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.
School Streets could soon be coming to Reading as part of a new council initiative to help children return to the classroom safely in September. With thousands of pupils shortly to resume journeys for the start of the new academic year, Reading Borough Council is inviting schools and colleges across the borough to apply to create a School Street outside their buildings.
Four new posts that may be of interest, Inclusion Development Worker (closing date 21 September) and 3 Social Prescribing Link Workers (closing date 14 September 2020). All four posts are for an initial 6-month period with the potential to extend. These roles are an opportunity to help us shape new ways of working to improve the lives of many people in Reading. Please see the job adverts, job descriptions and person specifications for more information.
Reading Voluntary Action is pleased to announce a new project to be delivered by our Schools and Parent Engagement Officer, Anna Chapman. The new Parent Employment Wellbeing project (PEW) is for parents over the age of 16, not in employment, not furloughed and living in Reading. PEW offers free, clear, non-judgemental and confidential information, advice, guidance and support – tailored to individuals and their situation.
Winter is just around the corner – call us now for help! Do you, or anyone you know need help saving money on your electricity, gas and water bills? Citizens Advice Reading has a specially trained Energy Adviser offering free 30-minute telephone appointments to anyone who needs help with utility bills or staying warm.
Lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease but as a cautionary way forward many charities and community groups are continuing to offer remote or virtual services as a way of reducing risk. If your community group or charity is looking for guidance on adapting services online, take a look at the slides from a session we held on 25 June, which included:
Reading Sport and Leisure centres at Meadway Sports Centre, Palmer Park Sports Stadium and South Reading Leisure Centre will reopen from Monday 3 August. It will be a phased reopening with the safety of the public and staff as a top priority. To begin with, centre opening times will be reduced and the number and variety of activities offered will be limited to allow for social distancing guidelines.
Reading’s Library Service has made the important first step towards the welcome return of its popular service, with the safety of the public and staff at the forefront of all reopening plans. To begin with, the service will be operating at a reduced level to accommodate safety measures. The Council is urging people to only come to the library if they have booked an appointment in advance.
Despite lockdown completely transforming children’s schooling, local charity ABC to Read have announced outstanding results in their most recent annual report, with 98% of the local Berkshire children who benefit from a one-to-one ABC to Read mentor improving in their reading confidence. The report also highlights that 98% of the youngsters working with them have improved in their attitudes towards reading and 95% have enhanced their accuracy and comprehension.
Most children have been away from school for many weeks and parents are running out of things for them to do. For many disadvantaged families in Reading this has been particularly stressful and it isn’t likely to improve soon. In normal years Reading Family Aid organise summer outings, but that hasn’t been possible this year, so they wanted to do something else to help families who are struggling more than most. The result is their first ever Summer Toy Project.
RBC Adult Care and Health Services have produced an information pack on useful information around staying safe during the pandemic. This may be useful for charities and community groups too. It includes guidance on Test and trace, Staying well: mental health and well-being; support for families and carers, Staying safe: safeguarding, domestic abuse, scams, and Easy-read versions on topics such as wearing a face mask and support bubbles.