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.
Many of you will be aware of Arts on Prescription, Museums on Prescription and Exercise on Prescription. These are all initiatives designed to support and improve our health and wellbeing. Two local events last week gave some of the evidence of how physical activity, arts and culture can benefit us. On Wednesday, the Get Berkshire Active Sport and Physical Activity Network event focused on physical activity in Social Prescribing.
From 11 July to 7 September 2019, Reading Community Learning Centre offers three bright, well-equipped rooms for hire to voluntary and community groups at subsidised rates. The rooms can also be hired at competitive rates by public bodies, private organisations and individuals. The meeting rooms all have smart boards and flip charts and are suitable for conferences, training, and meetings for up to 15 people.
The Woodland Trust is giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities. They have two delivery periods per year, (one in March and the other in November) and are currently taking applications for trees to be delivered in November 2019. All the trees are sourced and grown in the UK. To apply choose your pack(s) from the list on the website at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk and fill out the application form.
Booking has now opened for Launchpad’s Big Sleep Out 2019, which is taking place on World Homeless Day and in a brand new location – the iconic and historic Reading Abbey Ruins. Launchpad would love you to join in on Thursday 10 October 2019 to brave the outdoors for the night, so people facing homelessness in Reading don’t have to. It will be an event to remember with entertainment, yummy food and some very special guests.
Four exciting events are to be held in Reading to celebrate the contribution of the Windrush Generation to the town’s economic, social and cultural life. A consortium of local community groups and Reading Borough Council have been awarded a £10,000 grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to organise the activities. Read more about Windrush Day in Reading at http://news.reading.gov.uk/windrush_day.
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.