Newsletter (original version)

  • Reading Central Club – Bidding Opportunity

    8 March 2018

    Reading Central Club is currently vacant and the council has decided to dispose of a 999 year leasehold interest. In accordance with the Third Sector Premises Policy Statement agreed on the 16 February 2016, voluntary sector organisations have until noon on Friday 11 May 2018 to submit a bid for the property.

    The property, known as the Central Club, comprises a substantial single and part two storey building, on a plot of approx. 0.055 hectares (0.14 acres) fronting on to London Street and backing on to Crossland Road. The property’s northern flank wall overlooking Mill Lane was decorated in 1990 with a large mural. The mural remains of huge importance to the black community, the wider community and the Council itself.

    The accommodation comprises a large open area at ground floor level with a raised stage plus a series of offices, stores, meeting rooms, kitchens and toilets over the remainder of the ground floor and a first floor with similar accommodation. The total area is approx. 582 sq metres (6,265 sq feet), measured on a GIA basis.

    For a Third Sector application form, guidance, scoring and accompanying information, please contact Clare Muir, Policy and Voluntary Sector Manager at Reading Borough Council by emailing or phoning 01189 372119.

    Continue reading →

  • Reading Carnival 2018: The Rebirth

    7 March 2018

    News from: Reading Caribbean Cultural Group

    Reading Carnival returns to mark its 41st Anniversary on the 28 May in Prospect Park. We had an amazing year last year and this year we want to make Carnival even better by aiming to getting EVERYONE in the community involved!

    If you’ve previously been involved in Carnival over the years or your community group would like to join us for the first time this year, please get in touch – everyone is welcome to participate. Here’s a few examples of how you could get involved:
    -Procession and floats
    -Creatives and workshops
    -Volunteering and stewarding
    -Social media
    -Performers and musicians
    -Street team

    We also have a limited number of stalls for local charities and community interest available on a first come, first serve basis. If you would like to register your interest or find out in more detail about how to get involved, please contact and a member of the team will be in touch.

    Come and join the festivities by lining the streets for the parade and enjoy some delicious cuisine from the Caribbean and across the world! There will be entertainment at the park for all ages until 19:00.

    Continue reading →

  • Have your say: parking charges to be introduced in West Reading

    23 February 2018

    Reading Borough Council is proposing to introduce Pay & Display parking on many streets around the Oxford Road and Caversham Road areas of Reading.

    The area covered will be much of Oxford Road, some streets in the Great Knollys Street area and Northfield Road, off Caversham Road. Parking meters are also proposed for part of Wokingham Road in East Reading.

    There is very little time remaining to comment on the proposals – the deadline is Thursday 1 March 2018. Details of the proposal and how to give feedback are at

    Continue reading →

  • Got a project that needs paint?

    22 February 2018

    News from: The Green Machine

    The Green Machine has an amazing selection of paint colours, finishes, woodstains and masonry paints to supply to community groups, charities, sports club and individuals for £1.20 per litre. We provide employment and volunteering opportunities to disabled and disadvantaged individuals. We also help the environment by diverting reusable unwanted paint from landfill or incineration.

    So if you’ve got the skills (or maybe just the willing labour!) you can approach Green Machine for the paint and get the job done. Contact Dawn Cannon on 01344 457940 or by email at for more information.

    Green Machine is a Community Interest Company which runs Community Repaint (East Berkshire) and has been giving volunteer and employment opportunities to disabled and disadvantaged people through its recycling and green space management operations since 2009.

    Continue reading →

  • Consultation on library services in Reading

    22 February 2018

    In 2016 Reading Borough Council consulted on changes to the library service. Many of these changes were introduced from 2017 and enabled savings of £290,000 from the library service budget. The council is now launching a further consultation.

    As a result of government cuts in funding and increasing demands for services every local council is having to make major savings. RBC therefore needs to prioritise the use of their resources across the Council, including those used to deliver library services in Reading.

    RBC has already made major savings by making the library services more efficient through making better use of technology such as the self-service kiosks and changing operating systems. Another way our libraries can contribute towards savings is to make the best possible use of available space and RBC has already consulted on some plans to bring libraries together with other services in new community centres or ‘hubs’.

    RBC wants to sustain an affordable but comprehensive library service. Your feedback is needed to help achieve that. The proposals here in total would save £220,000 of the library budget. The consultation survey is available online at – the closing date for responses is 21 March 2018.

    Continue reading →

  • A helping hand for your community projects from Wilko

    21 February 2018

    News from: Reading Borough Council – Funding Information Service

    Every Wilko store has a budget to give a little helping hand to local groups and community projects. They want to help local schools, playgroups and nurseries, parent or family groups, disabled groups, youth clubs, elderly groups, luncheon clubs, community and tenants’ associations, plus appeals from the local police, fire service and local councils and more.

