Newsletter (original version)

  • New £100k RBC fund to support small community groups

    13 February 2020 New £100k RBC fund to support small community groups

    News from: Reading Borough Council (RBC)

    A New £100,000 fund to support small community groups in Reading deliver local projects is being proposed, as part of the Council’s new three year Medium Term Financial Plan.

    The details of the how the fund will operate are still being worked up, but the intention is that small community groups or organisations in the town which are delivering projects that benefit local communities, will be able to bid for a grant of up to £5,000 each. The funding could be used for ‘one off’ projects, ‘start up’ costs, or to run events or buy equipment, for example.

    Changes in 2016 saw the Council move from a grants-based process to a commissioning process for voluntary sector groups. Which can mean smaller community groups sometimes miss out on possible opportunities for funding streams to larger and better established voluntary sector groups.

    To redress the balance, the Council is now proposing a new £100,000 Community Grants Fund which will give it the flexibility to respond to requests from smaller local community groups and provide financial support for one-off initiatives that would be of benefit to Reading’s communities. If agreed as part of the Council’s budget setting process this month, there would be two bidding rounds each year, the first being held in June.

    For more information see RBC’s full press release at http://news.reading.gov.uk.

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  • Community journalism: Walk, talk and share with Mental Health Mates Reading

    12 February 2020 Community journalism: Walk, talk and share with Mental Health Mates Reading

    News from: Simone Illger (RVA Community Journalist)

    On a very cold but beautifully sunny Saturday morning recently, RVA’s Community Journalist Simone Illger met up with Mental Health Mates Reading at Christchurch Bridge.

    Mental Health Mates Reading is part of a UK-wide peer support group organising walks and talks for those affected by mental illness, including their families, children, friends and dogs.

    Simone, who’s a wheelchair user, was delighted to discover that the route was pretty accessible, mostly along paths and pavements with the odd patch of mud. For others who are keen to ensure they have the ability to join the walk, it’s about a mile on fairly flat terrain. Walking can be done at your own pace with others – nobody gets left behind. The route venues are selected so that you can opt to stop or leave the walk at any point. Hiking boots are useful if the weather is bad, but trainers or ordinary shoes are fine.

    The group meets every fortnight on a Saturday morning at 10:30 at either Christchurch Meadows or Dinton Pastures. In the summer when it’s warmer and the evenings are lighter, there are also walks on Wednesday evenings. Everyone is welcome – you don’t need to have a diagnosed mental health issue to join meet-ups.

    Further information

    Download the latest flyer here. For further details of upcoming walks and to ensure you are kept up to date please email mhm-reading@gmail.com.
    -To find out more about Mental Health Mates, you can visit the main website www.mentalhealthmates.co.uk or follow their Facebook page dedicated to the walk details.

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  • The Prince’s Trust – Get Started with Music

    11 February 2020 The Prince’s Trust – Get Started with Music

    News from: The Prince’s Trust – London and the South East

    Get Started with Music is a week long programme giving young people ages 16-25 the opportunity to take part in creative music workshops like drumming and vocals, music performance, music production and much more, while working in groups towards performing their very own showcase gig for family and friends at the end of the week.

    There is a Taster day on Tuesday 11 Feb, 11:00 – 13:00, with the Main programme running from the 17-21 February. The courses will be held at Readipop (Reading). Download a poster with further information.

    If you want to refer any young people for this opportunity or just have a chat to find out more about the programme, please contact Erin Heyden by email erin.heyden@princes-trust.org.uk or call on 07807 276961.

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  • Countdown to Reading Community Lottery ticket sales going live

    6 February 2020 Countdown to Reading Community Lottery ticket sales going live

    A huge thank you to everyone who attended the good causes launch of Reading Community Lottery last week and to the organisations who have already signed up.

    Countdown to ticket sales going live.
    The lottery will be launched to the general public at the end of the month, with ticket sales going live on Friday 28 February and the first draw taking place on Saturday 28 March.

    If you would like to send supporters to your own Reading Community Lottery page on www.readingcommunitylottery.co.uk in time for the very first draw, then please make your application via the website by Friday 21 February (you can apply at any time, this is just to benefit from the publicity for the public launch).

    Further information
    -If you need any help with registering on the website, or you have any other questions, you can email in to readingcommunitylottery@rva.org.uk or call the RVA office on 01189 372273.
    -Reading Community Lottery is run by Gatherwell, an External Lottery Manager, promoted by Reading Voluntary Action and supported by the One Reading partnership. It is a Small Society Lottery licensed by Reading Borough Council (No: LOT000220).

