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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 snow on Sunday 23 January presented challenging conditions for the Reading Central and Whitley Vaccination Hub. Volunteers from the charity Re:Act were on standby to help, through the VCS Emergencies Partnership, but weren’t needed in the end. With grit, brooms and spades, RVA volunteers were able to keep the area clear and run the session pretty much as normal through the day. Over 4000 people have been vaccinated over 9 days at the site run by Reading Primary Care Alliance.
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.
Reading Borough Council is introducing a weekly food waste collection for residents in February 2021, as well as reducing the size of the general waste bins. The recycling team are keen to engage with as many community associations as possible. If you are able to help with distribution of information to residents of Reading they would like to hear from you.
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.