    You could get Wilko gift cards, products, or volunteers to help with whatever you’re doing for our community – whether it’s a raffle prize to help with fundraising or tins of paint and extra helpers to do up a community centre.

    This is just one of the many grant and award programmes featured in the November 2017 edition of RBC’s Funding Digest. Visit the RBC website at for details about how to subscribe, free of charge, to this monthly publication, which is only available to Charities, Voluntary and Community organisations/groups working primarily for the benefit of residents and communities in the Borough of Reading.

    Continue reading →

  • Reading Borough Council announces street party dates

    15 February 2018

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    To ensure that everybody enjoys celebrating their Big Lunch and the Royal Wedding weekend, this year the council is giving you the opportunity to hold a street party on one of five weekends in the summer.

    The weekends are 19-20 May, 2-3 June, 16-17 June, 23-24 June or 30 June-1 July. The first weekend is the official Royal Wedding weekend, the second coincides with the official dates for this year’s Big Lunch, the third was recommended by the Big Lunch for those who want to celebrate outside of Ramadan and the last two weekends have been added by popular demand for the Great Get-Together.

    To help celebrate the Big Lunch the council will be waiving the usual road closure fee for any approved street party taking place over those weekends – so that residents can celebrate without any extra costs.

    To apply to hold a street party for the Big Lunch on any of the above dates, please download the application form from and send it via post to Street Parties, Communications Department, Reading Borough Council, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU or by emailing the completed form to The deadline for applications this year is 20 April 2018.

    For further ideas or help in planning your street party please visit the Big Lunch or Street Party official websites at and

    Continue reading →

  • New recycling items can now be collected in Reading

    13 February 2018

    re3, the waste management partnership for Bracknell Forest, Reading and Wokingham Borough Councils has announced enhancements to the recycling collection service for its residents.

    Household plastic pots, tubs, trays, clean foil, foil trays and food or drink cartons are now being accepted as part of the kerbside recycling collections across the re3 area. It means that items such as fruit or vegetable punnets, ready meal trays (as long as they are not black), yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, cosmetic pots, foil trays used in takeaways and juice cartons can be placed in your red recycling bin or box. The council will continue to collect paper, cardboard, tins, cans, plastic bottles and aerosols as before.

    A leaflet showing the new items, an explanatory letter and additional information about the importance of recycling will been sent to all residents in the area. More information on recycling, including the list of all items that can be recycled can be found on

    Continue reading →

  • Are you in need of free, quality office equipment? Reyooz can help!

    8 February 2018

    Reyooz is designed to give good causes access to resources that large organisations and companies no longer need. All organisations need to do it to click on an item, register their email and then Reyooz will do the rest, including organising the delivery. All the items are free, but they ask for a contribution towards the delivery cost.

    Reyooz make money from charging the firms that no longer want the items, by making it easy and cheaper for them than throwing stuff away. So far Reyooz have only worked in London but are growing quite fast and have taken on a client just outside Reading. All the items listed here are available locally, including high quality desks, chairs and office storage equipment.

    Continue reading →

  • Reading Volunteer Awards 2018 – nominations now open!

    1 February 2018

    Reading Voluntary Action will be hosting an awards evening to coincide with Volunteers’ Week 2018, to celebrate those in our community who volunteer their time, talents and skills for the benefit of our town. The Reading Volunteer Awards evening will bring together volunteers from across the voluntary and public sectors to thank them for the difference they make.

    RVA have identified 8 broad categories within which nominations can be made:

    Can-do Volunteer Awards: Recognising those volunteers who frequently go above and beyond the expected and demonstrate the kind of can-do attitude that gets things done.
    Neighbourhood Award: Recognising those making life in their corner of Reading better for all.
    Behind the Scenes: Recognising the vital role that volunteers play behind the scenes, helping to ensure that the frontline work gets done.
    The Yes Award (Young Volunteers): Recognising the contribution made by younger volunteers, inspiring others to get involved.
    Student Volunteers: Acknowledging the positive contribution to the local community made by those who come to Reading, from across the UK and beyond, to study.
    Life in Reading: Recognising those volunteers who work to make Reading the unique, vibrant and creative place we all know it is.
    Long Standing: Recognising the consistent and significant contributions made by volunteers over an extended period of time.

    Nominations can be made by those working or volunteering in local not-for-profit organisations, those who have benefited directly from the work of a volunteer, or members of the general public.

