Newsletter (original version)

  • RVA Services Administrator role – closing date 7 August 2019

    18 July 2019

    Reading Voluntary Action are looking for a Services Administrator who will manage the processes required to support RVA’s services, staff and board, ensuring that systems are being operated consistently throughout the organisation. The purpose of the role is to provide administrative support services to ensure smooth running of the charity.

    -Working hours: 37 hours a week (flexible to a min of 30 hrs)
    -Responsible to: CEO
    Download a job description
    Download an application form

    Contract type: Full time
    Location: Central Reading
    Salary: £27,000 Pa
    Reference number for post: RVA07.15
    How to apply: Please return the completed application form to by 17:00 on the 7 August 2019.

    For more information please contact Rachel Spencer by phone on 01189 372273 or email at

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  • Have your say on sport and leisure: Active Reading consultation now open

    18 July 2019 Have your say on sport and leisure: Active Reading consultation now open

    The council is conscious that one of the most important things it can do is help people lead more active and healthy lives. We know there are many residents who regularly enjoy participating in sports and being active, whether it’s a regular swim, taking part in team sports or simply a weekly walk around your local park. Regular exercise helps keep people healthier and happier.

    We also know there are lots of people in Reading who choose not to or are unable be active. One in three adults in our town does not even take part in the minimum recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a week. Obesity in our town – particularly amongst young people – is a real concern. It remains one of our health priorities.

    Leisure isn’t just about sport, it can be anything from walking to work, cycling, taking part in a dance class or trying a new activity like yoga.

    To help people who live and work in Reading choose a healthy, active lifestyle, we are launching a public consultation exercise where we are asking people what would help them lead more active lives and how the council can help them do that. We are particularly keen to hear from people who don’t currently lead active lives. If that is you or your family, we want to know how we can help you to get you more active and how can we encourage you to try new activities or sports. If you already take part in sport or physical activity, we want to know what works for you and what you would like to see improved.

    Please help us by taking part in the consultation at which runs until 14 August. The results of the consultation will be published in the autumn.

    The council is fully committed to providing modern and much-improved facilities for swimmers, keep fit and sports enthusiasts in Reading. That includes a £30 million investment in two new modern swimming pools for Reading. Plans to deliver these are already underway and we hope to be in a position to appoint the new leisure operator in autumn 2019 to take work forward as quickly as possible. The council is committed to investing £2.8 million in parks and play improvements across Reading, including enhancements to make playgrounds more accessible, as part of the capital investment programme over the next 5 years, with £1.6 million approved for 2019-2022.

    We will use your responses to create what is called a ‘Strategic Delivery Model’ for Reading. This will be a future vision for our sports and leisure offer in Reading. Having this strategy in place will help the council access additional funding from Sport England towards the cost of new and improved sports facilities for Reading.

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  • Summer holiday clubs at Reading Salvation Army

    17 July 2019

    News from: Salvation Army Reading Central

    Reading Central Salvation Army are running two free clubs for young people this summer

    Splash! – summer holiday club for children aged 5 to 12 years
    -Wednesday 28 August to Friday 30 August 2019
    -Between 10:00 and 12:30, including lunch each day!
    -Free fun, games and crafts

    Make Lunch – aimed at primary school children, parents and siblings welcome to join in
    -25 July to 2 September 2019, every Monday and Thursday (excluding Monday 26 August)
    -11:30 to 13:00
    -Each session includes children’s play and craft activities, as well as a hot meal

    To sign up for either club, please contact Matthew Stone, Community Development Manager, by email at or phone on 0118 958 3019.

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  • Free resources for charity leaders from Clore Social Leadership

    16 July 2019

    Clore Social Leadership has developed some free resources for those in leadership positions in the voluntary and community sector to help address leadership challenges. These tools are referred to as the ‘Backpack’ and contain the most impactful leadership tools they have gathered in the past 10 years of running leadership programmes, they also contain the following areas for self-development as a social leader:

    1. How can I know myself and self development
    2. How can I look after myself
    3. How can I plan for my development
    4. How can I unlock the opportunities in my context
    5. How can I use coaching to empower others

    These resources may be particularly useful for CEO’s or managers of voluntary and community sector organisations.

    You can access the free resources on the website at

    Further resources are also available through the RVA Knowledge Base at

    If you have questions around strategic planning or business development, you can also contact the RVA Advice Service by phone on 01189 372273 or by email at

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  • Wild about Reading – 9-day programme celebrating nature across Reading

    11 July 2019 Wild about Reading – 9-day programme celebrating nature across Reading

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    Wild about Reading is a town-wide event to showcase and celebrate the many organisations, groups and individuals that preserve and conserve different aspects of our beautiful town. There will be free activities every day from Saturday 27 July to Sunday 4 August 2019.