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  • Have your say on ward boundaries for Reading Borough Council

    5 February 2020 Have your say on ward boundaries for Reading Borough Council

    The Local Government Boundary Commission for England recently published draft recommendations for new wards, ward boundaries and ward names for Reading Borough Council. They are now inviting comments on those recommendations.

    Draft recommendations report
    Summary of the draft recommendations

    Have your say

    You can take part in the consultation through the interactive consultation portal (https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk).

    They are encouraging everyone who has a view on the draft recommendations to contact them, whether you support them or whether you wish to propose alternative arrangements.

    Each submission will be weighed against the legal criteria which must follow when drawing up electoral arrangements:

    -To deliver electoral equality: where each councillor represents roughly the same number of electors as others across the borough;
    -That the pattern of wards should, as far as possible, reflect the interests and identities of local communities;
    -That the electoral arrangements should provide for effective and convenient local government.

    It is important that you take account of the criteria if you are suggesting an alternative pattern of wards.

    For more information about the Commission and the review see the website (www.lgbce.org.uk) which also features technical guidance that explains the process and policies, as well as guidance on how to take part in each part of the process.

    The consultation closes on 13 April 2020.

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  • Reading Hydro share offer open – until 14 February 2020

    30 January 2020 Reading Hydro share offer open – until 14 February 2020

    News from: Reading Hydro

    Invest in Reading Hydro’s share offer and help them build a community-owned hydro scheme on the Thames in Reading, next to Caversham weir. Reading Hydro will generate renewable electricity and cut carbon emissions for decades to come. Income from selling electricity will run the scheme and pay a return to investors.

    They need to raise £700,000 now, to build the scheme later in 2020. Many local people have already invested and the share offer is progressing well, but there’s still a way to go.

    Will you help make it happen? By buying shares you’ll help tackle the climate emergency, while earning a reasonable return and knowing that surplus income will go to community projects. You’ll become a member of Reading Hydro Community Benefit Society, with a say in decisions.

    The share offer will close on Friday 14 February so take a look at the website (https://hydro.readinguk.org) if you’re interested Please email reading.hydro.cbs@gmail.com with any questions.

    Note that as with all investments, you’ll be putting your money at risk. Reading Hydro publish detailed plans explaining how they’ll make sure things will work and keep working on their Share Offer pages. You’ll need to read them and understand the risks before investing.

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  • RVA Youth Research: what is it like growing up in Reading?

    29 January 2020 RVA Youth Research: what is it like growing up in Reading?

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Reading Voluntary Action’s Social Action Youth Leaders are conducting research across Reading to learn what it is like for young people to grow up in Reading. This is because we want to make Reading a better place to live and grow up in, so listening to what you have to say is crucial if we are to improve things.

    We are therefore asking young people in your communities aged 12 to 22 years to please complete our online survey (anonymously) and to let us know if anyone would be interested in joining a small youth focus group to share their experiences of life in Reading.

    The findings will be used for future planning and improving services for young people and their families. We also want to encourage young people to speak up on issues that are important to them and to ensure that their voices are heard across the town.

    Take the survey here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/OurReadingOurFuture.

    Please contact Charlotte Netherton-Sinclair (Youth Project Coordinator) for more information, or to express an interest in being part of the focus group. Phone on 07737 263711 or email charlotte.netherton-sinclair@rva.org.uk.

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  • Street party workshops across Reading

    23 January 2020 Street party workshops across Reading

    Reading Voluntary Action and Reading Neighbourhoods Network are delighted to be working in partnership with a number of local community associations, to deliver four more free workshops on How to Organise a Street Party in Your Neighbourhood.

    The programme of workshops is being targeted at areas of Reading which have had few or no street parties in recent years. The free, one-hour sessions will give people the information, resources and ideas they need to run a street party or ‘green space’ event, making the most of the ‘free road closure’ weekends in June and July, 2020.

    Workshop Locations
    Whitley Wood – 19 February, Whitley Wood Community Centre, 18:00-19:00.
    Newtown – 27 February, The Warehouse 18:00-19:00.
    West Reading – 3 March, Battle Library, 18:00-19:00.
    Katesgrove – 5 March Katesgrove Children’s Centre Waterloo Meadows, 18:30 – 19:30.