    The deadline for nominations is 30 March 2018. To nominate a volunteer simply complete the form found HERE

    Continue reading →

Upcoming events

  • Sun
    10:45 - 12:30The Reading Irish Centre

    96 Chatham Street, Reading RG1 7HT

    Professor Ed Hawkins is famous for his beautiful animations of climate data, giving us a clear picture of what is happening. As part of British Science Week, Ed will be joining us in at the Sunday Assembly to help us visualise that changes that are happening to our planet. Doors open at 10:30 with the Assembly starting at 11:00. The best way to meet new people is to come early.

    Ed is a climate scientist at the University of Reading who has a passion for communicating visually about how the climate has changed. His climate spiral Visualisation was even used in the Rio Olympics opening ceremony.

    Sunday Assembly Reading is free to attend and runs entirely on donations. The Assembly is a secular congregation that celebrates life, meeting once a month at The Reading Irish Centre and welcomes all ages and all backgrounds.

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

    94 London Street, Reading RG1 4SJ

    Reading Community Learning Centre is celebrating International Women’s Day on Wednesday 21 of March 2018 along with its Women’s Day celebration. Come and enjoy the wonderful international food on sale by our learners or pamper yourself with some beauty treatments by our students at a reduced price. All the money raised from the sale of the treatments and food will go towards the continued great work of Reading Community Learning Centre.

    Reading Community Learning Centre (RCLC) helps ethnic minority women and their families living in the Reading area by reaching out and empowering isolated and vulnerable women to grow their skills, confidence and independence. We do this through learning, support and friendship.

    Contact details
    Phone: 01189 595455

  • Wed
    19:30 - 21:30RISC Conference Hall

    35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    Congestion, Air Quality and the East Reading Mass Rapid Transit are vital local issues, and the Council is starting to revise its Transport Plan. So Reading Friends of the Earth have decided to run a public meeting to review the issues and gather evidence, arguments and supporters.

    The aim is to raise awareness and improve understanding of:
    -Road pricing, congestion charging, low emission zones
    -Issues and options around revision of Reading’s transport strategy
    -Transport issues around East Reading MRT

    A revised plan must tick all the boxes of congestion, clean air, climate and cost.

    -Jim Dunning (a retired town planner) will ask “should we provide for demand?”
    -Reading FoE members will talk about the future regional traffic figures and emissions modelled for the ‘Smart M4’ and about local air quality
    -John Sharpe (of Save Our Ancient Riverside) has agreed to speak about the MRT traffic figures
    -Dr. John Walker (author of “Road Pricing: Technologies, economics and acceptability”) will give a presentation

  • Mon
    09:30 - 13:00Gateley PLC

    The Blade, Reading RG1 3BE

    Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that utilises the millions of day-to-day interactions that organisations and individuals have with other people to support them in making positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing. If you or your team works directly with members of the public, MECC could help you make a bigger difference to the residents you serve.

    Reading Borough Council are offering a free training session on MECC, specifically for voluntary sector partners and volunteers who are in contact with members of the public. This interactive session will help you to develop practical skills to reduce loneliness, support people to stay well and to enjoy healthier, happier lives.

    Please arrive 15 minutes before the start time for registration and refreshments. RSVP to or to secure your place. A maximum of 18 places are available.

  • Thu
    10:00 - 15:00Reading International Solidarity Centre

    35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    ACRE’s fourth pan-equality conference will be on the topic of ‘Exploring Exploitation’.
    Discussion points will include:
    -What is exploitation?
    -How does it start?
    -Who can be exploited?
    -Where can they get help?
    -How can we stop exploitation in our communities?

  • 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

  • Sat
    14:00 - 16:30Thames Lido (The Changing Room)

    Napier Road, Reading RG1 8FR

    The formal business will be completed within 30 minutes or less. After a break for tea and coffee, Matthew Williams, Reading Museum Manager, will give a talk on ‘Back to the Future – Reading’s Heritage and Reading’s Future’. As we work towards the re-opening of the Abbey ruins on 16 June this is a very timely presentation.

    Contact details
    Phone: 01189 598350

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

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

    RVA and Barnabas Fellowship of Churches are holding another workshop for voluntary sector groups in Reading on the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS).

    The workshop will cover:
    -Background and policy context
    -Regulated Activity and the role
    -Levels of DBS disclosure
    -Completing the DBS form
    -Organisational processes and the update service
    -Working with individuals with unspent convictions
    -Responsibilities and liabilities
    -Help, support and advice available

    Who should attend? This course is for anyone who works or volunteers for a voluntary and community group and is responsible for processing DBS checks, or supervises or manages others. It is also useful for trustees and managers of charitiss to gain an overview of the DBS system to inform their safeguarding procedures.

    Cost: 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.

  • 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. As well as repairs, you can pop in for a cuppa and homemade cake.

    Email if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

Leave a Reply