Newsletter (original version)

  • Foster carers needed in Reading

    16 November 2017

    Reading Borough Council has made an urgent call for more foster carers, to keep Reading children living locally. RBC is asking for more people from all walks of life to explore the possibility of foster caring, so that children currently in care can enjoy the support, guidance and stability of a family life while continuing to live in Reading.

    Finding more local carers is crucial, as all too often a shortage leads to a child being fostered outside of the area. This can disrupt their lives by cutting them off from their birth family, if they are still retaining ties, and lead to them having to change schools or nursery.

    You’ll need to be over 21 and have a spare bedroom, but your marital status and gender are irrelevant. You certainly aren’t required to own your own home and you can carry on working alongside fostering. It’s what you can offer a child that matters.

    Finding out more about fostering couldn’t be easier. Simply call RBC on 0118 469 3020, go to or email You can find out more and if you are still interested make an application.

  • Join the RVA team in a new role – School and Parent Engagement

    15 November 2017

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Interested in joining RVA and becoming part of a small, supportive team, passionate about Reading and our communities?

    We are looking for a new team player to engage with parents, and support them to make the most of growing opportunities to return to education, training, employment or self-employment. The role will involve building strong relationships with parents, partners and stakeholders, supporting individuals to access support, organising creative and engaging events, and producing flyers and newsletters.

    This part-time post is funded by the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund as part of the Stronger Together partnership. For more information, see the listing on the RVA jobs page and the job description.

    To apply please complete and return the application form by 17:00 on 5 December 2017. Questions about the role can be emailed to


  • Community Safety Survey

    14 November 2017

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    The purpose of this survey is to ask residents their views about issues such as crime and disorder, litter, parking, and anti-social behaviour amongst other local issues, to help identify priorities across Reading. The Safer Neighbourhood Forums (formerly known as Neighbourhood Action Groups) are required to consult on priorities with a community safety focus every 2 years.

    This community safety survey is being carried out across Reading to inform our neighbourhood working and local safer neighbourhood forums to find out what issues residents consider to be their highest priority at present.

    Whilst we will consider all issues raised in this survey, these will be looked at in conjunction with the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) priorities for Reading and locally reported crime across the Borough alongside the British Crime Survey and prioriities identified by Thames Valley Police. Priorities will then be set accordingly.

    The survey opens from 6 November and closes on Friday 15 December. For more information and to take the survey online see

  • Get Berkshire Active Awards – get nominating!

    9 November 2017

    News from: Get Berkshire Active

    The 6th annual Get Berkshire Active Awards will take place on Friday 23 February 2018. The awards will recognise the people that have excelled in a sport or physical activity setting throughout the last year.

    If you know a person, organisation or school who deserves recognition for their dedication to sport and/or physical activity, make sure to nominate them.

    The 12 award categories this year are:
    -Sports Personality of the Year
    -Junior Sports Personality of the Year
    -Lifetime Achievement Award
    -Workplace of the Year
    -Health Project of the Year
    -Volunteer of the Year
    -Coach of the Year
    -Community Club of the Year
    -Youth Engagement Project of the Year
    -Active Primary School
    -Active Secondary School
    -Team Performance of the Year

    The award criteria can be seen at and nominations can be made at Nominations close 10:00 Friday 1 December 2017.

  • Tilehurst Together – creating local connections

    8 November 2017

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Tilehurst Together brings local people together to support each other, make new connections, and get involved in community life. The group meets fortnightly at St Mary Magdalene’s Hall to try various activities. Community groups often give us taster sessions, with members joining that group on a regular basis if they enjoy the activity.

    So far, we have tried mindfulness, an art class, windowsill gardening, a gentle stretching class, and a craft morning. Coming up, we have a relaxation session, an energy efficiency workshop, Christmas card making, and a sleep workshop.