    Find out more about the exciting range of events on the Wild about Reading website at or you can download a leaflet with the programme of events here.

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  • RVA-inspired street party a great success

    10 July 2019 RVA-inspired street party a great success

    Following an RVA workshop led by David Neale on How to Run a Street Party, Rosehill Park residents and those living at Rosehill House and cottages joined together for a ‘street’ party on the lawn in front of Rosehill House on Sunday 7 July 2019. Between 70 and 100 people attended and shared lunch together, renewed old friendships and made many new ones. Saying hello to the neighbours will become a habit and plans are being made for further get togethers.

    Lesley Boardley who coordinates Champions to End Loneliness (CTEL), based in North Reading, was originally inspired at the RVA event on loneliness in the town hall in 2018 and then CTEL decided that encouraging street parties would be their focus this year.

    Lesley said: ‘My husband and I were greatly helped by David’s workshop on the practicalities. We posted a flyer through all our neighbours letterboxes and 17 people turned up for the first planning meeting.’

    Permission to use the lawn of Rosehill House was obtained through their management committee and they also had some plates, cups etc left from a previous social and had enough money in their kitty to fund the cake and ice for the drinks cooler. Everything else – including a PA system, gazebos, BBQs, chairs, tables games and food to share – was provided by residents.

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  • RCLC awarded grant from The Henry Smith Charity

    9 July 2019

    Reading Community Learning Centre (RCLC) has been awarded its largest ever grant. The award of £95,500 from The Henry Smith Charity will be split over three years to fund the Centre’s running costs including salaries. Genevieve Ford-Saville from The Henry Smith Charity said that:

    During assessment we were particularly impressed with the range of services your organisation provides and that most staff and volunteers have lived experience of the issues the work is addressing.

    RCLC is a charity that helps ethnic minority women and their families who live in Reading. Their aims are to reach out and empower isolated and vulnerable women to grow their skills, confidence, welfare, inclusion, social status and independence. They do this through learning, support and friendship. Most of the women are migrants who speak little or no English and who value the women-only environment.

    Sarah del Tufo, Chair of Trustees, said:

    This grant will really make a huge difference to the future of the organisation as we will for the first time be able to see a future beyond the next six months, providing relief from a really stressful position for staff and trustees. A huge thank you to The Henry Smith Charity.

    If you would like more information about the work of RCLC please do contact the Centre Manager, Aisha Malik by emailing

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  • Reducing loneliness and social isolation – digitally

    4 July 2019 Reducing loneliness and social isolation – digitally

    People who are not online and who are lonely and socially isolated face multiple barriers to participating and flourishing in the digital society. There are over 9 million people in the UK who are lonely and socially isolated and over 11.3 million people who don’t have basic online skills. Our town is surrounded by tech firms and yet there are so many people still unable to access the wealth of information about activities (and support to get to them) that they’d enjoy and would make such a difference to their lives.

    -There are 50% of people who live with disabilities who are lonely on any given day and 25% of the adults who live with disabilities have never used the internet.
    -According to Age UK, “Though figures show internet use among older people is increasing, this group are still less likely to use the internet than their younger counterparts, with nearly four million people over 65 having never used the internet.”

    It is also important to understand the complex relationship between loneliness and digital exclusion and other issues such as poverty and inequality, lack of basic English language skills and health and wellbeing. It’s not a simple fix, but help is at hand.

    Reading Community Learning Centre has just opened registration for their Beginners Computer class for women who have not used a computer before (Dowload flyer here). Classes start on 10 September at 09:30. For more information please contact Petra on 01189 595455 or email

    Reading Voluntary Action’s Get Online project provides drop-in sessions across Reading which are open to anyone wanting to use the internet, email, a new smartphone or tablet. For details, call RVA on 01189 372273.

    Don’t forget to have a look on the Reading Services Guide for information on other support to get online in community venues.

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  • South Reading Community Hub celebrates its first birthday

    29 June 2019 South Reading Community Hub celebrates its first birthday

    A community hub in Whitley has become an essential part of the neighbourhood within its first year.

    South Reading Community Hub first opened its doors in June 2018 and is already a popular meeting place for a variety of different groups and provides a range of services for local people.

    Reading Borough Council is investing £2 million in community hubs which bring libraries, children’s centres and community facilities together in one place.

    Users of the hub joined staff and councillors to celebrate the first birthday of the public facility on Tuesday 25 June.

    South Reading Community Hub was officially opened on 26 June last year following a major six-month renovation and expansion of the old South Reading Community Centre.