    Continue reading →

  • New safeguarding tool for charities

    22 January 2020

    Every organisation that delivers charitable activities has a responsibility to safeguard people from harm or abuse, whether they are staff members, volunteers, or other people who come into contact with your charity through its work.

    The government has designed a new digital tool to help charities handle the reporting of safeguarding concerns or allegations about the behaviour or actions of a person in their charity.

    The tool acts as a prompt so that you can ensure you have taken all the relevant steps necessary to safeguard your beneficiaries and to protect the charity.

    It is not a method for making referrals, charities should still follow their internal safeguarding procedures and contact relevant social services departments as before, but the tool does act as a very useful prompt to ensure that you have fulfilled all your duties and also links to further resources if you need additional support.

    Guidance: How to use the tool.
    You can access the tool here.

    Further local support for Reading’s charities
    RVA Advice Service for advice on legal and governance matters.
    RVA Safe and Sound to develop good governance for your charity.
    RVA Knowledgebase (includes guidance on DBS and key contact details for making referrals in Reading and surrounding areas)

    Upcoming safeguarding training and events
    Safeguarding Adults Level 1 Training for charities and voluntary groups
    Universal Safeguarding Children Training
    Learning from Domestic Violence Homicide Reviews – Safeguarding Adults

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  • Get Berkshire Active Satellite Club funding – open until 29 January 2020

    16 January 2020 Get Berkshire Active Satellite Club funding – open until 29 January 2020

    News from: Get Berkshire Active

    Satellite Clubs is a programme funded by Sport England to support community sports clubs and other non-sporting community organisations to deliver physical activity sessions to young people.

    Satellite Clubs provide regular opportunities for inactive young people to access physical activity that is enjoyable, appealing and convenient based on their individual needs.

    They key focuses for GBA are specifically targeted audiences that don’t necessarily receive the same opportunities as others or find it difficult to access opportunities. These are:
    -Low socio-economic groups
    -Women and girls
    -Ethnic minority groups
    -People living with a disability

    Who can access Satellite Club funding?
    GBA provide the link between National Governing Bodies of sport, education establishments, sports clubs, community groups and disability organisations. We also provide funding to help set up satellite clubs. This can include equipment, facility hire and coaching costs.

    Anyone can access support to set up a satellite club, you don’t have to be a sports club or be linked with Sports or Physical Activity. It may be that you are a non-sporting organisation that have an inactive population interested in participating in an activity, or a self-employed coach looking to branch out to an area of deprivation.

    For application forms and guidance see the website at https://getberkshireactive.org/satellite-clubs.

    For more information contact Chelsea Piggott at Get Berkshire Active by email Chelsea.piggott@getberkshireactive.org or phone 01628 473031.

    Continue reading →

Upcoming events

  • Wed
    19
    Feb
    2020
    18:00 - 19:00Whitley Wood Community Centre

    Swallowfield Drive, Reading, RG2 8UH

    Come along and find out how easy (and cheap!) is it to run a street party in your neighbourhood.

    This workshop will cover the following

    • Getting started
    • Ideas for games and activities
    • Getting the neighbours involved
    • Food & drink
    • Getting permission to close your street (for free) and other legal stuff

    Free event, but please book at www.eventbrite.co.uk to confirm your place.

  • Thu
    20
    Feb
    2020
    19:00 - 20:30University of Reading

    Room G01, Building L022, London Road Campus, Reading, RG1 5AQ

    We all recognise how crucial reading is for children to do well at school and later on in the workplace. But what does research tell us about why it’s important, what children and young people should be reading, and what happens if they don’t read? Also what about children and young people who speak a language other than English at home?

    Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, bilingual or not, this public lecture from the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism will have something for you!

    Free admission, but please book online at www.reading.ac.uk/15/about/newsandevents/Events/Event832449.aspx to confirm your place.

  • Thu
    27
    Feb
    2020
    10:15 - 16:00RVA Community Place

    Third Floor, Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ

    As part of our regular Funder Presentations and Surgeries, we are partnering with Berkshire Community Foundation, The National Lottery Community, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council.

    This event starts with a general presentation from the funders on their current funding streams at 10:15 – 11:15 followed by tea and coffee.

    Following this there is the opportunity to have a 1:1 session with the funders.

    Who should attend:

    • The presentation and surgeries are for groups and charities based in Reading who already have some experience in applying for funding.
    • At your 1:1 you will have the have the opportunity to canvas your idea. Please note that the funders cannot help you fill in the application form, but will give you general guidance and tips on applying for funding with them.

