation launches its 2019 Vital Signs survey. BCF is asking people in Berkshire to spend five minutes giving their opinion of life in the county. Now in its sixth year, Vital Signs uses the views of the local community, along with other research, to enable BCF to produce a community ‘health-check’ report. This report reveals priorities, needs and opportunities for action by measuring the quality of life in local areas.
Local charity ABC to Read is celebrating 15 years of providing trained volunteers to support Berkshire children who are struggling to read. To celebrate its 15th birthday, the charity hopes to help a record number of children develop a love of reading to enhance their lives. Plans include supporting a school and orphanage in Malawi by setting up a library, as well as launching a Reading Buddy workshop in secondary schools, training sixth form pupils to support younger ones.
Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF) are offering grants of up to £5,000 to charity and community groups for projects working with the elderly to improve their health and well-being, access to facilities, advice and training; or to overcome their problems of illness, injury, disability, bereavement or financial difficulty. The closing date for applications is 09:00 on 1 May 2019. For more information and online application, visit the BCF website at www.berkshirecf.org.
The University of Reading is internationally recognised for its excellence in research on the relationship between diet and chronic disease. They are currently looking for volunteers to participate in two studies. The ENVAL study testing a diet app developed by researchers from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences and the Whey2glo Study investigating how dairy and plant proteins control blood sugar levels and vascular health.
RBC has published a discussion paper on the Statement of Community Involvement for consultation. The SCI is a planning document that details how consultation and community involvement on plans and major developments will be carried out. RBC’s most recent SCI was adopted in March 2014. The council is now considering whether there is a need to revise the SCI. The council is now seeking your views on the proposals set out in the discussion paper.