Newsletter (original version)

  • Winter Watch – apply by 31 March 2018

    11 January 2018

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    Winter Watch is run by Reading Borough Council and a number of local voluntary and health services to make sure that no-one suffers from cold in their homes during the winter months.

    Winter Watch is available to Reading residents who are on a low income and are either: over 60, have very young children, have a disability or health concerns.

    Winter Watch can help by:
    -Carrying out a home energy check
    -Giving advice on bills and energy providers
    -Giving advice about home insulation grants
    -Carrying out minor repairs to stop draughts
    -Lending heaters or dehumidifiers

    Apply for Winter Watch until 31 March by phoning 01189 373747.

  • Let’s make 2018 the year to End Loneliness in Reading!

    10 January 2018

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    In 2017, the theme of loneliness hit the headlines time and time again. While loneliness is not a new problem, recent research has brought to light the negative implications of loneliness on our physical and mental health.

    As well as increasing understanding, the benefit of wide media coverage has helped to break down some of the stigma associated with loneliness, helped in particular by the Jo Cox Commission call to action which was launched at the end of last year to encourage us to recognise that loneliness is everyone’s business.

    But how can we make loneliness our business, right here in Reading? At Reading Voluntary Action, we have several ways you can take action over the next few months.

    1. Share your experiences to help others We are running a series of focus groups so we can better understand how loneliness impacts on people’s lives and what could be done to help alleviate loneliness.
    2. Become a Champion to End Loneliness by joining a neighbourhood workshop or signing up to our mailing list to receive a monthly email with ideas about what you can do to help reduce loneliness in Reading and in your neighbourhood.
    3. “Let’s Make Reading Friendlier” Come along to our conference to combat loneliness in Reading on Wednesday 21 February! There will be a market place with information from many local organisations, both about the services they offer and how you can help them as a volunteer.
    4. Make use of our Befriender Match service, and make use of your skills and interests to help someone who is lonely in Reading.

    Let’s make 2018 the year we tackle loneliness head-on in Reading!

  • New year, new opportunities

    4 January 2018

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    If one of your new year’s resolutions is to give a little time to a local charity, then take a look at the many volunteering opportunities advertised on RVA’s website.

    If you’re looking to connect more with your local community, then sign up for our big event on 21 February, ‘Let’s Make Reading Friendlier’. This event is about taking action to alleviate loneliness and social isolation in all communities in Reading and everyone is welcome.

    Looking for a new job in 2018? Keep up-to-date with the latest voluntary and community sector vacancies on RVA’s job pages.

    Or if you’re looking for some more general support with all aspects of getting into work, then take a look at our new Stronger Together project and look out for details of the launch event, coming soon.

    For the latest news from all our projects, follow us on Twitter:

  • Carers Information Sessions in January and February

    3 January 2018

    The Alzheimer’s Society is organising two information sessions on the different aspects of dementia for people who care for someone with dementia.

    Both sessions are in Reading and will take place on
    -Thursday 25 January 2018, from 10:30 to 12:30
    -Tuesday 20 February 2018, from 10:30 to 12:30

    Call Pauline on 01189 596482 for more information.

  • Have your say – Local Healthwatch for Reading and Wokingham

    21 December 2017

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    Reading Borough Council are seeking views from people who use health and social care services, to understand the likely impact of commissioning a single Local Healthwatch for Reading and Wokingham.

    The consultation is being conducted by Reading Borough Council on behalf of both councils involved and will run from Tuesday 19 December 2017 to Tuesday 6 February 2018.

    Have your say and let them know your views. The consultation questionnaire can be completed at:

  • How to dispose of your old Christmas tree

    20 December 2017

    Do you have a traditional Christmas tree that will need to be thrown out this January?

    Reading Borough Council is providing drop-off points in car parks around the town for disposal of Christmas trees, starting on Tuesday 2 January and closing on Wednesday 17 January. Old trees will be recycled into wood chips for projects around Reading.

    Drop-off points locations include the Mapledurham Playing Fields, Rivermead Leisure Complex, Kensington Road Recreation Ground, Prospect Park, Meadway Recreation Ground, Palmer Park Sports Stadium and Whitley Wood Recreation Ground. Trees can also be taken to the main recycling centre at Smallmead – don’t forget to take your orange permit.