    Tilehurst Together is open to anyone living in Tilehurst who would like to make new connections and get involved in community activities. We know that joining a new group can feel daunting, so Cat, the project co-ordinator, can visit potential members at their home so that they know a friendly face before they go to Tilehurst Together for the first time. Get in touch with Cat by emailing

  • Our Shared Futures – Reading City of Sanctuary event

    7 November 2017

    News from: Reading City of Sanctuary

    Calling all individuals, groups, clubs, and businesses interested in making Reading a welcoming and inclusive place for refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants – we would love you to join us for our upcoming event. ‘Our shared Futures: from intentions to actions’ will take place at 12:15 on Monday 15 January 2018. Whether you wish to support our work, start an initiative, make your business more inclusive, provide a service or donate items, join us for lunch and discuss your ideas with practitioners and refugees directly.

    One of our priorities for the new year is to bring opportunities and pledges of support in line with the most pressing needs of those seeking to make Reading their new home. What better way to do so than by bringing all stakeholders together under one roof for a shared lunch? For more information and to let us know you would like to attend, please email

  • Refill Reading reducing coffee cup waste

    6 November 2017

    News from: Transition Town Reading

    Refill Reading is a grassroots campaign started by Transition Town Reading. We are aiming to reduce the amount of disposable coffee cups going to landfill by encouraging people in our town to use reusable cups in cafes.

    Why are we doing it?
    It is estimated that in the UK, around eight million disposable cups are handed out by cafes every day, or approximately 2.5 billion annually. Most of these cups are not recyclable due to the plastic lining within the paper cup, and so the waste cups go to landfill, where they may take up to thirty years to break down.

    The campaign has two main elements:
    -Encouraging and promoting the use of reusable cups through discounts at local cafes
    Typical discounts are 20p per drink. Cafes offering discounts have the Refill Reading logo in the window.
    -Selling Refill Reading reusable cups
    We are selling Refill Reading reusable Ecoffee cups through participating local cafes. Ecoffee cups are made from sustainable, naturally organic, naturally sterile bamboo fibre. The cups are 12oz in size and are light, hard-wearing and dishwasher safe. There are 250 limited edition Refill Reading cups, selling for the introductory campaign launch price of £5 at participating cafes.

    Who is involved?
    Cafes that are part of the scheme include Nomad Bakery, Picnic Foods, Shed, Boswells Cafe, Nibsy’s Coffee Shop, Palmer’s Cafe (Reading Museum), Sparks Cafe (SSE offices), Parkside Cafe and Waring’s Bakery (multiple cafes across Reading).

  • Are you ready for GDPR in May 2018?

    2 November 2017

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    This week RVA hosted a workshop on data protection for charities with a specific focus on getting reading for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May 2018. Led by Kellie Peters of Databasix, the sold-out event made a potentially daunting subject more accessible for charities and small organisations.

    The workshop covered the differences between GDPR and the current Data Protection Act, and the actions needed to get ready for GDPR. RVA is planning more data protection training the coming months – to register your interest in this event, please email

  • Save the date for the next Wellbeing Forum

    1 November 2017

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    The next Wellbeing Forum for Reading’s Voluntary and Community Sector will take place on Wednesday 6 December 2017 at RISC. Director of Adult Care and Health Services at Reading Borough Council, Seona Douglas, will be speaking, and there will be the usual opportunities for discussion and networking. For more information and registration details see the event listing at

  • Glass Recycling Initiative – prizes for community groups up for grabs

    26 October 2017

    Community groups could be in with a chance of winning up to £1,000 in a new glass recycling campaign prize draw from re3. To take part in the prize draw, re3 is encouraging schools, charities and voluntary and community sector organisations to make a commitment to increasing glass recycling at bring banks.

    This could be by collecting hot drinks jars after a fundraising coffee morning and taking them to a re3 glass bank; telling others about the initiative through social media; encouraging supporters to use a glass bring bank on their way to work; or to give a school assembly or write an article in a community newsletter on the benefits of glass recycling.