    The funders

    The National Lottery Community Fund: This is for Reaching Communities or Partnership Funding streams in excess of £10,000.

    Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF): The grant funding available at the time of this surgery will relate to the summer funding rounds provided through BCF. You can also use this appointment more generally to learn about future core funding rounds that will open later in the year so that you can prepare in advance and identify whether this is for you.

    The Heritage Lottery Fund: They fund a broad range of projects that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK.

    The Arts Council: Funding available from £1000 – £100,000 for projects relating to music, theatre, dance, visual arts, lterature, combined arts, museums and library arts projects.

  • Thu
    27
    Feb
    2020
    18:00 - 19:00The Warehouse (behind Wycliffe Baptist Church)

    1a Cumberland Road, Reading, RG1 3LB

    Come along and find out how easy (and cheap!) is it to run a street party in your neighbourhood.

    This workshop will cover the following

    • Getting started
    • Ideas for games and activities
    • Getting the neighbours involved
    • Food & drink
    • Getting permission to close your street (for free) and other legal stuff

    Free event, but please book at www.eventbrite.co.uk to confirm your place.

  • Sat
    29
    Feb
    2020
    09:00 - 12:00The Oasis

    21 Baker Street, Reading, RG1 7XT

    Celebrate great food from local producers. The Baker Street Area Neighbourhood Association hosts The Artisan Community Food Fair at The Oasis on the last Saturday of each month.

    • Various stands including high quality food, plants, organic and fairtrade coffee.
    • Free coffee and tea.
    • Also a chance to meet councillors, police, MP, fire brigade and more.

    Every time it's different with different people and traders attending.

  • Mon
    02
    Mar
    2020
    18:30 - 20:00Reading College

    King's Road, Reading, RG1 4HJ

    Free workshop run by Talking Therapies that teach strategies to support managing stress, including learning ways to manage worry, feelings of panic and sleep.

    To book a place and for more information please phone 03003 652000 or visit the website at www.talkingtherapies.berkshire.nhs.uk.

    Download an information flyer here

  • Tue
    03
    Mar
    2020
    10:00 - 16:00Berkshire Youth

    Watlington House, 44 Watlington Street, Reading, RG1 4RJ

    Understand the key principles of how to engage, motivate and educate young people to make informed life choices. Explore key values and attitudes in effective and meaningful work with young people and expand your toolkit of activities to enhance your work and increase impact.

    If you are new to working with young people or want to refresh on your youth work approach this training session is a great opportunity for you. Light refreshments will be provided.

    Contact details
    Email: movement@ukyouth.org
    Phone: 02030 115995

  • Tue
    03
    Mar
    2020
    18:00 - 19:00Battle Library

    420 Oxford Road, Reading, RG30 1EE

    Come along and find out how easy (and cheap!) is it to run a street party in your neighbourhood.

    This workshop will cover the following

    • Getting started
    • Ideas for games and activities
    • Getting the neighbours involved
    • Food & drink
    • Getting permission to close your street (for free) and other legal stuff

    Free event, but please book at www.eventbrite.co.uk to confirm your place.

  • Thu
    05
    Mar
    2020
    18:30 - 20:00Katesgrove Children's Centre

    Elgar Road (Off Berkeley Avenue), Reading, RG2 0BN

    Come along and find out how easy (and cheap!) is it to run a street party in your neighbourhood.

    This workshop will cover the following

    • Getting started
    • Ideas for games and activities
    • Getting the neighbours involved
    • Food & drink
    • Getting permission to close your street (for free) and other legal stuff

    Free event, but please book at www.eventbrite.co.uk to confirm your place.

  • Sun
    08
    Mar
    2020
    15:00 - 17:30Reading Minster

    Chain Street, Reading, RG1 2HX

    In the beautiful and iconic setting of Reading Minster, Alana House will be holding a celebratory service for their 10th birthday on International Women’s Day, on Sunday 8 March.

    This year marks a decade of Alana House proudly supporting local women with a wide range of needs and the wider local community in Reading and across the Thames Valley.

    This special service will include a host of readers and performers including Reading Community Gospel Choir. There will also be refreshments and cake provided by the fabulous team of Baristas from Alana House’s community cafe.

    • Tickets are free but we do encourage donations towards Alana House’s work.
    • Places are limited so booking is essential.
    • If you have any questions please email us at events@pactcharity.org.

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