    Further information on recycling in Reading can be found at


  • Public Space Protection Order Consultation

    7 December 2017

    The Anti-Social Behaviour, Police and Crime Act 2014 introduced new powers on the 20 October 2014 for dealing with local neighbourhood issues. Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) were introduced as one of the tools and are designed to improve public safety in a defined area.

    PSPOs have replaced powers to make Gating Orders, Designated Public Place Orders and Dog Control Orders. The current orders automatically converted into PSPOs in October 2017.

    However, in the context of the changing nature of anti-social behaviour in the public realm of Reading, it is appropriate to both review the necessity of the current provisions and assess the need to introduce new PSPOs to tackle a wider variety of anti-social behaviour in Reading.

    The decision has been taken to consult on proposals to discharge the current orders and replace with a new PSPO, with conditions included to tackle additional issues including Begging, Drug taking in a public place, Public Urination and Defecation, Motorbike Nuisance, etc.

    The consultation was opened on the 1 December 2017 close on the 22 January 2018. The consultation survey is available online at


  • Council Tax Support Scheme Consultation

    6 December 2017

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    Reading Borough Council continues to face the challenge of the most difficult budget position in its history. Demand for key Council services – like caring for vulnerable adults and children – is rising at a time of unprecedented and sustained cuts in funding for Local Government nationally.

    In Reading, Government funding will have been cut from £58 million between 2010 and 2020, leaving the Council with a Government grant of under £2 million. The ongoing budget gap means the Council is continuing to have to make difficult decisions in every service area.

    RBC are now considering changes to their Council Tax Support Scheme for 2018 to identify further savings where they can. This is just one of many options the Council will have to make decisions about. The Council will make a final decision at the end of February 2018.

    Have your say and help RBC shape any potential changes to the scheme by completing the consultation questionnaire online at

  • Reading Borough’s new Local Plan – Third Consultation

    30 November 2017

    Reading Borough Council will launch the third and last part of a consultation into its Local Plan on Thursday, November 30. Once adopted, the Local Plan will be the main document that informs how planning applications are determined and covers a wide variety of strategic matters, policies and specific sites for development around the borough up to 2036.

    It looks at how the authority will deal with the demands for development, including building more than 650 homes a year. It also sets out the need to work with Reading’s neighbours in Wokingham, West Berkshire and South Oxfordshire to try to meet the need as the borough itself doesn’t have the space. The draft of the plan has evolved after two previous consultations over the last two years, and more than 350 people have responded.

    After the third consultation ends, the final plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State for communities and local government, and an independent inspector will examine it in the spring.

    The consultation is set to last for eight weeks, ending on 26 January 2018, and can be found at

    Original article courtesy of Getreading.

  • Help us understand more about loneliness: participate in our Focus Groups

    29 November 2017

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    RVA are running a series of focus groups to understand more about how loneliness affects people in Reading. RVA are interested in hearing from a wide range of people and understand from research they have carried out that certain situations make it more likely that someone may be affected by loneliness.

    In order to ensure discussion is focused, please sign up to one that is most relevant to your situation.
    -Mental health (11 Jan 11:00-12:30)
    -Disability (16 Jan 14:00-15:30, 20 Feb 10:00-11:30)
    -Open to all (25 Jan 15:00-16:30, 22 Feb 14:00-15:30)
    -Long term Health conditions (29 Jan 14:00-15:30, 6 Feb 11:00-12:30)
    -New to Reading (1 Feb 17:30-19:00, 9 Feb 11:00-12:30, 15 Feb 14:00-15:30)

    If you know of a particular group in the community that it would be good to hear from together, please do let RVA know and they will look into arranging an additional focus group.

    Sign up to a focus group at

Upcoming events

  • Wed
    19:45 - 21:15Caversham Pimary School Hall

    Hemdean Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7RA

    Blackthorn Nursery in Hampshire was transformed into a garden when the owners retired. It features alpines and other plants collected over 30 years, which were once the nursery’s stock in trade. Jon Evans will show us some of his garden’s beautiful and unusual plants using his own photographs.