    In return, groups will be entered into the community fund prize draw. At the end of the campaign in October 2018, prizes will be allocated to 15 schools, charities or community groups in the re3 area. The more glass recycled through the campaign, the bigger the community fund, up to the value of £15,000 or £1000 per individual prize.

    To register your group’s participation in the campaign and to be eligible for the community fund prize draw, please visit now for the application form and a full list of terms and conditions.

Upcoming events

  • Mon
    10:30 - 12:30Elevate Hub

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

    Join us for our regular Volunteer Coordinators’ Network meeting facilitated by Reading Voluntary Action.

    You will have a chance to contribute to the agenda ahead of time so that we can make sure your issue or concern can be given some attention, as well as having the opportunity to seek peer support in a confidential space from others in a similar role.

    The format is pretty informal. RVA provides the tea and coffee - feel free to bring your sandwich and eat with us if it helps your day along. You don’t need to stay for the whole event – we know everyone’s busy.

    Free registration at

  • Mon

    35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    Reading is uniquely placed to decarbonise its heat demand by virtue of its unique underlying geology.  The water flowing in the fractured chalk layers between 20 and 200 metres beneath the surface provides a shallow geothermal resource whose heat could be concentrated using ground source heat pumps to provide space and water heating for all Reading’s dwellings.

    In this talk Dr Rayner Mayer will describe: what are heat pumps, how they work, and how their large scale deployment could benefit both Reading’s citizens and reduce the production of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.

    The talk will be followed by a discussion about the desirability of undertaking a monitored trial in Reading by retrofitting a group of dwellings with higher levels of insulation and providing geothermal heating via a small district heating scheme.

    Note: if Global Cafe is closed access to the main hall is via side passage to rear of the building, or from East Street.

  • Wed
    11:30 - 13:30Reading Community Learning Centre

    94 London Street, Reading RG1 4SJ

    Please come along and celebrate Reading Community Learning Centre’s Women’s Day by indulging in some of our delicious world foods or by pampering yourself in one of our beauty rooms, with truly relaxing treatments from our amazing students. All the money raised from the sale of the treatments and food will go towards the continued great work of Reading Community Learning Centre.

    Contact details
    Phone: 01189 595455

  • Thu
    11:00 - 13:00The Weller Centre

    110 Amersham Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 5NA

    All voluntary and community groups have a duty to keep their service users safe from harm. As most charities and community groups run through the hard work and dedication of volunteers with little or no paid staff, it is important that volunteers receive basic safeguarding training.

    RVA are hosting this mini workshop, which has been designed with volunteers of community groups in mind.

    By the end of the course volunteers will be able to:
    -Describe circumstances that can make adults vulnerable to abuse
    -Recognise possible indicators of abuse
    -Respond in line with the safeguarding procedures if abuse is found or suspected
    -Report and record appropriately
    -Recognise your duty of care to safeguard adults
    -Understand the importance of professional boundaries and the consequences of breach

    The course is free but please register at to confirm your place. If you are unable to attend, please cancel within 5 working days to enable someone else to attend.

  • Fri
    10:00 - 12:30Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

    280 The Meadway, Reading RG30 4PE

    Carers Rights Day is an annual event aimed at helping carers in their local community and to know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to.

    In celebration of Carers Rights Day, the Reading and West Berkshire Carers Hub is hosting free information sessions in support of unpaid carers, including

    -My Care My Home – future care in your own home and in supported living
    -Boyes Turner solicitors – mental capacity and powers of attorney
    -Citizens Advice Reading – Changes in benefits.

    The event will include information from a wide range of local organisations

  • Sun
    13:00 - 15:30Reading Mencap

    21 Alexandra Road, Reading RG1 5PE

    Everyone is welcome to join Reading Mencap at their Christmas Fair, where there will be lots of fun for all the family:

    -Gifts and crafts made by members of Reading Mencap
    -Cakes and refreshments
    -Lucky dip

    Entry is just 50p, with free parking available at 25 Erleigh Road. All proceeds in aid of Reading Mencap. We look forward to seeing you!

