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.
The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941. It will be the first time the census has been run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.
We would like to pay tribute to one of Reading’s community champions, Phillip Edmond Kallay, who passed away after a short illness on 5 January 2021. Philip moved with his family to the Hexham area in 2010 and became an active member of the Hexham Community Association after making friends with the then Chair, Surjit “Ken” Kainth. Together they negotiated a new lease for the Hexham Community Centre, secured funding for centre improvements and supported the Whitley Big Local project.
The government has launched a new website aimed at stopping the spread of false information. It encourages people to use the SHARE checklist before liking, commenting or sharing content online, with the aim of stopping the spread of false and harmful information about medical advice, vaccines, and technology scares. Read more on the SHARE checklist website (https://sharechecklist.gov.uk).
With school closures, a lot of ABC to Read’s volunteers paused their usual face-to-face support in primary schools. Our mission to help children access good literacy skills continues and there has never been a more important time for our work so we have adapted our support to offering virtual reading sessions so that we can still be here for children both in schools and at home. These sessions are held via Zoom and all safeguarding measures are strictly adhered to.
Reading Lions Club is once again reaching out to small local community groups and small local charities to offer financial support. Many local community groups do not have access to grant funding or the resources to invest in significant fundraising and yet they continue to provide a valued service to our community even during these challenging times. Through our own fundraising events, we have set aside £10,000 to give away in small community grants. Entry opens on 19 February 2021.
The council property 2–4 Darwin Close, Reading, RG2 0RB is now on the market. The formal bidding process through the open market and the third sector process has now commenced and local voluntary organisations are invited to submit their proposals by 12:00 on Friday 2 April 2021. The property, which comprises office and warehouse space, is being advertised by Haslams. For information and advice on the third sector bidding process contact RVA’s Advice Service Manager, Herjeet Randhawa by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.