    Non-members are welcome – tickets are available for £3 on the door. There is plenty of parking in the school grounds.

  • Thu
    17:30 - 19:30Battle Library

    420 Oxford Road, Reading RG30 1EE

    This is a new date for this event that had to be cancelled in December.

    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
    13:00 – 16:30RISC Main Hall

    35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    Bring along your broken items and get help to repair them. The team of volunteers will be able to help repair a wide range of items including:
    -Mechanical items
    -Computers (hardware/software)
    -Tool sharpening

    Additionally, if you have something you are making or a craft project you are stuck with, why not bring it along and one of the repairers can give you a hand to get on the right track!

    Repair Cafe is a free event but donations are welcome to help keep it going. There’s also tea, coffee and homemade cake!

  • Tue
    13:00 - 15:00Elevate 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

  • Tue
    18:00 – 21:00Reading Voluntary Action

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

    Trustees play an essential role in our society, making our charity sector work. It’s a hugely rewarding role but it’s not always easy to get all the information you require to be sure you are carrying out your role as effectively as possible. This training will help give you an overview of what’s expected of trustees as well as providing a networking opportunity with your fellow trustees from the area.

    The areas covered will include:
    -Basic structure of a voluntary organisation
    -Trustee duties and liability
    -Trustee Roles
    -Choosing/understanding your organisation’s structure
    -Your constitution
    -Organisational policies

    The training is suitable for new and existing trustees and will also give a valuable introduction to anyone thinking of taking on the role.

    The session is free but please register at to confirm your place.

    Click here to register - it's free!

  • Wed
    19:30 - 21:30CIRDIC

    Berkeley Avenue, Reading RG1 6JT

    Reading SOUP's is back at CIRDIC to blow away the January Blues with the usual delicious mix of Community Projects, music, art and home-made soup!

    The Pitchers, Musicians and Artists for this event are TBC.

    How Reading SOUP works:
    -Pay £5 entry and get a warm bowl of soup
    -Local Groups & Projects Pitch about their work to the crowd
    -The crowd vote for their favourite Project
    -The Project with the most votes wins ALL of the door money

    Find out more at:


  • Wed
    15:00 - 20:00Reading Town Hall

    Blagrave Street, Reading RG1 1QH

    Reading’s BIG event to explore ways to alleviate loneliness and social isolation in our communities. The focus of the event will be on taking action to create change at both a personal and organisational level.

    The first half of the event will be for organisations across all sectors. The second half will be more targeted at members of the public, to enter into the conversation alongside local organisations.

    • 15:00-17:00 – How organisations can work better together to address shared issues around loneliness
    • 17:00-17:45 – Market Place, Networking and Refreshments
    • 17:45-19:30 – Let’s Make Reading Friendlier – Public Event
    • 19:30-20:00 – Networking and Market Place

    The full programme will be made available in the coming weeks, but please save the date and register to book your place. For more information please email to

    If you are representing an organisation and would like to attend the whole event, please register here for attendance from 15:00.

    If you want to attend as an individual or just want to attend the evening session, please register here for attendance from 17:00.

  • Sat
    08:00 - 17:30Circle Reading Hospital

    Off A33, Reading RG2 0GQ

    Reading Lions Club invites all local men over 45 to the Circle Hospital Reading on Saturday 3 March to learn more about prostate cancer and take a simple PSA blood test. It is well proven that early detection and treatment may vastly increase your chances of survival.

    The test involves a simple blood sample taken on the day. The samples are sent to a specialist laboratory for analysis and a letter is sent to every man taking part with their own individual results.

    Please allow 30 to 45 minutes for registration and the test although this may take longer at busy times. Bring your completed consent form, download from the website at

    There is no parking available at the hospital. Please park at the Madejski Stadium and use the complimentary shuttle bus to and from the hospital.

  • Thu
    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

  • Sat
    14:00 - 16:00Caversham Court Gardens

    Church Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7AD

    Celebrate Easter at the Caversham Court Gardens, where the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens will be hosting an Easter Egg Trail on a nature theme in the lovely riverside gardens. All young competitors will win an Easter egg prize. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

    Entry is free, but donations to the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens will be appreciated. The Tea Kiosk will be open for refreshments all afternoon. For further information please email

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