  • Tue
    16:30 - 18:30Reading Community Learning Centre

    94 London Street, Reading RG1 4SJ

    You are warmly invited to our 10th Annual General Meeting on 28 November 2017 at Reading Community Learning Centre.

    The AGM is a great opportunity to hear about our activities, see our premises and celebrate our achievements over the past 12 months. We’d also like to hear your views on our work as we plan for the year ahead.

    Members of Reading Community Learning Centre will be able to vote in the Trustee elections and other formal business. Membership is open to everyone. If you’re interested in becoming a member, please contact Aisha (details below).

    Please confirm your attendance at our AGM by Friday 24 November 2017. You can reserve your place and find out more details by contacting Aisha Malik, Centre Manager or call 0118 959 9009.

  • Thu
    10:00 - 13:00Reading Voluntary Action

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

    Whether you are a new organisation, have recently grown, changed committee members or are in the process of change this practical session will help you understand and improve your budgeting process. This will be useful to trustees, including chairs and treasurers as well as Chief Execs. The session highlights the key roles in setting and benefiting from a sound budget.

    Aims of the workshop:
    -To build understanding of the importance of budgeting
    -To build confidence and ability to build a budget
    -To leave the workshop having started the work to ensure a sound budget for the coming financial year.

    The content covered will be tailored depending on the needs of delegates on the day. However typically attendees will:
    -Understand the basis on which budgets may be built
    -Understand how to identify fixed and variable costs
    -Be able to create a flexible budget
    -Consider the impact of uncertainty, risk and contingencies
    -Be able to explain their budget to key stakeholders.

    The workshop will be open to up to 8 delegates. Post-course support is available, with each organisation entitled to up to one hour’s email support to follow up issues covered on the course.

    The training is at our reduced rate of £40. There are a limited number of FREE places for RNN members using the usual promotional code - please contact us at if you need this code.

    Please register at

  • Thu
    17:30 - 19:30Battle Library

    420 Oxford Road, Reading RG30 1EE

    Loneliness is a national problem, considered to be at epidemic levels. Reading is no exception, but it needn’t be that way. Join us for an introductory workshop to find out more about how you can become a Champion to End Loneliness for Reading.

    Anyone can be a champion, supporting the cause of ending loneliness through a wide range of ways. As a champion, you will have the opportunity to:
    -Learn: from the very latest research and examples of good practice
    -Campaign: for change and encourage more people to take a role in ending loneliness in Reading
    -Connect: with like-minded people to share ideas and identify ways to work through challenges
    -Act: Become a befriender or get support to set up an initiative in your community

    The workshop is about enabling and informing you to be able to take action to tackle loneliness in a way that suits you. The workshop will cover:
    -Info about loneliness from recent national and Reading-specific research
    -Introduction to what some local charities are doing to reduce loneliness
    -Discussions: what are you doing/what can you do to help?
    -Opportunity to sign up to our pledges

    The workshop is free, but please register at so we know how many people to expect.

    Click here to register - it's free!

  • Sun
    09:30 - 12:30Starts at Forbury Gardens

    Reading RG1 3BB.

    The ROC Search Reading Santa Run is organised by the Rotary Club of Reading and is for all abilities. You can run, walk or jog.

    All ages welcome: 10 and under – 1km route (all under 10s must be accompanied by and adult). Adults – 5km. Outfits supplied free of charge. Route takes in the Forbury, Broad Street, Oracle Riverside returning to the Forbury. Raise a team and join in! You can raise money for your own charity – see website for details.

    The Mayor of Reading will start the races from the Forbury and present the medals to all participants. Medal and goodie bags for under 10s.

    Get registered now at

Leave a Reply