    The hub in Northumberland Avenue includes a home for Whitley Library, an improved children’s centre operated by Brighter Futures for Children, Sure Start Whitley Day Nursery, community meeting space and a vibrant community café and social club run by the local community. Whitley Community Development Association (WCDA) is also based at the café.

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  • Briefing note on the Tenant Fees Act 2019

    27 June 2019 Briefing note on the Tenant Fees Act 2019

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    You may be aware that the Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into force on 1 June. The Act bans unfair lettings fees and sets out the fees that landlords and agents can still charge private tenants. Reading Borough Council’s Trading Standards have produced a useful briefing note on what the changes mean for thousands of private renters.

    Further information: If you have any questions you can contact Paul Evans in the Private Sector Housing team by emailing or phoning 07595 092364.

    Click here to download the briefing note.

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Upcoming events

  • Thu
    14:00 - 16:00Rivermead Leisure Complex

    Richfield Avenue, Reading RG1 8EQ

    The Maples Centre are holding a summer tea dance on Thursday 1 August, in the Thames Suite at the Rivermead Leisure Complex. We will be holding a raffle and there will also be entertainment by singer Harry Goff.

    To book your place please call Ellie Shaw on 01189 374525.

  • Thu
    11:00 - 15:00The Oracle Shopping Centre

    Reading RG1 2AG

    Featuring local organisations supporting people with a long-term health condition and their carers, and showcasing activities including basic sign language training, hearing test, hand massage and nail painting. The event will also showcase organisations and community groups that promote health and wellbeing to help people stay health in mind and body.

    If you need any additional support to attend the events, please contact the team as soon as possible by email on

  • Sat
    12:00 - 18:00Broad Street, Reading

    Culture Mix presents Carnival of the World 2019, a colourful celebration of music, art, dance and diversity.

    Featuring a live music stage and the spectacular Broad Street walking parade with percussionists, dancers and Carnival costume the event showcases local and international cultural talent.

    Join Culture Mix in the heart of Reading town centre as we celebrate and showcase great music and art for all.

    Free event. For more information see the Culture Mix website at

  • Sat
    12:00 onwardsKing's Meadow Park

    Napier Road, Reading RG1 8BN

    Reading Pride's annual Parade & Festival returns for its sixteenth year on Saturday 31 August at Kings Meadow. The Festival kicks off when the Parade arrives at 12:00 with a full line-up of entertainment throughout the day along with a funfair, youth area, a wide range of food, drink and market stalls.

    Pride is organised by the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and provides free fun for all the family. For more information see the website at

  • Sun
    14:00 - 17:00Harris Garden

    216 Pepper Lane, Reading University grounds, Reading RG6 5SH

    A day of fun to raise money for Reading Mencap. We have around 15 to 20 local businesses holding stalls there along with 5 of our own, including Tombola, raffle, plants and refreshments.

    It will be opened by our Patron Sir John Madjeski. All to raise much needed funds.

    Entry: Adults £3, kids go free, no Dogs allowed.

  • Tue
    11:00 - 13:00Community Place

    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.

    Click here to register

  • Tue
    10:00 - 17:00Holy Brook Gallery

    Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ

    This is an exhibition of artwork created by clients attending Churches in Reading Drop in Centre. Its purpose is to display to the general public the variety of drawings, paintings, sculpture and poetry that has been produced over a period of time by people experiencing hardship in the form of homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, addiction etc. It is a tribute to the talent and artistic abilities of those who may feel on the margins of society.

    The exhibition will run from 17 September to 28 September 2019, in Central Library’s Holy Brook Gallery, during the library’s normal opening hours.

  • Sat
    12:00 - 16:00Forbury Gardens

    Reading RG1 3BB

    Reading Town Meal is a truly community-powered event. First held in 2011, so far there have been five fantastic ‘picnics in the park’ celebrating the delicious fruit and veg that is grown in Reading. All the food is donated by the wonderful growers and allotment holders around Reading, cooked by Reading College students, and served free in Forbury Gardens.

    The meal is accompanied by music from local bands, family fun activities, plus the chance to learn more about growing your own food, shop with local producers and find out what local community and sustainability groups are doing in Reading.

    Find out more at

  • Mon
    09:30 - 15:15Conference Centre

    100 Longwater Avenue, Green Park, Reading RG2 6GP

    You are invited to attend Berkshire Community Foundation's Symposium to be held on Monday 14 October 2019 at Green Park in Reading.

    A full programme will be offered on the day, with speakers covering topics such as:

    • Staying positive in the face of big challenges
    • Public Speaking
    • A finance update
    • A legal update from Blandy and Blandy

    There will be some networking opportunities where you will have the chance to talk to other voluntary organisations and discuss issues impacting on your work.

    In order to book a place for your organisation, please register via by Monday 30 September 2019.

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